Fish out of water
🐠 Fish out of water 🐠
Wild and Free get together
‘It’s going to be okay; hold it together.’ I repeat to myself as I meander around outside.
It’s a beautiful spring day. We haven’t had this weather in months. The sun is shining, warming the chilly morning. Kids are laughing and running with sticks. Others are on the playground equipment as their moms stand around talking, laughing, enjoying the sunshine.
‘I want to goooooooo!’ My oldest says for the third time. He is out of his element and it is showing.
We all are.
He and his brother have already retreated to the car once. (I did say they could mope in the car but I didn’t mean it apparently because I told them to get out.)
I am attempting to ignore their complaints. I don’t want to lose my cool. I am desperately trying to model how to be comfortable with the uncomfortable, the new, the unknown.
We have been at this homeschool thing for six months and each time I think we are making progress, these moments kick me back down and show me maybe we aren’t. It feels uncomfortable to be out of school. To be without our people. Our old fish.
I engage with a mom. We hit it off. She is kind enough to ask lots of questions and tell me her story; she has been there, been here, where I am. I look up to see my kids find their way towards the boys with sticks.
I keep visiting and getting to know more and more moms.
They are all lovely. Each one has a unique story, not one road the same. And not a single one is trying to be like the other. They just listen and cheer one another on.
They seem to have the patience and calm I so covet and desire. I strive to be like them.
I look over to see (and hear) my boys organizing a game of capture the flag with Brayden’s mittens.
Yay!! I secretly hear my heart sing. They are doing the hard work too. Putting themselves out there to find more relationships and connections. More fish.
It’s hard…so hard.
I told one mom about my middle kiddo not wanting to go places. And the truth is I struggle with this too.
I am good once I know a place or people. But to do it for the first time is tough for me.
I secretly wanted to run to the car too. I knew I just had to give it a few minutes; I couldn’t expect a welcoming committee and signs of what to do and where to go. That’s not real life.
Real life is standing awkwardly, listening to other moms converse and gently inserting myself into their conversation. I must read the vibe to see if I am welcomed or if I should seek out another mom to connect with. Real life is standing quietly when I don’t always know what to say. It’s also about being truly curious about other people and their lives.
It means continually putting ourselves out there to find people we connect with. And it means striking out…a lot. We’ve been doing this six months. We’ve found some people but are still searching for more boys with similar interests. Most of the boys similar to my kids are at school it seems. All the ones who like basketball and football, who want to play Roblox and Fortnite. My kids became a part of this crowd. They mainstreamed themselves like all the other fish. They didn’t deviate from the school of fish; they swam together.
And now that we are swimming without our school, it is scary. We are exposed to all the elements. There is an unknown that holds possibilities but it also holds fear at times. It is when the fear of the unknown comes that we must face it and move through it instead of run from it.
Finally, it seems, we found some of our fish. People who just want to also live a simpler life.
I often think I was too late to start this journey. That school consumed me and I was awakened too late. That I pulled my kids out too late.
But then I remember I wasn’t really ready. I had to be pushed onto my journey because I was so reluctant to go. I was so comfortable at school. I have only found an inner sense of calm and peace within the last year. It has been slowly brewing but not found the surface until most recently.
I remind myself to be patient. Six months is not enough time to judge our homeschool journey. At school, we often did not see real growth in children until one year or more. Sometimes not for many years.
This “school of fish” saying has taken on a whole new context and meaning for me. Yes, it is metaphorical but very literal as well. We call a group of fish a school…why? Or why do we call a school a school? Which came first? It is like together with like. For protection from the elements.
The difference in this case is that we are beginning to choose our school. We are not forced together in an unnatural way. My children can be with children of any age and any adult. We have full control. And this is what makes it so wonderful, uncomfortable, and terrifying.
We have never had these things when it comes to school and now we just aren’t totally sure what to do with them.
So, I will continue to pray to be content while we search for our new ‘school of fish’. May they find us and we find them. May we be more comfortable with the uncomfortable on this journey. May we not be too late but right on time. I have always held a strong faith that everything is going to be okay and that it all works. I believe we are right where we need to be. We are swimming without our fish and it feels uncomfortable but we know there are plenty of fish in the sea. Let’s go fishing! 😉🎣