“A picture’s worth a thousand words.” But I didn’t get a picture of it. So my words will have to suffice.
At the end of my day, I sit reflecting on the beauty that was my daughter today … in the middle of our school district’s school day, my 7th grade homeschooled daughter was spinning on the swing that hangs from the tree in our backyard, her hair flying around her, her flouncy skirt flouncing (with shorts underneath), while her 5th grade brother leaned against the tree, yakkety-yakking at her, waiting his turn. They were just out enjoying the weather and each other’s company.
I stood at the kitchen window and gawked at this incredible blessing.
This 13-year-old wasn’t standing by a brick wall trying to look cool, checking her phone – her hair, her makeup – talking about (well, I don’t even know what they talk about nowadays) and worrying about whether the boys like her. Instead, she was enjoying another day of childhood. This is a gift that homeschooling has brought to our lives.
Don’t get me wrong – she’s got a crush on a boy. She has an iPod that I have to confiscate sometimes. She makes music videos with her friends. And she’s pretty much traded in her Littlest Pet Shop toys for nail polish.
But she doesn’t have to pretend to care about all of this all the time. Most of the time, she’s still busy enjoying the last remnants of her childhood in a world that sucks that out of our children earlier and earlier, it seems.
One of her public school friends is here for a sleepover in the tent in the backyard tonight. Tomorrow they’ll switch houses. This is not a backwards, sheltered, unsocialized homeschooler.
This is just a beautifully well-rounded, intentionally socialized child. She can grow up another day. Tonight I’ll hold onto this gift.