By Ananda Peters 
on Tuesday, May 28, 2019
Enie napping

I wrote this post last year but it didn’t make it to my blog site. It made me smile when I found it so I thought I would share. 🙂

We have three weeks left of this school year … three weeks left of grades 9, 7, 4, and 2. And oh my gosh, I am so ready! Because there are real things that happen to a homeschool mom’s brain at the end of a school year. It starts to physiologically shut down and well, it just turns to mush.

I started noticing it about a month ago when I was leaving the library near our house. I pulled out at the lights and then, instead of taking the second right to take my 13-year-old daughter to the YMCA a mile and a half away, I took the first right and found myself on the loop around, heading north to Denver.

“I can’t believe I did that!” I laughed to Nevaeh.

right way, wrong wayI drove a couple miles up the I-25, then took an exit and headed south again, all the while joking about needing a vacation.

Back to the same set of lights, and then … I did it again. I took the same darn exit to Denver!

Another day, I left home and drove to the YMCA. I pulled up to the door and asked myself, ‘Now who am I picking up/dropping off?’ and it hit me that I was supposed to be at the ice rink a few miles away to pick up my skating girls!

At home, my ice-skaters had been working at home on a curriculum about the human body. It was a book my older two had done, and I really liked it. Each page featured a different organ, with a summary and then a page to color and cut out the organs. After a month or so, the final project was to trace their bodies with chalk and place their organs where they should go. I had photocopied the pages as we went, so as to render the books re-usable. So the final day, when the girls’ bodies had been traced on the deck and organs had been placed and photos had been taken, I asked the girls if they wanted me to ziploc their organs and they could keep them.

“No thanks,” they both answered, throwing their paper organs in the recycling bin, before they skipped off to play.

I wondered at their lack of fascination with a curriculum I found so thrilling.

Later, as I was sorting through my school storage room, I found a couple of ziploc bags full of paper cut-out organs. They were labeled “Ever” and “Evangeline.” And then it dawned on me that we must have already done that curriculum. When? Last year? I had (and have) no recollection.

“Girls …” I said sheepishly when I found them playing, “Did we already do this book?”

Enie cross-eyed“Yeah,” Ever answered, “We were wondering why we had to do it again!”

Well, let’s chalk that one up to reinforcement!

Most of the time, squishy mommy brain is funny.

I greeted an aquaintance in the hall of our co-op one morning: “Hi Rebecca!” She greeted me back and we both kept moving, rushing our little guys to their rooms so we could get to Moms’ Group. Once upstairs, our paths crossed again. Less than 15 minutes had passed since our last greeting, but this time, introducing her to another friend, I drew a blank. “This is …” She squinted her eyes and smiled, finishing my sentence for me, “… Rebecca.” I apologized but she laughed, as only a fellow big-family homeschool mom could relate.

There’s only been once (recently) when I thought I might be going crazy. Nevaeh and I were in the van one day, heading to Popeye’s to pick up supper (yes, I feed my kids fast-food for supper, often). We turned the corner and I saw a woman in a wheelchair on the side of the road with a sign begging for money. It was chilly out and I made a comment something to the effect of, “Oh, that poor woman!”

“What woman?” Nevaeh asked.

“Back there, on the corner. The woman in the wheelchair.”

“Mom, there was nobody at that corner.”

“Yes, there was so. A woman in a wheelchair, holding a cardboard sign.”

“Mom, there was nobody there!”

I told her she would see in a few minutes, after we had picked up the chicken and driven back around.

Well, fried chicken in hand, we pulled around the corner and lo and behold, there was no woman.

So yeah, I don’t know what was up with that. I am willing to accept that it could have been a delusion. But so what? Even if it was a delusion, I feel entitled to it. Almost proud of it. It was a well-earned delusion. I’ve worked my tail off this year, I deserve a delusion!

So I think the point at which a homeschool mom starts to relish in her delusions, is the point at which she, and undoubtedly her children, need a break. Of course there’s no such thing as a real break for moms with little kids. By “break”, I mean a good clean-out-the-garage, organize-the-Legos, and scrape-the-crud-off-the-walls break from school. And then comes the planning. The math, science, history, geography, reading, grammar, writing, art, music, PE, Bible, and extracurricular planning for grades 10, 8, 5, 3, kindergarten and preschool. Oh my gosh. KINDERGARTEN and PRESCHOOL. Kids who can’t read their own instructions yet. Who take ten minutes to sound out the word CAT. Who still need help wiping their butts.

I will Breathe. I will Breathe. I will Breathe. Brain cells do replenish. I think.

Update: We moved back to Nebraska after I wrote that post and enrolled our three girls in public school. My kindergartener stayed home where we both lacked motivation. A couple weeks ago, he visited public school and the teacher bluntly told me, “He’s not where he should be for kindergarten.” “I know,” I admitted. I think most of our kids will be in school next year.

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