If homeschooling's not your thing ~ take this story & apply it to whatever *good thing* you've been wanting to try & just haven't worked up your nerve yet.
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
Starting to homeschool can be scary.
It's like this huge leap into uncharted waters... not knowing if you'll sink or swim... wondering if you're doing your kids the biggest favour ~ or the biggest disservice. This niggling conviction that won't let go... & yet this unease that makes us aware that this idea makes us *uncomfortable*.
The summer when Cairo was 7 years old, we made a trip out to Kelowna to visit Neil's mom & dad. While we were there, we went to Peachland where there is this HUGE diving board. Trust me, it's even scarier in real life than on the movie. It was a beautiful, hot day. Neil & i dove in... & after watching some other kids jump in, Cairo excitedly asked if she could jump too.
So, up, up, up she climbed. Skinny legs shaking... tip toeing to the edge... and...
Neil did some crazy head over heels leap & coaxed her from the water...
i stood at the top & told her she could do it...
But she couldn't.
She turned around and asked to climb down.
So, down we went.
This scenario repeated itself a couple of times before we were ready to leave the beach. In a final heroic effort, she climbed the ladder ~ *sure* this time that she would have the courage to leap. Everyone on the beach started cheering for her. Neil was in the water... Her siblings were screaming, "JUMP!!!!"
But after standing on the edge, staring down for several minutes, she turned to me... teary... & asked to climb down.
Oh, man, i felt for her. We climbed down, got in the vehicle & drove home. She poked my shoulder & when i turned around, she whispered (at age 7...) "Mom, now i know what 'regret' feels like..."
One Year Later.
We were passing through Peachland. It was cloudy & not as warm as it had been that day the year before ~ but my little girl had only one thing on her mind. She was gonna make that jump. She convinced Neil to stop & we all got out of the vehicle. She climbed confidently to the top ~ stood for one breathless moment...
That jump is tattooed in my memory.
It reminds me of how fearful i felt when i took the leap & decided to teach my little ones at home. It reminds me that i can go back & forth a hundred times ~ but i'll never really *really* know what homeschooling is about unless i take that final step that takes me right over the edge & into some pretty deep water. It reminds me how conditions aren't always perfect ~ there are diapers to change, laundry to fold, suppers to make... & in the midst of it all ~ trying to allow learning to happen... & yeah... it's hard sometimes, but oh-so-worth-it.
So, if that's you... Standing up at the top of that diving board... shivering & wondering... Hop in... the water's fine.