Yesterday I was cleaning out some old files, and found some articles about homeschooling that I'd saved many years ago.
Tucked in among the articles were emails I'd printed out. It was 1998 -- Anne-with-an-e was four, and Betsy was 20 months old. I'd been reading about homeschooling and was drawn to it, but I had doubts. So many doubts. I joined a homeschooling e-list (e-lists and the internet were new to me; can you imagine? It's like telling my children that we had only three TV stations when I was young.)
I posted my questions:
"Is anyone else married to an agnostic? How is that working out, re. your homeschooling and differing views?"
"How do I know I can do this?"
"I just don't know if I'm cut out for homeschooling -- how do I know if I have the right temperament, if I'll succeed?"
"I'm in my late thirties and I'm already tired all the time -- how will I have the energy to do this?"
How interesting and funny to see this ghost of myself, this woman who had somehow, by the grace of God, been given a glimpse of what a homeschooling life could be like, and was intrigued enough to peek into the future, to wonder if it could be a life that could be hers.
And the women who generously wrote back to me, the women whose emails I saved, helped me tremendously. They helped me do more than merely peek into that future. They reassured, and sympathized, and wanted me to know that my doubts were normal, and universal, and okay. And that yes, I would seek naps in that future, and that, too, would be normal and okay.
They helped me to take a leap of faith and to try -- just try -- something so foreign and frightening.
And so today, I am sending out a thank you to these women:
Liz, Laurel, Nancy M., Nanette, Carol, Yvonne, Noel, Donna, Dawn
(and so many more, but these are the names on this particular set of emails ....)
Thank you for taking the time to calm and reassure a newcomer, a novice, a nervous mom. Your kindness and patience have borne fruit in my life, and I'll look forward to a day in heaven, God willing, when we can all compare notes again.