that one time I thought I’d get to be homeschooled.

I remember asking my parents about how many years I would have to go to school.  

They were always reticent to answer…saying that after elementary school was middle school, and then more levels of school–junior high, highschool, etc.  I felt so frustrated, and so eager to grow up and call my own shots properly.

I must have pestered them pretty hard about it, because they told me all kids had to go to school, that not going to school was illegal and they’d get thrown in jail, end of story.

FINE. Continue reading

Cracked Christmases of the Past

So it’s the holiday season, which highlights yet another way that I tend to differ dramatically from the average human being.  We’re not a Christian family, and yet not really a secular one either.

I’ve never encouraged my kids to believe in Santa, which tends to get a lot of raised eyebrows.

However, this year, I’m noticing that apart from all the differences that are just a part of Who I Am, I have actually always had a “different” sort of holiday season, even as a child.

This notion was recently inspired by various comments from others about their own childhood holiday memories, and now that it’s occurred to me, I can’t believe I wasn’t bothered by this as a kid.  One blog, in particular, posted an entry about her childhood holidays that sounded so appealing to me, despite the fact that it really wasn’t that kind of mushy, adoring post.

So why were my holidays so cracked?  Allow me to elaborate… Continue reading

My Mother: As Well As I Knew Her

In loving memory of Emma Louise Davis (Balog) – 9/3/1940 – 1/19/2011

My mama turned 41 the year I was born.  I was her only child, and she doted on me better and more than any June Cleaver or Mama Berenstein Bear ever could have.

She was a homebody, and tho she’d never admit to it–she suffered from crippling anxiety and fear about many things.

My mama loved to read books. She researched everything, and she was actually brilliant, yet genuinely humble.

She was a stewardess with Southwest Airlines in the 60’s (when that was a glamourous job), and bought her own house as a single woman in the 70’s.

She travelled around the world before I was ever born, ever the spiritual seeker. My mama only lived to be 69 years old, although she was extremely health-conscious.

I only had 30 years of my life with her…the last of which was very difficult and sad.  Two weeks after the birth of my fourth child, my mom fell in her kitchen and broke the head of her femur cleanly off.  She was slated for hip replacement surgery and was supposed to be walking again within weeks.

However, during the surgery, she started having a series of strokes that took away most of her movement, including her ability to swallow or speak.

She spent the larger part of her last 14 months in a nursing home, with a feeding tube in her stomach, unable to communicate except with her eyes and one of her hands.  In a way, I grieved more in the first few months of her decline than now.  We used to talk on the phone for at least an hour several times a week, about nothing much at all. Continue reading

whoops, I hit the magic too hard, and it turned into chaos

Change is inevitable.  However, in my life, I seem to follow a sort of holding pattern for years at a time, and then changes hit fast and furiously, all at once.

I am not sure if I create this pattern through my own subconscious, or…?  Regardless, it’s clear that now seems to be the time for one of these change-storms.

I’m on the path (albeit stumbling!) of veganism again, or at the very least, a much healthier diet with fewer processed foods.  I’ve made a commitment to putting my family first, and to being a patient, gentle and respectful parent.

Continue reading

Living with My Dad, Remembering My Mama

I’ve been in an altogether different headspace over the past few weeks, which is to be expected what with my mother’s passing, our move, rearranged living circumstances, etc.

I’m listening to a song right now (Okay, it’s Panic! At the Disco!) that just sang the line, “Hey kid, you’ll never leave this town,” and it’s a funny coincidence because I was always afraid of being that kid.

The kid who’d be agonizingly stuck in Middle-o-Nowhere, Texas, with a perpetual “present tense” that never changed.   Continue reading

The Fallout From Getting What You Asked For

So aside from a huge dose of grief and loss, it’s very interesting that my intentions are indeed coming to fruition.  

Quite rapidly,  in fact–but as is quite often the case, there can be unexpected repercussions to getting what you ask for.

This story is rich and complex, and I want to do it justice as it continues to unfold in the days and months to come.

We have been busy this past two weeks, because (unrelated to the passing of my mother, although curiously timed) the decision had been made to move into my father’s home with him.

Over the past two months, his back pain has become crippling, and he can no longer take care of the house by himself.  Once my mother passed, it was clear that he ought not to be alone for long, so we moved shortly thereafter.

Continue reading

Misconceptions About Unschooling + Choosing Connection

When I wrote this, back in 2011, I had a major aversion to capitalizing things. Forgive me. 

I think many parents tend to view their kids as an extension of themselves, as an embodiment of their values, or evidence that they believe/do/feel the right things.. but that’s not really healthy or fair to think of kids that way.  Our children are unique beings from day one–or as Khalil Gibran puts it, our children are not ours.

If other people think that your child not knowing how to do fractions yet, or disliking their hair to be combed, MEANS SOMETHING NEGATIVE about you as a parent, well…let them think.

Their opinions of you as a parent or of your children do not matter.

Continue reading

Living Deliberately Versus the Path of Least Resistance

>> “We must be the change we wish to see in the world.” –Gandhi

>> If your choices are not in line with your values, then you don’t really value yourself.  

What provocative statements these are for me!  A good word to sum it up is “congruency”.
We won’t feel happiness or fulfillment in our lives if we are constantly in an internal conflict over what we do and say versus what we feel and think.

Continue reading

On Feeling Inadequate as a Parent

As I watch my sweet oldest boy turn more and more into what some might call an angsty teenager – I recall mySelf at his age.

Not so long ago, I was his age….and not long after that, I was pregnant and giving birth to him.

I was 18 the year he was born.  The only child of only children, I’d never been around kids, never babysat.

I only ever held a baby once, briefly and awkwardly, before I held my own precious child.

Continue reading