This year we will reach a significant milestone in our house. After twenty years of homeschooling, our youngest will be graduating high school. He was born in August, as we were beginning our second year of homeschooling his older brothers in fifth and first grade. Coming back from six weeks of being laid up in a hospital bed, exhausted and depleted, I looked at the textbooks on the table and the newborn in my arms, and I was convinced we would not be homeschooling anymore by the time this one turned five. Yet here we are.
As we prepare to close another chapter in the story of our lives, I realize there is a lot to process. Even though each of my children's high school graduation has been a milestone for them, this one is also a milestone for me. I feel a strong desire to set aside the whole Summer just to ponder. I might have to do it in bits and pieces, taking advantage of moments given. As I look back, I can't help but feel gratefulness and awe. Our journey was not perfect, but God was always with us.
There was a moment, early on, when I realized that if God called me to homeschool our children, He would provide everything we needed. I realized I did not need to pay someone to tell me how to do this. Educating my children was an extension of parenting them. And, just like each family parents a little bit (or a lot) differently, it was ok to school differently too.
As I learned what each of them needed, I adjusted, and I learned with them.
That year when our youngest was born, we put away the textbooks until January. The weeks before his birth were very difficult for all of us. I just knew that what we all needed was some time together, just the five of us. I am so grateful for that early lesson. It set us up for a lifetime of listening to where God was calling us, including the three years we took our family on the road.
The month of May often brings a mix of celebration and exhaustion. A month full of endings with promises of new beginnings. Graduations, First Communions, Confirmations, Ordinations… grace upon grace building, calling us to celebrate. It is important to take the time to process, ponder, and look for God's thumbprints in the stories of our lives. He is always there, whether we notice Him or not.
celebrate (v.): mid-15c., "to perform publicly with appropriate rites," originally of the Mass
The life of the Church is one of celebration. Every liturgy, every sacrament, invites us to full participation in the mysteries of Christ. Here we become a family. As we celebrate together the joy of a newborn being baptized, as we hold each other close in the sorrow of a funeral, we share in the life of Christ. Whether we know personally the individual receiving the sacraments, we are all part of the Body of Christ. We rejoice with the ones who are rejoicing, and we weep with the ones who are weeping. We invite God to be a part of every moment of our lives. This is a life worth living, a life that, when pondered on, will bring awe and thanksgiving to our hearts.