Friday, February 17, 2012

The One Thing

Yesterday was my oldest little man's birthday. Understandably, this post would focus on him - how sweet, affectionate, and marvelously mischievous he is. But, no. It's going to be about me. Sometimes Many times I'm selfish like that.

His cake was a total flop. As I stood there staring at the lumpy cube covered in equally lumpy black fondant that was supposed to look like the really cool dice with its really neato images of swords and skulls and stuff from his newest Lego game, the thought struck me.

I'm adequately, sorta good at lots of stuff, but I'm not exceptionally, really good at anything. I know it sounds like I was simply spiraling down into some sort of pity party, which is partially true, but honestly it was just kind of a matter-of-fact epiphany that happened to strike right in the middle of a day that should be all about my son.

I mentioned my epiphany to my husband. He gave me what he always gives me: honesty. I have too much on my plate, he said. I try to do too much to ever have a chance at mastering.

He's right I guess. But if I cleared my plate at all, exactly what kind of Super Mom would I be anyway? I mean, that's what I'm supposed to be, right? I keep seeing those photo collages on Facebook that highlight stereotypes. Like there's this one about homeschoolers:

Although it would throw the whole thing off balance, they should add a 7th photo entitled "What other homeschoolers think I do", and it would depict a mom in a cape with a rolling pin in one hand, a microscope in the other, a mop at her feet, a sewing machine perched atop her head, children beaming approvingly up at her, and dollar signs floating around her to symbolize the part-time job she runs effortlessly. Oh, and she'd have a speech bubble with Latin writing in it. I'd tell you what it says, but I don't speak Latin.

THAT'S how we homeschoolers view other homeschoolers. And how can we think differently? We read blogs or see Facebook posts that take us into homes where 7-year-olds are self-teaching the periodic table or Mom is killing her own critter for the children to dissect. Where they are so fluent in Latin it has become the first language of choice for the family as they go about their daily chores. And the children all happily pitch in and work together to clean and cook. Little Sally who is only 8 puts a spread before the family for dinner that is fit for a king.

I know, I know - it's easier to post triumphs than the moments when a mom feels utterly defeated and ready to call up the yellow school bus. But when you're bombarded with these triumphs, you start to wonder, you know?

But my husband's right. As he usually is. I do need to choose one thing. I know I can find excellence in one thing if I focus. Since my children's futures are at stake, I choose education. It's been a rough last few months in our homeschool, and I want to turn it around here in the home stretch.

I'm choosing this one thing to be good at.


Amy @ Cheeky Cocoa Beans said...

Go, Kathleen! Praying for you as you keep "The One Thing" in focus.

BTW, I'm really glad you picked the "G" rated version of the stereotypical homeschooler photos...not that I thought you wouldn't...

tsinclair said...

Super mom! That is how I always picture you :-)
I guess all moms are guilty of comparing ourselves to others and we always seem to fall short with our yardstick.
Just to let you know, I think you are more than adequate in most everything.

Brownie said...

Well I could just give you a big ol' hug :)

I'm reminded of a phrase "jack of all trades, master of none" yes - that is me too.

I gave up making birthday cakes a long time ago. When I was growing up a cake with frosting and candles was sufficient. But when I married Sir for some reason decorated cakes seemed to be mandatory. I decorated one. They've all been store bought since. Not my forte'