Some of you may know that I had to empty out my storage unit a couple of months ago. It wasn't easy - I ended up losing my furniture and throwing away or giving away a lot of things.
But there were boxes of papers leftover from homeschooling my kids back in the 90's-early Naughties. Boxes and boxes and boxes. And boxes. I kept every paper they ever did from every school year from 1994-2002. It's daunting.
I thought to myself, "I'll have all these memories of my kids when they were little." Boxes and boxes. I threw away a whole bunch (recycled, so don't go all Mother Earth on me), but there were still some boxes left that I didn't want to get rid of quite yet, mostly because I hadn't gone through them.
So there those boxes sat outside, with the word, "SHRED" on them so I would know what to do with them. Today, it being a kind of quiet day here (unemployed, doing transcribing on the side, sitting in my pajamas), I decided I'd get started shredding. I brought one box in, set up the shredder and started.
Two hours later, I'm sitting here with a large outdoor garbage bag (you know, the green/black ones) full of shredding and the box is only half-empty. Remember, this is only the first box. There are six other boxes out on the patio waiting to be dealt with. But back to this box.
I've often wondered if anything I've kept over the years is really worth keeping. Actually, I've been wondering about that a lot since I emptied storage. I want to have good memories, I want to look at something and say, "Wasn't that adorable," or "I was so happy then." When it comes to these homeschool papers, though, I wonder, "Why in the world did I keep every damn single solitary piece of paper?"
I've kept out a few. Some drawings, some journal and story papers, one or two crafts. I'll probably have more as I move through the boxes.
Meanwhile . . . I remember organizing and finding curriculum and grading and teaching and using "The Price is Right" for math lessons and on and on. And I miss it. I don't know if I have the wherewithal to do it again, but I still look back and think maybe I didn't do so bad a job of it.
I've taught every grade from kindergarten through 12, learned along with my kids (ASL at the local community college with my high schoolers who needed a second language), and generally had fun exploring God's world with my children.
It's amazing to me that no matter what else, God keeps His hands on all of them. Oh, they might not think so, they're so grown-up and skeptical. Still, I believe that at least they are better people than I am. That's what parenting is about - make little people who are good people when they are big people. Four kids who are self-sufficient. Four kids who have goals and plans and friends and family and jobs and even faith.
I've had a difficult few months. More than a few, actually. But, I still believe that I was the best mom I could be, that I still am. (Those of you who disagree, please stand in THAT line over there.) If nothing else, I am so proud of all of my kids that I burst to tell people all about them. Not about how good a mom I was, but how proud I am of them.
How can I not believe that God is with them?