In pursuit of your dance

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.




This morning I had to call our internet provider about our service. It had gotten very sluggish and my three year old had asked to watch Daniel tiger. I was having a bit of a hectic morning and Daniel tiger sounded like just the thing.

But it wouldn’t stream, the roku couldn’t connect, and so I searched out the customer service number. After going three rounds with the overly polite automated system, I was connected to Charles.

I suspected from the start that was not his real name as the warm rolling tones of the Indian subcontinent greeted my ear. While he ran a few tests on my DSL service, I wondered what it was like to work all the time and be told not to use your real name.

While we waited for my computer to reboot, we chatted about the weather, the time difference, and when seasons change in our respective parts of the globe. He asked me if I’d ever visited India. No, I replied, but I really want to, it’s on my list. We talked about working nights as he sat in his call center at 10:30 at night and I in the snowy sunshine at 10:30 in the morning.

I asked him if it was hard to work under a name that wasn’t his. No, he replied, it’s okay. My name is too big, and I just want to help my customers solve their problems. I really enjoy working with people to solve problems.

He told me I had a great kid after hearing me explain to Eli that I needed to talk on the phone to fix the Internet and I needed him to be quiet. Told me before we got off that he could tell I was a good person, I guess because I had asked him about himself.

Oh, and he fixed my internet issue.

I just wish we could be friends instead of hanging up to never talk again.

Turned my day around.

Charles, wherever you are, with the name and soul too big for your job, thank you. You were totally the grace note on my Thursday.