We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started, And know the place for the first time. ~T.S. Eliot Four Quartets

05 September 2006

No more days to go..

Sitting quietly I focus on my breathing, with the in-breath I breathe in peace and relaxation, with the outbreath I exhale all stress and tension from my body...

Meditation has been a casualty of having kids. But the house is remarkably quiet today, even though there is a baby.. My first born, my six year old son has started school for the first time today. He had been homeschooled up to now, and this decision to send him came somewhat quickly (in July) but at a time that seemed right. He was excited to go, and I honestly feel that the experience will help him to grow as a person.

When he was born, we made the decision to homeschool, based mainly on my husband's negative experiences of the system. I did the research and threw myself in at the deep end. The fact is that through the years it made more and more sense and the more I educated myself, the better I felt. That's why even now, today, I feel a bit sad. I can't help feeling like I've sent him to prison. But the first years can be the most enthusiastic, and hence the best. Keeping him home until he was 6 is better than starting at 4, especially for boys.. this I've learned from several different sources, including the Steiner movement, the fastest growing alternative education choice in america and europe.

I have a new found freedom with him gone from 9am until 3:30 pm, but it comes at a price too. Homeschooling afforded us freedom as a family to do what we liked, when we liked. I often felt sorry, seeing the kids peddling off to school in the morning, while we took off for a day trip, or a hiking adventure. Now, we too have given up that freedom of movement to enter into the daily routine of dressing, eating, packing lunch and walking (yes we have to walk, about 1 mile total) to school by 9am. Then arriving back for pick up at 3:30.

Entering into the 'system' has also meant buying the dowdy uniforms and maintaining the hair a bit more!! And no more pyjamas all day. Since I'm writing this while my son is at school, I haven't had his own reaction to his first day yet. It started off chaotic, I mean once we got to school, kids just everywhere dropping lunchbags and coats etc. and then we were told that there had been a mix up and my son would be starting in the second year and not the first as previously thought. He didn't really think much of this, except that the teacher he had met and was looking forward to, was not going to be his teacher after all and he had to meet a new teacher today. Neither he nor I was prepared for this.. second year, I mean he hasn't even been to school yet at all! I was hoping he'd ease into it, as first year is slightly more relaxed since kids coming up from kindergarten are still adjusting. I don't know what to expect out of second year.. I am anxious, hoping that all went well, that he didn't have to stand in the corner or lose his lunch, or any of the other 101 worries that I have. I'm hoping that he didn't feel imprisoned, but rather enjoyed the new experience. I'm hoping he will make some good friends.

He's leaving the nest for the first time, with the next stage coming at around 18 years when he'll leave in full (probably). This is a major step though, spending more time away from the home than in it (awake time, that is)..In a way its hard to relinquish that control to someone else..and I'm definitely not saying that I aim to control my son, I mean that I know no one else will see him the way I do, the teacher does not love him, I do. It's a lesson for me, in letting go.

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