Monday, March 17, 2008

which of these is not like the others?

Now that I am pretty much recovered from the 6 hours of driving and only 5 hours of sleep on a floor (I am getting too old for this sort of thing), it becomes apparent how unlike we homeschoolers are from most send-them-to-school moms. When we moved down here I wanted Mary to have the opportunity to make some friends her age and got her signed up with a Brownie troop at the local Catholic school. She goes every other Friday and seems to enjoy herself and certainly fits in well with the other girls. However, on this weekend's trip down to the aquarium I was grilled on why I would want to homeschool, 'cause they couldn't do that to their daughters who need social interaction and the academic excellence they get at XYZ Catholic school. I won't even go into the increased "isn't she a weirdo?" queries I got during supper when they asked me why we go to the Traditional Latin Mass.

Listening to their talk, it struck me how we are oddities, since most folks here are dual income professionals, associated with universities, and don't spend a lot of time with their kids, but spend huge amounts of money on their schools, their sports, their activities, and their wardrobes. There was also an underlying striving toward future materialistic goals for the children by pushing for superb test scores and admission to a fancy college that was almost frantic. For what? A prestigious job like mom and dad? A chance for their children to produce more suburbanite professionals just like themselves? Is that the end-all, be-all of life today? I feel much more at home among the hippies of Maine who understand our desire to be counter-cultural, even if it is from the opposite side of the political spectrum.

This weekend, even though I tried to keep a low profile, I still felt like an exhibit in the freak side show at the circus. "Come right up, folks! See the amazing mother of 5. Hear that? 5 children! She doesn't work, but stays in her jammies until 7am! She cooks, she cleans, she educates her own children! Give her a poke, she really is made of flesh and blood, just like you! The most amazing thing is she stays home and hasn't quite gone completely batty yet! But perhaps if you pester her enough, she might. Give it a go! See if you can send her to the loony bin! $5 a ticket, step this way!"

I am quite sure that when we move up to DC I will be able to find some other moms I can become friends with: moms who are open to life, who desire to find God's will in their lives, and want to spend great amounts of time with their children. I am looking forward to settling down for a nice cup of tea on the porch with a new friend, "Would you like one lump or two?"

7 comments:

Elisheva Hannah Levin said...

You sound like the sanest in the bunch to me. But what do I know? I have never seen the inside of an Ivy League college, and neither have any of my family. And I homeschool. And I actually wanted more kids. (I am grateful for what I have, of course, but at least one more would have been nice).

Anonymous said...

Kat,

You are completely sane and I am happy to share that there are many of us that are military and homeschooling in the Northern Virginia area. There are many homeschool groups and several have families with 4 or more children. Due to financial reasons as well as the opportunity to have some space to play and freedom from the constant pressures of a metropolitan lifestyle (most of us love having the country close-by), there are a lot of homeschoolers that live near Fredericksburg, Virginia where there are a lot of homeschool activities, homeschool classes, museums, sports, etc. available to our families. We will look forward to you moving to the area. :-)

sunniemom said...

I think the disconnect is because we are so thoroughly deschooled. We stopped competing for the title of "Best Dressed" and "Most Likely to Succeed" a long time ago. Just ask folks how they feel about going to their class reunions...;) Why else would movies like "Romy and Michele's High School Reunion" ring true to so many people?

It's my theory, and I like it. :D

Marbel said...

Enjoyed this post! It's nice to find other freaks, even if it's just on the internet.

Crimson Wife said...

{{{Hugs}}} I can *SO* relate to this post! I too find that I often get along better with the crunchy granola moms then with the "cafeteria" Catholics who dominate our parish. There's no Tridentine or Byzantine Mass close to where we live unfortunately :-(

I guess it's just another cross we have to bear. Christ did warn us that it would be tough to follow Him on the narrow way...

cahanbury said...

I say, thank goodness you are a "freak" and not like the rest of 'em!

Jeanne said...

I'd love to get together for a cup of tea!