Monday, June 10, 2013

Because I love him

I left Joshua with a pack of wolves.

They are all about his age, and all adorned in blue, Boy Scout of America shirts.

He's on his way to his first Boy Scout camp today.

I stood among the crowd of parents and leaders at the church parking lot, my eyes glued to my blue-eyed boy. He wandered from group to group, wolves to weeblos searching. I knew what he was searching for. It was the same thing I searched for at his age, and what I search for now, at times.

He was looking for a friend.

Now before you start pointing fingers at me and saying it all my fault that my son is not generally accepted by his peers because I home school him, I want to say right now that that isn't why. He isn't generally accepted because he isn't one of the "general." He is full of life, and love, hope, and unharnessed zeal for just about everything. He loves people right away, without any inhibitions. He is a willing friend, a willing helper, and he is full of vivacity and energy unrivaled by any little 8-year-old boy I know. He is genuine, unique, impressionable, and I love him for that. I love him for the man I know he is going to be.

I was all those things years ago, before experience made me slightly cynical, guarded and barbed. But I thank God that I was spared that experience before it was too much for me to handle. Was I sensitive? Yes. There is nothing wrong with being sensitive. It means you have a feeling, bleeding heart. It means you are alive.

Now before you start pointing fingers at my mother and saying it's all her fault I was that way, and not generally accepted by my peers because she home schooled me, I want to say right now that isn't why. I wasn't one of the general. And my mother spared me further pain by keeping me close to her those formative years.

So, if I want to keep my son close, keep him safe, wrapped in my arms until he is too big for me to do that any more, don't judge me. Don't point fingers and criticize me because I want to keep him innocent and lovely just one day longer.

Home schooling isn't for everyone. But it's for us. It is for Josh. I know that with every fiber of my being. I do it because it is what he needs, and I do what he needs because I love him, and I love him with my whole heart and soul. Joshua cannot be held by any mold, not yet, maybe not ever. Maybe not until he has figured out who he is, and by that point he'll have made himself into a man not to be cut or defined by others. And I am not going to break him just so he can be like everyone else, just so that I can be a "normal" mom.

So, I let him be the little sapling he is. I want to let him flourish in the sun, undictated to by anybody else, save God only. I want to see what he will grow in to. And I know it is going to be something great, something laudable. Does that make him different? Yes. But different isn't bad. It's just what it is.

But some people think it is, and avoid the unfamiliar, and withhold friendship. And while I have learned that good friends are hard to come by, and that they are as rare as needles in haystacks, it hurts my heart to watch him sift through the straw, his heart ever hopeful that he will find that one who loves him for who he is, and not wish he was the same as everyone else, or cooler, or more awesome.

God doesn't wait for us to be cooler, or the same, or more awesome. He loves us for who we are now, unique and beautiful as He made us.

And I pray that there are people out there who have been taught to do the same who will see Joshua for who he is, and love him as I do.


Bethany said...

I think your Joshua and my William would get along so well. I felt like you were describing your boy even as you described yours.

You are a fabulous mother. I'm sorry that my friends who home school endure ridicule. It is shameful of those that point a finger. To think that a mother would be looked down upon for wanting to teach her own child. Crazy.

Keep on keepin' on, my friend! You are amazing!

Bethany said...

That is supposed to say, "describing my boy, even as you described yours." Lands.

Katscratchme said...

I find it funny that in this era that bends over backward to be "accepting" of everyone else's choices, people will still look at something like homeschooling and think it "weird."
I know that I would make a poor homeschooling mom. I just don't have the drive to be consistent. So, as long as they are happy and learning in school, there they'll be. If they start to hate it, well, I'll have to re-prioritize..

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