This is what I fear most about our decision to homeschool. Oh no, not the awesome creativity, effort and learning that is taking place at the table. That’s great. It’s the mess. The Constant Mess. I do realize a messy house is a side effect of having children, and I understand this mess is compounded by the amount of children you have. I get it. The dishes are never done, the dirty laundry basket is never empty, the bathroom always smells like pee (the side effect of having a 4 year old boy, apparently), and now the dining room table is never cleared off. Well, the morning this picture was taken it was. For about 2 seconds. The Constant Mess can haunt me, elevate my heart rate and throw me into the depths of Instagram or Pinterest where everything is so pretty and clean. Only to look up and see my Mess, still there, lurking.
I took this picture last night around 8:30pm. Juliette had gone to bed fairly easily about an hour earlier. The kids had a burst of creative energy, which I can handle better at night than a burst of running-around-in-circles energy, so I obliged them by sitting with them instead of doing my own thing. I felt grateful I didn’t have to push a bedtime for any sort of early morning routine. They were having fun making gifts for people, dreaming up ways they could sell their art and learning how to write prices with dollar and cent signs. I did eventually insist on them going to bed, but by that time I did not have the energy to insist on a clean up. This morning they woke up and went straight back to work at the table. The Mess remained over night, but so did their inspiration.
The table is clean now, as I type, because the kids are in their rooms resting. In a few minutes I guarantee the table will be covered again in googly eyes, tape, markers and stickers. Homeschooling comes with the fear of Will my kids be socialized? Which is actually ludicrous and while my kids are shy, I know they have plenty of real life experiences and opportunities to be as social as they want. Homeschooling often comes with the thought of Oh, I’m not patient enough for that! Which, really, who is? I struggle with finding patience daily, but I’d struggle with that if I sent my kids to school, too. Homeschooling and The Constant Mess, that’s my struggle right now.