homeschooling, homemaking, homesteading...home.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Dear Bill Watterson

I don't know you. I don't presume to understand your reasons for leaving, or vigilantly avoiding, the public eye. I don't judge your choices, because I am quite sure that you have good reasons that are none of my business. I know that you'll never read this blog post and that you do not want my fan mail. And that's okay.

I'm still writing it. For me.

Mr. Watterson, your Calvin and Hobbes strips remain as appealing and relatable and timeless as when they were first inked. You continue to reach all sorts of readers and make them laugh and think. You continue to gain fans.

Your two newest fans are my eldest and middle children. In a very short span following their discovery of their first Calvin and Hobbes treasury, we have quickly acquired and devoured the entire collection.

The love of these comics has turned my reluctant reader into an engaged reader, and my "meh" reader into a voracious one.

The challenging vocabulary of these comics has pushed both of them to improve their decoding and comprehension skills and learn new words at a rate that random and context-free assignments never could have.

The delight of these comics has served as a springboard for a number of self-motivated projects, many of which have two brothers working joyfully together toward a common goal.

Right now, my kids are creating a tribute comic. For you. They are chattering excitedly, speculating about how you will react. "I bet he'll love this!" "Maybe he'll write back!!"

Right now, it's bittersweet and kind of breaking my heart, because all of my Googling has indicated that you wish to remain private and not receive fan mail. Which I will respect. But still, a part of me aches for them.

But I'm going to let them hang on to that joy for a little while longer. At least until their current project is done. Because they are inspired, and that is no small thing.

Monday, May 11, 2015

On why I do, and don't, blog

I used to update this blog with relative frequency. Lately, not so much. Because reasons. And although every time I pick it up again, I do this same type of "here is my apologetic (or unapologetic) list of reasons why I haven't been creating content in a while", I'm nevertheless going to do it again. For my own benefit. Because reasons. ;)

But seriously, as a blogger and mother and home educator and writer, this is important to me. So read it, or don't. It's for me.

Why I don't, and shouldn't, blog:
  1. I'm too damn busy living my life to justify so much navel-gazing.
  2. I'm probably the only one reading this anyway.
  3. I'm in a constant state of reassessment and reinvention and sometimes my viewpoints change with experience or observation and former assertions may not reflect the person I am now, which makes me feel hypocritical and neurotic.
  4. It feels a bit exhibitionist, and not a little privacy-invading, to put my children on display for public consumption.
  5. Because, really, what is the point?
Why I do, and should, blog:
  1. Because my life is so busy, the time goes by quickly. Even if all I post is a brief vignette, it's nice to look back and reclaim those moments as memories.
  2. If I'm the only one reading this, so what? I didn't start this blog to be a Name. I started it as a diary. If my musings entertain or inform someone, that's cool. If it's just a convenient (and nicely-formatted) diary, well, I still win.
  3. Yup. People change. And it can be interesting (and informative) to revisit old pre- (or mis-) conceptions in the light of current values and try to figure out why I may have changed, and what that might mean (about myself, my children, the process, whatever).
  4. Yup. I'm putting them out there. But as they get older, I tend to screen more of what is shared and respect their comfort levels. It's a difficult thing to navigate, and I hope that I don't someday regret the way I've handled it.
  5. Because, really, doing this helps me to focus. To articulate things that have been swirling around in my thoughts. To ask myself the questions that need to be answered. To remind myself of things. And, as I tried to remind myself with the blog title, to celebrate--both the journey and my travel companions--every day.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

So, about that field trip...

It turns out that the Internet is angry with the Carnegie Science Center today, because *Sparkly Science*. I won't rehash the controversy here; if you don't know the details, a search will certainly give you an idea.&nbsp

Why I'm posting is because I meant to do this *yesterday*. Before I saw the image or read the story. See, we went to the Science Center earlier this week, and after a very full day of experiences there, this was my strongest impression.

EVERY staff member who took extra time to interact with, explain things to, or answer questions from my sons (and there were many!) was female. Every. One. I am utterly geeked that this has given them a frame of reference to think of *women* as experts in robotics, electrical engineering, etc.

I'm sad to see the story that's getting viral attention...but I suspect that it may be a matter of enrollment/interest on the part of participants. The Science Center is heavily staffed by knowledgeable and engaging women, and as both a mother of sons and someone who self-identifies as a feminist, I'm encouraged by their visibility as STEM spokespeople.

The woman in this photo is (boy I hope my memory is right on this) Ali. She gave a presentation on voltage & electricity and stuck around afterward to address C's *many* questions and provide advice and suggestions for continuing his own investigations. She was an instant Science Hero, and I'm sure that the impact she made on his life will last far beyond yesterday afternoon.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

In Which I Feel Guilty* for Not Feeling Guilty

I did it. I had an opportunity this week to leave J at home (Daddy's on staycation) and take a field-trip day (to the Carnegie Science Center) with just T and C, and I did it. I almost felt guilty, because one of the homeschooling moms we met up with had her toddler along. But then we attended a lecture/show, and toured a submarine, and I remember how our outings usually go, with the bigger kids fending for themselves as I spend my time managing or chasing their not-particularly-engaged little brother. No. This was good. I got to actually be part of the experience instead of just delivering them there and being physically nearby but not actually *present*.

And J survived.

*not really. I am totally at peace with this, but there was the potential for guilt early on and besides, it made a catchy title. ;)