The Panic

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It’s been a crazy six months around here. Once again we find our life in flux… no not flux but complete change. I am having to give up so much, a home I like, neighbors I wish I could live with for the rest of my life, a city I love, and many of our ideals of life. At least temporarily on the ideals.

It’s hard to even write this here, but because of economic reasons we have to send Alder to school next Fall. It is my hope that we can stabilize our life enough in one school year that we can return to homeschooling. I have cried about all of this so much lately that I’m not sure if I have any tears left. He wants nothing to do with school and I am so afraid for him. Because all of this is happening at this point in the year he is going to end up in the neighborhood school, in our new neighborhood, in our new town.

So where does this leave me? Well, I vacillate back and forth between excitement for planning our new life and mourning everything I am leaving behind. I hate the feeling that I have to put a lot of my philosophies on hold. But on the other hand Kevin has the opportunity to spend more time doing acupuncture and we are in the position to be economically stable in a way we haven’t been for a long time. So maybe this school experiment will help us to solidify everything else in our life well enough to give us the freedom to return to homeschooling.

I do feel lucky that our new home is less than an hour (with no traffic) from where we live now, so while we will be making new friends and connections we won’t have to give up on the people we are closest to now. Right now I want mainly to focus on staying on task and getting us set up in our new life and creating the economic freedom we need to live the way we really want to.

Still I cry sometimes.

So sunny around here

It’s been so nice lately that we’ve been spending so much of our time outside. We spend most Fridays with our friends in one of the Denver parks (there are literally hundreds of them). It’s always nice when it’s one we can walk, or scoot to, like last week.

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These families have basically become our “class” our kids get along on all different levels and share different interests. No two weeks are the same, in terms of parks or who plays with whom. When there are fights or disagreements they usually work them out on their own. But mainly they play and talk for hours on end, creating bonds that are so wonderful to watch grow. To me the greatest moments are when one or another of the kids just decide to pause for a moment and come flop in their parent’s lap. Just like that they want a break, or a snack, and then off they go again. While the kids play we get to hangout and talk and eat. It is a part of the week that nurtures me so much. These are all amazing women who are choosing to follow their own instincts when it comes to learning, we’re all unschooling but all in different fashions. These women have become my greatest support group.

What a Busy Season

Ha! I need to stop making plans in this space, whenever I do life gets in the way. Which is a good thing, it does remind me that that I have so many ideas and a lot less time to realize them than I think they need. There’s been lots of hiking and climbing, gardening and cooking, spending time with friends and being just us, and a seasonally appropriate amount of cleaning. I haven’t even had a chance to take the pictures off the camera yet.

I hope all of you are taking advantage of the spring time and getting outside for every sun soaking moment.

Life beckons…again, I’ll be back when the rain comes this week.

A Little Adventure

I’m a little slow this week. Fine a whole week slow, last Saturday the three of us decided to avoid the St. Patrick’s Day craziness that invades Denver and head up to the mountains for the day. With this unusual warm weather we packed up our bags for the first hike of the Summer, Spring.…Winter?

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The hiking was great, not too many miles but lots of elevation gain. And there nothing like the excitement of getting to the top of the mountain to make Alder happy. He loves to be outside, he likes to hike, but to actually get to the top of a mountain that we saw driving towards it made him so happy. Even the few sections of snow that we hiked across added to the adventure.

But the days excitement wasn’t over.

We were in the edges of Boulder County, near the town of Nederland. Nederland may be most famous for their Dead Guy, but we were a week late for his party, instead we were there for Happiness. That is the Carousel of Happiness.

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While Alder may have thought the rides were the second best part of the day I was seduced by a much simpler and sweeter treat.

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What Do We Give Them?

Silliness

(most days this is my child)

It all started with a fight, the first real us against him situation. Until now any disagreement we’ve had has been one parent and him getting frustrated with each other. But the other night we came up to a big stumbling block, something that we weren’t going to let go of. We try to live as consensual as we can as a family. But there are points where we as parents we have to make choices for our son, because we can understand things that he doesn’t. Regardless of what we fought about it was one of those moments that crystallized a lot of things for me as a mother.

There was one moment when heĀ  scooted himself into a corner, his bangs in his eyes, and was telling us how he wasn’t okay with the change we were making. In that moment I saw the next thirteen years worth of disagreements. I could see in him a little bit of who he will be in the future. I also realized that no matter how hard we try he and I will always butt heads occasionally. We’re too much a like, both to determined to create the worlds that we see as right. I don’t mean that we shouldn’t work hard at creating a relationship of love more than discord, just that I want him to have ways to deal with his emotions, ones that I am still learning.

In seeing this I also realized that there was something so important I have to give him. I need to teach him tools for dealing with his emotions. I’ve spent the last few days thinking about what would be useful and reasonable. I think there are three categories that I should focus on: general calmness (to help avoid fights), ability to say what he feels and means (in hope that he will learn to disagree with out fighting), and outlets for dealing with the emotions that come from disagreeing with people (especially parents). As soon as I started thinking about these things I realized that while I want to help him to find these things I need to do it in a way that they are truly of his own discovery. I may have ideas about things that I think might work for him, but none of them will work without him making his own connection.

I think I am going to go into more detail over the next week about each of these categories because I think that in many ways these can be the most important gift I could give him.