Where do I begin? Yall, I LOVE teaching. I always have. It was my dream from 8th grade on. I’ve worked hard for first a bachelor’s and then a master’s, and now three certifications. And I have soaked up knowledge from countless professional development sessions. I have read countless books (despite hating non-fiction) to help me perfect my craft. I seriously love teaching. I love watching light bulbs flicker and then stay on as a child learns to read or count or add or tell time. I love watching kids observe nature with excitement. I simply love what I do.
But this? This school at home thing is about to break me to my very core. In a way different than I have ever been broken. Because Grayson was not made for homeschooling. He doesn’t WANT me to be his teacher. He wants me to be his snuggly mama bear who reads TO him and snuggles him and only makes him do chores, which he can put up with because there are snuggles on either side. He does NOT want to read to me. He does NOT want to do any school work. He has informed me that I am NOT his teacher and I can’t begin to count how many times he has asked if he HAS to do … xyz thing.
I’m over it.
He is normally sweet and helpful and kind and a super loving big brother to Elle. Now he is disrespectful and laughs about it and looks to see what I’m gonna do. Picks physical fights with her and then gets MAD because she fights back! (Good for her!!) He whines and complains about every. Single. Dang. Thing. He is asked to do!
He has given up on riding his bike because it’s not easy. So he plays on a scooter that is Elle’s size and half the time fights me on wearing his helmet. My kid who used to be the one grabbing everybody’s helmets and making SURE they were all on. I can still hear him saying, “safety first!” My kid who was riding a bike so well last summer we could have taken the training wheels off then!
What has happened to my child?!?
Stress. Change. Sorrow.
Despite the fact that we have a schedule that we’re sticking to at home that is very predictable and gives him the structure he needs, it’s not HIS schedule. He desperately misses his teacher and friends. Despite being a shy kid who takes a bit to open up (nothing like the social butterflies his sisters are!), it’s April! His classmates are his world. And they were suddenly snatched away from him. He loves his teacher fiercely. And she’s gone. Might as well be on another planet.
And he’s sad. He cries every day multiple times a day. Ask him why, and he doesn’t know. But he’s just tired all the time, and he doesn’t know why. I know his tired. It’s depression. It’s anxiety weighing down his shoulders. I carry that tired on me. But I’m an adult. It saddens me to see him carrying that weight. No, it doesn’t just sadden me. It breaks my heart.
The girls are thriving. And their bond is even stronger than ever before. And then there’s him. He’s stuck somewhere in the middle- in limbo. An outcast. And his own behaviors keep it that way. I try to make him see what he’s doing, but it’s impossible.
Lord, you know all of these things. You see his tiny confused heart and you know it well. You loved him first- before I even knew he was in my womb, you knit him together. You knew these days would drive him crazy and drive me to the end of my rope. Lord, give him peace. Give him comfort. Help him to feel your love. Give me to words to say and the calm of spirit to handle his outbursts. You know my tired. Carry my burdens. You know I have so much experience, but none with this. Teach me your ways. Give me your wisdom for how to handle his heart gently, but his behavior firmly. I need help. Nothing has prepared me for this. I want, no I NEED my sweet boy to come home. I miss him desperately. I see him when he sleeps. Can he come back to stay? Please?