Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Betsy Was a Junior ... But Now She's a Senior

Fellow Maud Hart Lovelace fans will get the Betsy-Tacy reference in the post title, but I'm talking about my Betsy (whose blog name, yes, came from said beloved books.)

My Betsy recently had, as she said, her "last first day of school."

My Betsy is a senior.

We launched her senior year the way we always begin our school years -- with Mass and then breakfast out. (I've always gambled that if we start with God, coffee, and pancakes, we can't go too far wrong.)

We had a lovely day of easing into work, discipline, academics, math (which we merely talked about on the first day but did not tackle until today, so as to preserve the loveliness of that God-Coffee-Pancake kind of beginning. I know on an intellectual level that math is one of God's fiercely beautiful inventions, but on an emotional level? I want to kick it to the curb.) We did fun stuff, like buying snappy new journals, going to the library, and taking Ramona to the park. Betsy also joined Ramona and me as we watched a couple of episodes of Liberty's Kids (which, unbelievably, is available for under seven bucks right now. Yes! All 40 episodes. Run. Run and grab it now.)

And I'm savoring it all. Appreciating the gifts of the mundane. Journaling (not just blogging, but journaling, too, which I've missed and let slide since I started blogging.) Reflecting on the fact that after this year, there will be only one child left in this homeschool dynamic, and that child will be in junior high (which hits me anew every time we reuse a book or resource around here and I realize that I don't have to preserve it for anyone coming up after Ramona ... a strange feeling....)

I'm so grateful that we chose to follow this weird, counter-cultural, fulfilling, amazing, odd, winding path. I wonder, sometimes, what our lives would have looked like if our girls had chosen to go to high school. I never get very far with the speculation, though, because this life is the only one I've known, and it's been good. Maybe a schoolish life would have been good, too? I don't know. Possibly, probably. But at this point, what does that matter? Roads diverged, and we took the one that most intrigued. I used to say that we would take homeschooling one year at a time, and we did, but it didn't take long before I realized something about myself, that "knowing how way leads on to way/I doubted if I should ever come back."

I started this post in a Betsy-Tacy frame of mind, detoured past the Revolutionary War, then meandered into Frostian territory, but through it all I've had a picture in my mind of my beautiful, witty, brave, and talented girl, my novelist, my poet, my middle child. It will be a year of many last firsts.

Betsy is a senior.


turtlemama said...

Thanks for the tip about Liberty's Kids. We love that series and have trouble getting it to borrow. Going to Amazon now...

Amy Caroline said...

Grabbing that liberty kids! YES!

I have one in college now and it is such a weird dynamic because she is still home for the first year. I keep thinking she should be with us doing our morning routine...

I struggled a bit earlier and it takes a good reminding why we chose this life and how beautiful it is, even when bad school weeks come. But, it is all good, even the bad weeks. It has made us closer as a family and who cannot love everything about that?

Karen Edmisten said...

I still can't believe that price on Liberty's Kids! I remember when it was in the $80 range, then the $40 range .... unbelievable.

Amy, my oldest is in college but still at home, too, and I know exactly what you mean. Yesterday, I started reading Island of the Blue Dolphins to Ramona, and Ramona said, "Wait! Shouldn't we wait for Anne?" :) I wish we could still do everything together. :) And yes, who cannot love everything about that?

Anonymous said...

I remember when she used to think I couldn't see her when she "hid" under the dining room table with her older sister.

Karen Edmisten said...

Ah, I miss those days. :)
Miss having you home for lunch every day, too.