Some days, for some reason are what I call ‘clueless days’. These are the days where if someone was to interview me about unschooling I would just shrug my shoulders, sip my giant iced latte and say, “I don’t know. Your guess is as good as mine.”
What are we learning? Well, a lot, but none of it has to do with academics, unless you took a course called, “Teaching your kids all about how not to have a relationship and reproduce.” This, courtesy of a friend of mine who got out of a marriage recently, started dating someone (and having a lot of fun, if you get my drift) but then questioned whether she should stay with him, and then got pregnant. (!) And now the weeks are ticking by, and she is undecided as to what she will do. As a result my long conversations with her are leading to long conversations with my kids. About relationships, and pregnancies, and the possibility and reasons behind terminating a pregnancy, etc. All valuable life lessons, but not what I’d call enjoyable, especially when they are being learned due to a friend making some less than stellar decisions. Or not making decisions at all and letting them be made for her.
So I’ve been thinking about that while simultaneously feeling that we should be more motivated to do….stuff. My friend Kristin is the queen of doing things. They take all kinds of classes and ice skate and ski and go on every field trip imaginable. She invited us to go ice skating tomorrow morning at about 9:30 or 10 and my kids both looked at me like I’d grown another head when I suggested it. They like to ice skate, though both are still very much beginners, but not at 9:30 in the morning and not at Bryant Park, which is free but entails a subway ride to Times Square. Rather, when we go skating it’s at Wollman Rink in Central Park which is not free, usually not before 11am, and we walk there. (To be fair, skate rentals are not free at Bryant Park either, so the difference for us, who don’t own our skates, is not that great.) And honestly, I can’t get that excited about an early morning trip to the rink either, so I am absolutely no help whatsoever in the ‘getting them motivated’ department.
So whereas yesterday I was feeling very Zen about our lives and lack of over-planning, today I’m feeling that it might not be Zen, it might be laziness. I love days when we ‘do nothing’. We read books, go on line, play some games, maybe knit or sew and then go out to get food or for a coffee. We look forward to seeing friends (preferably not in a class unless it’s art) and traveling. Am I depriving my kids of essential learning experiences? They don’t think so. They absolutely adore our way of life, and most of the time I do too.
Sigh. Deep breath. Think of what Joshua always says – Maya and Ben are healthy, happy and loved. Not every day can be the perfect combination of learning and activity and progress. But without the ‘clueless’ days we might not appreciate the great ones.
Right. Till tomorrow, I’m going to go read the latest entry on Dooce.com, watch a new episode of Lie to Me (how brilliant is Tim Roth?!) and will definitely feel better in the morning. Maybe I’ll even throw in a Nora Roberts novel for good measure. Hey, she’s Stephen King’s favorite romance novelist – you really can’t go wrong with a recommendation like that!