I have it in my head that it's best to get up at six a.m. or so, and to have the house clean by 9:30.
I think that maybe it happened once and that I really liked it.
' Course... that doesn't leave room for the morning's meditation sans children.
And since "Aaaah"ing and "Om"ing is difficult to do among screeching and chasing and "I'm hungry"'s and the slamming of the back door... well.
And it doesn't leave room for an early morning healthy, quiet, get-me-going-in-the-right-direction walk with my ipod and gurus.
Never mind actually checking out what is happening beyond the borders of this small plot of land I call Home.
You get the idea. Some things just get wistfully sighed over, and then tossed overboard.
This morning I had an idea that I was going to resume the post that I had begun for this month's unschooling carnival over at Enjoy Life Unschooling.
And I really did try.
I was even willing to give it my best 'go' between the quiet hours of one thirty a.m. and about four this morning before I sighed and gave it up. (I often wake up and wander around in my head in the middle of the night. I don't mind that. I'm big on wandering around in my head when it's quiet.)
The words weren't coming out right.
Too scattered, you know. The concept too big.
This Unschooling Plus! business is complicated, after all.
The truth of it is that My Whole Wide Unschooled, Irreverent, Sometimes Frantic, Non-Conforming, Sometimes-Super-Organized But Mostly Insanely Messy, Unrepentant and Joyful Life is quite complicated.
Yesterday when I began that messy and long-winded post I mentioned, Maddie was singing "Seven Natural Wonders.... of the world!...." which comes directly from Multiplication Vacation. We had been listening to it (along with Here Comes Science by TMBG) while we were out shopping and erranding.
She was wearing the sweetest apron while singing - an art smock that I made her a couple of winters ago. It has a calico kitty, a goose, and a birdie sewn upon the chest.
She also happened to be sporting long brown, pink, and red streaks of smelly marker down her nose area.
They're still there today, by the way.
And that, Friends, is my point.
This life of mine
-and Ours! though I am the current narrator and can only do the Telling from my own eyes and perspective-
is romantic and disastrous,
serene and chaotic,
messy and sublime.
Yesterday was a "shopping for new Juice" day.
Oh, the Possibilities!
With a Certain Age one finally can lay claim to A Certain Wisdom, so let's meditate in the still upon leaving the ego (and the Joneses, though I never pay them any mind, really) out of it, and instead contemplate and ponder the flow of abundance and trust and beauty, shall we? We'll leave the Good Consumer title there for someone else to pick up on their way past the cash register. And we'll just order up the superduper cool stuff.
So I ordered Family Math.
'cause we'd much rather be playing thinking games than practicing math drills.
And I've been eying some shinies at Steve Spangler Science, so ordered up those.
' Picked up some gorgeous papers, because Maddie and I love creating lots of different things with paper.
Ordered a couple of new dinosaurs to go with the new habitat that Trev is building in the backyard - a river area, this one.
Not because nearly a hundred prehistoric creatures isn't enough... just because they bring with them (those dinosaurs) so much Imagine, and Joy. And I'm big on Imagine and Joy.
Checked in with the children a couple of days ago.
"Missing something? Want a schedule? Want to know what's going to happen when?"
You know-- just to make sure they're not out there feeling like they're flailing and lost.
"What??" said they.
"Want a plan? We'll do this at this o'clock every day? Now it's time for this.... here's the list?"
No - they didn't want that.
They are perfectly content with the current rhythm of our days, and don't need to calibrate with clocks and day planners.
Well. Maybe they were born to the right Mama, then.
Now that's not to say that we don't enjoy an inspiring list, as you may recall.
We're very fond of passing our earliest morning hours by our individual selves (I think of it as waking up and into our selves), and then coming together to share news and ideas of how we'd like our day to go.
We come up with lots of things to do together - baking, games, walks, bike rides, fieldtrips, romps, visits, art projects... whatever sounds like a good idea for the day.
But in all of this choosing and projecting and hemming and venturing,
there is always room for the Whatever.
There's room for the mess,
and there's room for the frantic tidying up. (Er... that would mostly be Me.)
We make room for the practical,
and we eagerly attempt to chase down the icecream truck.
We're quite alright with A Plan,
and then we're happy to ditch it if it just isn't jiving with us.
' Might leave grocery store bags (non-perishables) on the kitchen floor for a couple of days because we can't tear ourselves away from the new library books or the new glitter glues.
All things considered, I s'pose others might look at our life and say that we're chaotic or lazy.
But I'll tell you... it sure doesn't feel lazy.
It feels Happy.
It feels Engaged.
It feels Thriving.
And it feels free
Yeah - it feels Big.
And I s'pose that's what Unschooling means mostly to me.
I'm not overly attached to the word, but I don't know of a better one that describes the why and the how of our Life.
'Cept maybe Heretic. [Grin.] That seems to suit us pretty well.
But this isn't a post about rebelliousness,
or obscene gestures flipped to the Status Quo.
It's just a slow, smiling meander through our life... our collective days.
In a conversation with my sister the other day, I irreverently excused my (slight) tardiness with a quip of "That's what you get when you hang out with Unschoolers! They think they can make up their own rules!"
We had been discussing the How of home education.
And then I stopped, and thought about what I had said.
"Of course," I continued, "Everyone is free to make up their own rules... it's just that some folks know that."
And there you have it.
As Maddie paints and sings to herself, "...Mercury!.....Venus...." (from They Might Be Giants), I can only smile, and think that this life of mine
-this big, big life-
has room enough and Love enough
to embrace and enfold whatever it is we need
in order to to continue to grow
There is always Enough,
since this life is ever expansive,
there is always room for more.