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?"