The Last Day of Homeschooling

Back in December our kids, Emil (6) and Ida (8), started three months of homeschooling or a leave of absence might be more correct. And today marked the last day of those three months. 

Although I knew I really wanted to do this, being someone who really treasures and needs alot of alone time and space and quiet to be in my own head, I was also curious and hesitant to see how all of this would actually play out in real life instead of just being an idea.

I have to say that now, three months later, it all felt far more natural than I thought it would. It felt natural somehow to be together every day. (Although I freely admit that I had many many moments along the way where I truly missed my personal freedom).

The kids are both excited to get back to their friends, teachers and the school they love, but also slightly sad that this time with me is over. So I guess they feel the way I do: ready to move on to the next chapter and get back to "normal", but a little bit sad to say goodbye to this experience too. Ida and I have grown closer, as I had hoped, and Emil has just grown so much in his own right in these three months. He is no longer a little boy.

This last day together coincided with an on/off blizzard, and started off very dramatically by our puppy Molly squeezing her way under the fence to the chickens and swiftly grabbing my favourite hen, Rose. Refusing to let her go with her iron jaw despite everything I did, she died a slow and painful death. And I was very sad. I have no problem killing and eating our own animals, but I prefer quick clean kills and no suffering, and also making the most of the animals we kill, often being able to make three meals out of one bird. So this all felt like a big sad waste. And the whole event stood in complete contrast to the utter beauty of this clear frosty snow covered morning.

When I finally got back my dead hen, the kids and I walked down to the sea in the sunshine, plowing through drifts of snow, and sat in amazement watching one storm front after another swallow the mainland on the horizon. The cold kind of killed the lens I had on my camera, so all of these were shot on manual focus. In many of them the focus is not exactly where I wanted it, but I am embracing the imperfections and sharing them anyway, because I feel they still convey the beauty of this day.

Once cold fingers and toes and noses could no longer be ignored we made our way home, drank a cup of hot chocolate with whipped cream and warmed up in front of the fire. I worked for an hour or so, while the kids watched a bit of Netflix (which I will cancel now, so I don't have that procrastination temptation hanging over me and can focus on work, the gardening tasks ahead, and my own mental and physical health), and then we headed back out. Snow days like this are rare around here and must be enjoyed to the full.

The storms kept coming and going with surprising ferosity. One minute the sky was clear and calm, the next the air was so full of snow I could barely see the house. 

My husband came home from work and started chopping firewood on the field. All the smaller branches we have gathered in the middle as a huge midsummer bonfire for my brother's wedding in June. Some of the bigger trunks we have cut into seating blocks for the woodland wedding garden, and the rest will be dried and stored for next winter.

Now I'm sitting here in front of the computer, with my back towards the wood burning stove hoping it will warm me through. My husband has put the kids to bed and gone to bed with them. The wind keeps whipping against the windows. My cheeks are red and warm after all the cold fresh air today, and I am tired in the best of ways, but I don't really want to go to bed, because that means this day is over. And I am not quite sure I am ready for it to be over. I did what I set out to do. Not nearly as gracefully or thoroughly or perfectly as I imagined. But I did it. And I hope one day, my kids will look back at these days, and know that while I was not a perfect mother, I did the best I could, and that that will be enough <3