i sometimes succumb to that dreaded homeschool-parent malady known as doubt. the actual clinical term is "oh-my-goodness-have-we-made-a-huge-and-irreversible-mistake-in-our-approach-to-education-that-will-scar-our-kids-forever-itis", but i will stick with "doubt" from here on out for the sake if brevity.
yesterday was one of those days. one failed attempt to play a writing game and i came down with a bad case (sometimes it takes a lot to set off a "doubt flare." in this case, not so much). "are they learning anything?"; "have i helped nourish a healthy love of learning and life-long curiosity?"; "do they know themselves, their interests, their passions?"
one of the clinical manifestations of doubt (for me) is frustration. i don't curl up; i come out in full problem-solving mode. my sweet daughter (who is not a head-butt-er) and i butted heads...hard. i (who am not generally a push-er) pushed...hard. we both ended up feeling battered and disconnected.
what i learned (having a healthy love of learning and life-long curiosity...especially about my own internal emotional workings) is that I needed to get back to basics: breath and gentle communication.
usually, it's a good idea to try this out BEFORE doubt becomes frustration (oops), but it works no matter where i am on the spectrum (doubting, frustrated, downright crazed). sometimes it takes lots (and lots and lots) of breath before gentle communication is available to me. and then sometimes, i backslide; gentle communication starts to move into the not-so-gentle landscape. oh look, I need to breathe again.
so, i breathed. isabella breathed. inhaling and exhaling, we found each other's hearts again. and with my heart opened, i began to look around for signs that maybe, just maybe my doubts are unfounded.
and with eyes open and on the prowl, i saw those signs EVERYWHERE that i looked. my body slowly softened into trust...
dedicated to isabella who has so many interests and passions, talents and gifts (the greatest of which is a heart the size of the universe). i love you, sweet pea.