It’s been quiet here, hasn’t it? Despite the lack of literal quietness to my days (oh-my-goodness-we-bought-a-dog, and he’s sweet and huge and goofy, and his loud barks are quite the addition to the wild cries of our three kiddos as they leap from couch to couch), my pen has been quiet, and I’ve been sitting on my thoughts and waiting for them to straighten themselves out, get pretty for presentation. I’m learning that writer’s block isn’t really what it seems — it’s true that you can’t write, that there is something blocking the way in your mind and that it must work itself out before words come to you again. But I wouldn’t say in any way that that time of waiting isn’t fruitful for the words, or for the writer herself. It’s a quiet time, but busy things happen under the earth while we’re waiting for the seeds to sprout. That’s writer’s block: busy seeds, doing their job in the quiet dark. Soon we will see the little leaves and know it was worth it.
It’s back-to-school time for my living-in-America counterparts. Here in Japan, we are also heading back to school in September, except August was the mid-year break. One person, though — one dear little boy — is NOT heading back to school. Jonesy was mix of emotions as he said goodbye to his class this Monday, telling his daddy that he was “sad in my heart, but not on the outside.” When we told him in the middle of August that he wouldn’t be going back, he was extremely relieved — and then he cried: “But I will miss my friends! And my teacher! What will she say when I don’t come? Won’t she be confused?” And we had a few nights of pillow talk, in which he expressed how he didn’t know what to do when he was sad. How do we make sadness go away? Such learning ahead for this little man, to see his life open up to a whole world of emotions, good and bad.
We have been living here under the assumption that we would do school as those around us are and have been doing — our kids would attend Japanese public school (barring any major complications) until graduation from 6th grade, at which point we would move toward an international school or homeschool. But God had placed different ideas in my heart from the very beginning of my firstborn’s life, I just didn’t have the courage to be myself and say what I wanted until recently. So we are homeschooling — and not because we didn’t like school, or because we thought it was bad, but because time is limited and life is short, and if I don’t give myself to my kids, who the hell am I going to give myself to? I am terrified to be with them all the time, but I am also terrified to hand that time over to someone else, so we are going for it. And I am believing that the regrets I might have in being together and learning together will be decidedly less than the regrets of wanting desperately to do something, but being too afraid of what it might cost me to try it.
There are many more thoughts behind all of this. We don’t want to bring school to our house, and I have lots of ideas of how this is going to work for our family. I hope to pull some of that out later, but for now, this is the big update for my life — our life.