The Cosmos: It’s Big.

I have been guilty of late. Guilty of telescoping my life down to my problems and worries.

I instinctively know this is wrong.  I have never liked thinking small.  It makes me depressed.

I have never liked it when my animals chase their tails for too long.  I want to help them out.  But, usually it’s too funny to stop.

But with me, it’s different.  If I get lost in chasing my own tail or the tails of those around me, everyone just gets crankier.

Suddenly it seems there is no way out; no way up.  We are all swirling together down the giant toilet bowl of life.

It takes a lot of work to stop that downward, sucking spiral.  I have to literally hit the brakes.

Last week it became blindingly apparent to me that something, some of the stress in our lives, had to go.  I did not know what or where or when but I knew I was cracking up.

I also knew that my cracking up and my husband’s cracking up and job loss was doing our son in.  He was fighting just to keep his head up.  He has been depressed, anxious, missing school, in the hospital, at the therapist and the psychiatrist, for weeks and weeks.  And, I have known, deep in my gut, that our stress was causing his.

That knowledge made me sick.

A family is a system, right?

Our system has been through hell the last few years.

I knew we had to make a big change.

Over the last months I have caught myself fantasizing about teaching my son at home.  I have been a teacher for over twenty years.  It is what I was born to do.

For the last three years, I have been sidelined by my health.

I kept asking myself, “could I, should I, homeschool?”

There have been lots and lots of voices saying “NO!”

These voices were worth listening to.  I didn’t want to give my son an easy out.  I didn’t want to overburden myself when I am already sick.  I didn’t want to possibly cheat my son out of any experiences he needs to grow and mature.

Finally, this last week, the voice in my head saying, “Do it, Do it, Do it! ” won.

I can do this.  We can do this.

I have a lot to offer him.  I realize I cannot offer all subjects so some will be taken online through University high school programs or tutoring.

Above all: There will be no more sobbing and screaming and pulling and yanking.

There will be: Peace. Interest. Intellectual Stimulation and Personal Growth.

I have the tools.  My son has the thirst for knowledge.  So far, he is happy as a clam with what we are doing.

I am not an easy teacher!

He has a five page research paper that started the day we decided to do this.  He has other assignments and responsibilities as well.

The goal is to love what we are learning.

My greatest hope is that we can travel and learn together.  He wants to see the Smithsonian and go to all the museums in NYC.  I am down for that!

I figure it is only a few precious years here.  He is already 15.  I am going to milk this thing for all it is worth.

It is a big place out there: We are going to explore it.


One Reply to “The Cosmos: It’s Big.”

  1. You can start by watching my boyfriend, Neil Degrasse Tyson, on Cosmos! Katie, I think this was very well written and a really great idea. And I really love the line about what you’re looking for is peace, intellectual stimulation, and all that stuff. I’m kind of jealous I have to admit. I have a friend in Louisiana who is homeschooling her two boys. And she calls it the Ahrabi (their last name) school of thought. They are not close minded backwards fundamentalist weirdos or anything. They do really cool stuff. Like she had her kids who were pretty young memorize little chapters from Sherlock Holmes, or famous speeches. And act things out. They have a lot of fun and do lots of active stuff. If you want to talk to her about some ideas let me know. She’s been doing this for a few years. Anyway I think it will be really fascinating for you and Stan and your family to see how this new plan affects all of you, not just Samuel. I’m hoping this will be a time of peace for you too. Maybe having something productive and extremely important to do, as well as following what you were meant to do, which is teaching, will be good for you and help you heal. I’m wishing the best for all of you. With love, Amy

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