My kid is smart. Okay, I know all mom's feel that way, but in my case, it's true. Really!
Maybe as his mom I just see all of his potential. I joke that he's going to be #1 in his class if it kills me (and of course we're homeschooling, so you do the math!)
But my goodness gracious, I love that kid. Even when we spend HALF AN HOUR (that is 30 minutes wasted out of my life!) in a public bathroom because he doesn't want to put his pants back on (and if you think I'm exaggerating, I'm willing to bet that you've never had a 2 year old). Even then, I love him. Intangibly, drunkenly, enthrallingly. Even when I make him go to bed (*gasp* at my audacity!) and he cries and tells me, "I don't like you, my mommy! You get out of my room!". My little guy, I love you even then!
And to revisit my initial assumption: He's smart! Really, really. Like the other day when we stopped to play in a creek (and everyone should take time to play in creeks! Even in Cary where people don't have the slightest idea what you're doing down there), and I asked Jeremiah if he knew where the water was going. He looked down the creek, nodded seriously, and answered "to Paul's house". First of all, huh?... I laughed and told him it was actually going to the ocean, and then we had loads of fun sending sticks and leaves to the ocean, waving whole-heartedly to each little piece of anything that he could snatch up and throw in. "Good bye, leaf! Have fun going to the ocean!" On that same outing we saw raccoon tracks in the sand, and (all by his smart self!) he decided to leave footprints in the sand, too, so that the raccoon would know we were there.
The past two weeks, since our homeschool preschool has been "open", we've explored the world together! I think I've learned more than he has, about the beauty of things, and the boundless mystery of childhood. Everything is full of magic - the salamander we found in the mulch pile, the foxes I saw in the yard, the tadpoles out in the pond. We don't have to be scared of dinosaurs because (he says oh-so-seriously), "They're dead". When we play the "I spy" game in the car, he notices more than I do. And he is showing me more and more about his amazing, wonderful self.
Last week, when he bumped his eye before bed and I prayed for God to heal it and help him feel better, he got a very quizzical look on his face and said, "But I don't see God, my mommy". To which I replied that God is invisible. "Visible?" (he was trying to say invisible, so I agreed with him). "But I want to see God". But God is holy, and we have sin in our hearts, I told him. The furrow in his brow deepened, and he looked at me as if I'd forgotten something. Then he reached for my shirt and lifted it up, pointing the the place where he thought my heart was. "But God is in your heart, my mommy". Oh, my little angel! I could've melted. But then it got better... He lifted up his own shirt, pointed at his own heart, and asked, "God in my heart, too?" Oh my goodness! I never imagined motherhood could be so sweet! (Of course the next night he cried for an hour because he didn't want to put on a diaper and go to bed, but us mothers have to take the sweet times when they come, right?)
So what does this all have to do about homeschooling? Everything! This big, fancy, complicated, controversial thing (homeschool preschool) is really just an invitation for me to be more involved in his life, more attentive, more conscientious. Instead of reading whatever and doing whatever and letting him play with whatever, I'm spending time planning art projects and field trips. Basically, planning time together. Any old person can read him a book, but I feel like it's my job to read him books about bears on our "B" week, and my job to take him to the zoo, and my job to sing bear songs, and my job to show him how to glue bears onto his big letter "B"... You get the idea, right? Less about him (he's 2 for goodness sake!), more about me taking the time to be the kind of mom I want to be - fun, educational, hands-on, and "cool". (Is "cool" even a cool word anymore?)
So that's the lesson of the first two weeks of our homeschool experience: Besides adding some direction and keeping me more focused, we're basically just having a blast! Reading, lots of art, field trips, and conversations in the car. Two weeks down - how many more to go?