This summer is truly a special one. We are welcoming a new baby in August. The arrival of a new little one (our fifth!) is a thrilling time. When I look back at those early postpartum days and weeks with my other children, I am overcome with the beauty and other-worldly quality of those lovely periods of time. I remember blocking out the rest of the world, creating a protective bubble of snuggly blankets, nursing marathons, and very familiar marching songs for fresh-to-the-world babies. We have been blessed with friends and family members who take on some of the burden of making meals, leaving us to the essentials of baby care and family bonding. I’m one of those moms who rushes home from the birth center as soon as possible in order to introduce the baby to his or her siblings. I want to begin our “new normal” right away. I can’t help myself! I want to hunker down with my brood and forget about everything else for awhile.
I know that the postpartum period isn’t so blissful for many growing families. Believe me; I do not take for granted how fortunate I am to have the support to make this time beautiful. I am making one specific step toward a postpartum period that we will all enjoy. I’m removing the pressure of homeschooling. No, we aren’t giving up on our homeschool decision! But we are starting our year on July 1st in order to accumulate as many instructional days as we can before Baby #5 shows up. When baby comes, we will take as much time as we need to enjoy him (or her), rest, recover, and figure out how life is going to look moving forward.
Summer has an entirely different vibe than the rest of the year, and instead of trying to stifle that feeling of freedom and curiosity in order to get “back to school,” I am really trying to embrace that feeling and potentially keep it going through the rest of our schooling. The opportunities for play, for observation, and for trying new things feel abundant during these happy, summer months. Somehow, I forget that way of life when I’m in the midst of the regular routine in November. I don’t want to forget!
Instead, I want us to keep on walking this amazing path of home education with our eyes wide open–ready for adventures, art, and play everywhere we go. And soon, we will have an extra little friend along for the fun. ~*~Erica