“Your word is squishy.”
“Squishy?” Squishy and unschooling… what’s the connection? Think! Think!
In the garage is a plastic storage box, and at the bottom of that box is something very squishy. Little pudgy fingers loved to wrap themselves around it and squeeze. Big ones did too.
When I first saw that hot pink squishy ball I couldn’t resist buying it for Gemma-Rose. She didn’t really need any more baby toys. She’d inherited so many from her older siblings. But I bought it anyway.
Gemma-Rose is now ten years old. That squishy ball has been packed away in the garage for a long time, because we have no more babies to play with it.
I saw a young baby at Mass last Sunday. She opened her rosebud lips and gave her mother a warm, wet, squelchy baby kiss. My heart flipped over as I remembered my own babies doing this. I almost wished I was younger, and I still had a soft baby bundle snuggled up under my chin. Just for a moment I yearned for the past.
I have a dear friend who taught me a very important lesson. “I love being who I am today,” she says. “I also love my children exactly how they are right now.” Yes, she doesn’t look back, yearning for babies. She’s too busy to do that. She’s busy appreciating what she has right now. She lives in the moment.
I often think of unschooling as living in the moment.
I try not to look back. I have made lots of mistakes and yes, I do think about them sometimes. Perhaps I even wish occasionally I had done some things differently. But I’m aware that every experience, including the disasters, has taught me something. And I do believe God can fix up those mistakes, and fill in the gaps where I have failed. So there’s no real reason to dwell on them. So I just glance back occasionally and smile at the memories.
Similarly, I don’t look forward, except to dream a little, but certainly not to worry. God will take care of the future just as He takes care of our past. All we need do is trust.
Yes, our business is here in the present moment. We need to embrace life, enjoy and love each other as we learn together. We have to unschool without fear.
I look at my four at-home daughters. They are all growing up so quickly. It won’t be that long before our unschooling years together will be over.
One day there’ll be no young girl fingers stretching over the keys of our piano.
I won’t stand outside music examination rooms with my heart going thump! thump! Later, we won’t celebrate the results with a special morning tea and bouquets of delicate roses.
My husband Andy will be my only running partner. The Team will have disbanded.
There will be no more Elvis fashion shoots.
No more novel writing together.
I will no longer be arranging picnics to the lake…
or reading books out loud, or tucking up girls into beds….
But that’s the future and not today. Today I am enjoying my daughters to the utmost. We’re living an amazing unschooling life. It feels good, just like a squishy ball.
Yes, today we’re living in the moment.
You can also find me on my Stories of an Unschooling Family Facebook page!