Friday, January 9, 2009

The Jump

So, i've had a ton of questions in recent days from other mamas about homeschooling... i had typed this story out a couple of years ago ~ but i can't find it ~ so i re-wrote it...
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...

She froze.

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...

And jumped.

video

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.


10 comments:

deborah said...

Paige, I was hoping you'd post this today. :) I feel so torn...

Mindy said...

You made me cry! I went to the store just this afternoon and got some materials for our little school. We're going to get started this week. Pray for me!

Lisa said...

Great story Paige! And oh so true! The water is more than fine :)

RosyJ said...

Too TRUE...it's fine over here in the SW too! ;}

jessica jespersen said...

hee hee, we're tandem posting again. :) Love yours. Made me cry to see Cairo on the board. You're wrong, yours is better than mine. smooches,, jess

Luke said...

Love it! Great analogy.

I was thrown off the high dive the first time because I wouldn't step off the edge.

~Luke

Prvbs31Mama said...

UGH,
I'm a mess...that hit something in me and I'm bawling as I watch her jump! I feel like I don't take enough chances...like I'm not living 'free'...I want so much to be free to live life, you know? I love this post of yours!

Anonymous said...

I was crying as I read this because over the years I've had regrets too... and yet God has been gracious to allow those "do over" moments... like Saturday and all the heavy duty emotions of getting remarried, leaving the past behind, realizing things about myself and my thinking that I never knew before etc. I "jumped" on Tuesday afternoon -- we went to Land Titles and got the forms to change my name on the Title to our house.... we'd re-done it in the summer and even though I had been using the surname Ramsay, the Bank insisted I had to put "Ramsay-Mackenzie" on the Title because that was my identity on the original Mortgage documents back in 2000. So after much soul searching I decided to jump and not hyphenate my name to be "Ramsay-Porter" or "Porter-Ramsay" -- but to be Rena Denise Porter. I'm 46 -- and I've never truly "given up" my surname before... but deep down in my heart I know it's the right thing to do... especially since little Alisdair came to be very concerned about our names. He explained how his friend Colby could say "I am part of the Urlacher household" but Alidair felt he couldn't do that. So I think we've decided to change his name (and Isobel's too) to reflect the new status.... and in order not to offend others, the choice was to remove my maiden name from their surnames too -- so John and I will be "Porter" and the kids will be "Mackenzie-Porter." I didn't think getting married would offer so many emotional moments.... John cried through his vows and his brother-in-law the best man, was crying through them too.... and so was Alisdair when I was saying mine. Tears of healing, for sure. So thanks for your thoughts. They can be applied to our individual lives in many ways.... The newlywed Saskatchewan Cousin!

Andrea said...

I'm jumping on Monday. Plugging my nose!!!

paige said...

Aww! Congrats, Anrea :) This post is an oldie! i hope you have a good swim...

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