Irony…

…is putting up a post about family time on WORLD Mag on the same day my husband is out of town, my two older kids are in day camp and my two younger ones are at Grandma’s and I’m chilling out on the couch all by myself.

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Last week I helped host a three-day homeschooling seminar here in my town. In addition to the parent training, we provided educational camps for the children to attend, and my own four attended as well.

What this meant for us was that for three days in a row we had to be dressed and out of the house by 7:30 in the morning, with lunches packed to boot. It about killed me.

I don’t mean to sound like I’m whining about our three-day exposure to what most of America does on a daily basis. What we went to was worthy enough of our time. But what we gave up was significant. For three days we experienced this great rush to get out of the house and then we went our separate ways for the next eight hours. When we got home we were all five completely exhausted from the day and retreated quickly to isolated activities.

I used to read in parenting magazines that what was important about time was quality, not quantity. Seriously? How does one obtain quality time when the bulk of one’s energies have gone toward other things all day long? I don’t buy it, not one bit. Yet, conversely, I’m not advocating that quantity is all that matters either. You can’t have really one without the other. Relationships are built on both.

Sometimes I wonder how our life would be different if my kids went off to school each day and I had that time at home. Would my house be cleaner? Would the laundry be put away? Would I have all this free time to read and write and create?

I have a quotation by Olga Masters in the signature of my email. It reads, “Many people have said to me, ‘What a pity you had such a big family to raise. Think of the novels and the short stories and the poems you never had time to write because of that.’ And I looked at my children and I said, ‘These are my poems. These are my short stories.'”

Sometimes I need three-days of packing lunches in a rush and hustling kids into the van early in the morning while still brushing their hair to remind me that I believe that. Because I do.

 

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