Life gets hard sometimes.
Parenting is hard.
Work is hard.
Loving is hard.
And I have recently discovered that eight is hard.
Life is hard: I am aware of this, at any age. I don't know if it was my particular circumstances. I doubt it. Growing up was hard for me. And I had a good family- so even with a good family, life is hard. So, I see homeschooling as an opportunity for me to try to help my angels figure some stuff out in a fairly safe environment before being slammed with it somewhere out there.
Parenting is hard: Because I don't have all of the answers. And even if I did have the knowledge of what all the right answers, I probably wouldn't communicate them effectively at every opportunity. It's hard to see them crying, trying to figure out this life.
Work is hard: If you stop, it only causes more work. Life is never ending work- with a few breaks here and there. Homeschool only causes double the work. I don't say this to attain sainthood. If you don't want to do it, don't. If you don't understand why I do it, don't try to. I just do. But there is no ignoring the fact that it is hard.
Love is hard: I don't think I need to elaborate.
Eight is hard: At least it is here and several parents have concurred, so to me it is a fact. Something is changing at eight and it is darn hard to figure out.
We have had an increase of loud and painful fights thanks to my eight year old. My heart breaks because I remember (whether I was eight or not, I do not know) having emotions I had no idea what to do with. Most of her tantrums end up by eliminating the problem (her) by a time out. I usually get a long letter slipped under her bedroom door stating why it was everyone else's fault. My fantastic interventions seemed to be getting nowhere. I didn't know what to do.
Today was no different at first. She went to her room. Several minutes later I notice her bedroom door was opened and sure enough, she was busy writing. This time, however, I took a double take because instead of yer usual "life sucks" note, she was writing a list of offenses and correlating consequences. These were fantastically appropriate. I don't know why I didn't think of this. But I'm glad I didn't.
"I really like this, Savannah." I said, then cautiously continued, "You do realize that if we do this, you will get the same consequences, don't you?"
"Yes. I just want a way to stop myself from being so mean."
She was taking responsibility.
I admit it. I cried. A little. I praised her. My heart was skipping and flipped around several times. I refrained from doing a happy dance.
She administered a short meeting, a vote was taken, the list passed and very well received. (except once today when Summer had to vacuum a bedroom, otherwise it was a very pleasant day)
I say all this to say that once and while, when you have to get up and drag yourself out of bed to do the same thing with the elusive hope that something you are doing is going to make a difference, you see one of them reach up and pull a string attached to a light bulb.
Aha. Something is working.
The continuous talk of character, love, and self control. The discipline that is far less fun than fun. The prayers said over each of them. The investment put into each of their lives. Sometimes we can see that something is working. So please, keep trying. Keep working. Keep hoping. I believe these efforts will have innumerable returns now and far into the future.
I just so happened to stumble across this song tonight. Please listen here. Cause I just love it, but I can't figure out YouTube.