simple and soul-filling

Some mornings fill my soul.  The other day was one of those for me.  I sent the boys outdoors early to enjoy the sunshine and melty snow.  I folded clothes and washed some dishes as I watched out the windows.  They were wheeling their bikes through the snow--running and laughing as they pretended all sorts of things.  Something about watching them out there laughing and running and playing brings me great amounts of joy!  Somehow taking a step back to observe them relish in all the little joys of life helps me refocus on what really matters, and it reaffirms some of what I love most about homeschooling.



A bit later they came inside with flushed cheeks and red noses all ready to work on some valentine making.  Usually I’m focused more on what my older son Matthew is doing during school time because I’m working with him on reading or writing or math, but it was my littler guy who really caught my attention that day. I watched as Abraham carefully selected each color of pastel and rub carefully on the paper.  He placed each color back before he selected another with a strong sense of order in his approach.  After several minutes he wanted to use the adult scissors just as he had been observing big brother doing.  And so I closely watched as he cut the paper—in total awe of his new tool.  I let him move through cutting for as long as he wanted, then he eyed the felt hearts, gigantic container of Elmer’s glue, and construction paper on the counter.  I asked him if he wanted to glue. “Yessssss!’ he emphatically replied.  His little chubby hands squeezed that container of glue with all of his might.  His brow furrowed with concentration and pastel prints all over his face.  He carefully spread out sweet little droplets of glue all over the hearts, then he pressed the hearts on the construction paper with great care. Occasionally he looked up at me with his sweet, shining brown eyes that were full of pride and accomplishment.

Our morning made me think about several things, but after lunch and during naps when I had a few moments of quiet, I thought about how much joy I have in watching my little ones discover and try new things.  Little things. Like squeezing glue for the very first time and taking pride in their work.  I also love having different ages together.  It is enriching to our homeschooling experience. It doesn’t feel chaotic—instead it feels natural.  I believe it's because it is natural. Noncompetitive and beautiful. Sometimes I’ll prepare something with one of the boys in mind, and like that morning, it ends up being the other one who seems to really get a lot out of the activity or lesson.  And these little surprises are gifts to me as a mother.  They come in unexpected moments in simple and soul-filling ways.