We finally found a house~ one that I could buy and my kids could finish growing up in and we’ve been in the process of moving for most of October.
After almost 8 weeks in a tiny cottage during our interim of transition, having space of our own feels absolutely wonderful. We’ve all taken full advantage of the ability to be in different rooms and to shut doors as we feel the need.
I’m aware that being happy about my family closing doors between each other doesn’t sound very loving, but we’re a tight knit bunch and sometimes a little solitude makes everyone better when they come together again.
The unpacking has been a rather reflective time, as I expected it would. I packed in way too much of a hurry to make truly conscious choices about what I really wanted to keep and what could go away.
So now, I’m only bringing in a box or two at a time, and evaluating things, finding them homes, whether here or elsewhere. It’s been refreshing to note how many of my things I really do like, as well as to offload the things that I really don’t care about..
The nostalgia surrounding the sorting of a lifetime of family belongings is deep~ all the evolutions and stages of who we’ve been~ We all smile and laugh at the imaginative art, drawings and written stories those messy haired children in wild outfits created.
It’s bittersweet to see reminders of things we’d hoped for that didn’t come to fruition because life happened in other ways.
Still, I’m immensely thankful for those years of life learning, of raising entertaining little people in the mountains, the lessons learned from animals on our farm / petting zoo, of traveling in tents, and so many adventures both near and far. From where I’m at now, it seems that making memories is one of the biggest perks of homeschooling.
Watching these nearly grown- adult sized kids appreciate their childhood, their alternative education, and both their past and their current place in life, I realize that gratitude is one of those things in life that can’t really be taught.
When my kids were little, we used to have this series of “Help Me Be Good” books that were full of moral and social responsibility lessons. One of my children found the bad behavior examples hilarious (and possibly inspiring) while the other kid was frustrated with the mischief and felt the lenient tolerance in dealing with it was an injustice. They still remember the books and how they felt, and we all crack up together now remembering their reactions.
Still, no matter how much we all want our kids to be grateful or anything else really, and how many books we read or stories we tell to illustrate the point, we can’t make them learn to be. It’s just something they have to experience and feel for themselves.
Of course it probably helps if the adults around set a good example and express thanks on a regular basis in their own lives, but to truly understand gratitude, you have to have a point of reference in your own life.
I’m sure my own attitude hasn’t always been the best example for my own kids, but life itself has given them plenty of opportunities to learn from~ some things to be thankful they have, and some to be thankful because they no longer have to deal with.
Right now, we’re all thankful to be heading into what is the closest thing to a designated season of gratitude that our culture has, together in our new home, laughing at old memories, and making new ones every day.