Thursday, January 29, 2015

In a Foreign Land

My friend Rebecca was born and raised in Namibia, Africa. One of my favorite stories of her transition to America was when she asked for a pencil eraser during class because she had made a mistake on her paper. Her request, "May I have a rubber, please?" elicited many laughs as American English and British English collided. Even though she grew up speaking English her whole life she still encountered awkward moments as she applied it in a new and foreign land.
My baby girl is on her way to her own foreign land next week, public school. As I process all the changes that will take place, I can not help but wonder what awkward moments await my daughter as she enters this new and unfamiliar territory. The truth is she is speaks the language of school. She has been learning her whole life so the concepts of math assignments, reading and writing are not new. What will be new is what all that means within the confines of a 8am-3pm class room. Will she embarrass herself by not following the norms of school protocol? Maybe.
I am trying not to overwhelm her with a list of dos and don'ts. I am trying to let her experience this in her own way and time. At the moment she is excited. Willing to put her best foot forward and try her best.
This is also new territory for me. In writing that, the tears are filling my eyes overflowing. While I am excited to see my girl stretch her wings and fly. I am sad. Yesterday, she said ever so sweetly, "Mom, your going to miss me." and I started to sob ugly cry. Absolutely I am going to miss her. This sweet precious girl of mine and I have always been close. At times she has been my shadow. We have lived the first 11 years of her life always within arms reach, rarely out of earshot. I have often said, "The blessing of homeschooling is that you are always together." I have experienced each and every first. I know her strengths, her weaknesses. I know what brings her joy and what makes her angry. I know my daughter. And I know she is ready for this next step in her journey. But that does not mean it will be easy to let her go. I am going to have to trust. Trust God. Trust the school. Trust her teacher. Trust my daughter, which I do.
I have a feeling inquiring minds want to know, why. Why am I sending her to public school? Truth, we have had a great run of homeschooling. We have done some amazing things. I guess it boils down to this; adolescences is a hard time.  Rather than see us growing closer I have seen our relationship stressed. Ironically, the best thing about homeschooling can also be the hardest part. You are always together. An annoying classmate is one thing, but when you never get away from it, it's hard. I sense she needs a space of her own. Something to call her own. A reprieve from the current frustrations she is facing. Will it be forever? I don't know. I am looking it as the right decision for now. For the next 4 and a half months, this is what needs to happen. I just know that I love her enough to let her go and I have a God who is big enough to be with her wherever she goes.
Boxes of tissue appreciated as well as your prayers.

2 comments:

Lori Gwilt said...

Beautifully written! She will do great!

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