I was reading the book Home Grown by Ben Hewitt this morning in an attempt to get some more ideas about what learning with my four-year-old might look like since it’s become clear that school is not for him at the moment. We’re not making any broad claims about what we intend to do for the whole of his education, but at the moment, school is not for him and so we’re educating ourselves as to how to facilitate the work of learning that he is doing all the time.
But that’s not the point of this post.
The talented author was describing his family’s life on a farm in Vermont, and I could smell the dew on the grass under his feet as he walked to move the cows in the morning, hearing the shouts of his boys as they struck off for the woods on some mission, and I had the thought of, maybe this is what we need to do, we need to move to a farm, get off the grid completely.
Last week I thought maybe we should sell everything and buy a motorhome and travel full-time.
And yet Ben (may I call you Ben? I feel like we’re friends already), shot that whole idea down before it got half-way formed.
“My intent is not to show you how perfect our life is, nor how we’ve mastered the fine art of educating and parenting all in one place, all of which would be a lie anyway. Our life is imperfect in no small part because we are imperfect people inhabiting an imperfect world.” (p.7)
Later on the bottom of the same page he continues:
“What I gain from these moments–the quick bloom of warmth they bring, the quiet sense of knowing there is nothing else I need–cannot be readily measured, and because it cannot be measured, it cannot be traded. It is my own wealth. It is unique to me and therefore it is secure.”
And I realized something, something that I’ve been realizing and forgetting by cycles for probably fifteen years or so. It’s not some major shift I need to be happy, it’s finding the rhythm of my own dance right here.
It’s a complicated dance because every time I find some steps to go with the music, the music changes. There’s another diaper that needs changing, a dog that needs out, a client that needs an answer, a team member that needs coaching and somewhere in the midst of all of that I need to talk to my husband (about something other than parenting, thank you very much) and maybe exercise more than once a month (other than chasing my four-year-old, although that seems to be pretty effective for now). And there’s days where almost all of it happens and goes pretty smoothly and I think I’ve achieved that mythical state of balance.
But balance is a myth, it’s a lie that I’ve been chasing for a long time (and that’s probably another post). All there is, is the dance with it’s ever changing tempo and starts and stops and unexpected bursts of joy.