Not long ago we attended the wedding of an old high school friend. When there is an open bar and old acquaintances with storied histories, the proverbial elephant in the room is always sought after. Remarks such as, “Oh, I could never do that!,” and “Oh, I don’t have enough patience!,” and my favorite, “Oh, that’s crazy!,” are made.
Now, while I have readied myself for these moments that lack appropriate social etiquette, it wasn’t until that Saturday evening that I realized that our family’s chosen lifestyle is actually offensive to some. My enthusiastic response of homeschooling to “What do you do?,” and, “Where do your children go to school?,” is the slap in the face that many are not expecting when they make such queries. Now while their responses to my answers are noted to be the presumed safe answers to relay, let’s unpack them for a minute.
If you were to unload the callous, albeit casual, remark of “Oh, I could never do that!,” you would really see that they are referring to their own selfishness. How dare they give up their own precious time! And if you were to delve into “Oh, I don’t have enough patience!,” you would find that these are often the same families that are all to eager to send their children to school and are the ones who are anxious for the new school year when it is summer vacation. And when uncovering “Oh, that’s crazy!,” you see the judgement they are passing on preconceived misinformation.
Yes, homeschooling takes time and much sacrifice. In order to educate my children at home I have forgone a career and additional income, set down my dream of medical school, laid aside my desire to sleep in every morning. Does this mean that I will never have or accomplish these things? Of course not. But for this season in my life I choose to enjoy it to it’s fullest. It is a temporary season, and it’s time is fleeting. It is a season that I will never again be able to witness.
But do I dare bring these revelations to the conversation? Do I dare question their lifestyle? Of course not. If I were to turn the tables that would be totally inappropriate and poor social etiquette. After all, I am a southern girl, and my momma raised me right. So instead, I just take another drink and thank God for open bars.