A couple of nights ago, my mother reported to me that my 3 year old son told her that she, my husband, my 9-month-old, our cat, and I had died. Hmm, I thought. Earlier that day we’d explained awkwardly how we’d helped a wasp ‘go to sleep, and go to a better place.’ We struggled with our messaging I’ll admit, but I didn’t think we’d screwed it up that horribly, and we avoided using words like dead, death, kill, or die. I figured, more like hoped, we had a while before we tackled that subject.
But then I wondered, maybe he didn’t learn those words at home. An email inquiry to his teacher confirmed it the next day. The classroom fish had died, she told me, and the class had talked about it. It was also covered in a few songs in chapel, she went on to explain. My heart felt heavy in my chest. I knew when I went back to work I would miss some milestones in my children’s lives. I didn’t realize I’d miss even bigger opportunities, like introducing them to central concepts such as death. And how angry was I that I didn’t even know this conversation had taken place? That I wasn’t given the opportunity to add it to my home teaching, or put it into our family’s safe, loving context? That I didn’t even know there was a class fish? What else have I missed?
I’m so over this double life. I know someday, unless I become convinced I can home school successfully, that I will turn a portion [as small as possible] of my parental influence over to a school, and inevitably society and life. But it shouldn’t be this day, so early in their lives when they are becoming who they are. When they need me to show them, teach them, help them.
In short, when I’m home with my children at last, I won’t miss missing so much at all.
Just under 12 weeks until I give my notice.