Lately I have been fondly remembering my days as a homeschool mom. I remember simpler times when days were spent cuddling up on the sofa to read a good book, having school outside on beautiful spring days, cooking homemade bread from freshly ground wheat, and researching our newest discovery just because we were curious. I miss our weekly Wednesdays at the lake with friends, 4H meetings, and having a clean house all the time.
Those are the things I miss about homeschooling. I have really been thinking about all the things that I shared with T that I do not share with G. Cerebral palsy has stolen a lot from G and I. Carefree days spent playing outside, games of hide and seek, and the freedom to quickly jump in the car to make an impromptu stop at the grocery store are just the tip of the iceberg. There are too many to name. But for all the things it has taken it has given something in return. It has given me a patient boy who loves to be cuddled and is content to sit in the waiting room for an appointment with a doctor that is running an hour late. G is happy sitting with his Mommy all day long if he is allowed to. I am his bestest friend.
When I thought about spring break I imagined all the things that T and I used to do. I had planned for this week to be filled with me getting all my housework finished, spending endless hours reading with G, covering some phonics and math lessons with him and cooking supper every night. Well, was I ever wrong!! I spent most of yesterday taking apart and reassembling G’s stander so it could be cleaned. The other part of the day was spent taking G back and forth to the bathroom, picking up movies G repeatedly dumped in the floor, and changing DVDs in Gs DVD player because he took them out 10,000 times.
Today I did manage to cook some pintos for supper in between my DVD duties. I washed two loads of clothes. I even managed to sand and paint a chair I bought at a yard sale. The rest of my day was spent lugging G back and forth to the bathroom, cleaning up after his very messy meals, and plugging up the DVD player 50 times because, “I was just sitting here and the plug came out and I don’t remember how to put it back. Can you show me again Mom?”
I sure do love that boy but he is exhausting. How can one little boy who cannot walk (remember someone lost the walker) get into so much stuff? By 6:30 I was pooped. I cleaned the kitchen (mostly) and told G to meet me in my bedroom. He began to crawl in that direction and I heard him say, “I guess I am about to trip over this stuff aparently.” He was referring to a drop cloth I left in the living room floor that I used to slipcover a stool. Oh, yeah I made a slipcover for a stool today.
The funny thing about G’s statement is he was crawling at the time and was in no danger of tripping (no walker). It amazes me when he says something like that. He doesn’t see himself as having a disability. He still imagines that he can snow ski, skate, or do anything else that he sets his mind to. I try to give G experiences with people who rise above their disabilities. Recently I pulled up a video of a young man who does stunts in his wheelchair. I thought that G would like to see the remarkable tricks this boy can do in his wheelchair. Boy, once again I was wrong. G took one look at the screen and said, “Mom, I don’t want to watch that wheelchair boy, turn it to most spectacular bloopers ever.” I know that someday there will be questions of why am I different but for now my Sweet G believes in magic and tooth fairies and Santa Clause. His goals in life are to be knocked out like Spencer on ICarly someday.
I learned a huge lesson today. G is not T. He is his own unique person who will have his own experiences. They will not be the same as they would be if he didn’t have a disabilty but they will be his and they will be good. I also learned that my memory is sometimes selective. I somehow forgot all the days I thought would never come to an end. And most importantly I learned that although I do miss homeschooling I do not think it is the right choice for G or for me right now. I will cherish school breaks and summer vacation knowing that they will soon pass and I can go back to work and rest.