I haven’t written in a while, not here and not in my own little journal. I don’t know why. I have felt the need to write, and it would have been helpful to my peace of mind to do so.
My folks arrived for an extended visit on August 22. They seemed good, although my mom is starting to show her age (79 now) a bit more. She’s a little less sharp and her hearing has gotten noticeably worse. My dad fumbles for words a bit more but seems much the same at 83 as he did at 73, or 63 for that matter. My mom did too much while she was here but I can’t seem to stop that and rarely try, though I did put my foot down when she wanted to start ripping out the downstairs bathroom so I could remodel.
Jacob headed back to college, and he’s living in an apartment instead of the dorms. It’s an adjustment, but so far he likes it. My class started up, it’s an online class in ethics and so far it’s been very interesting and very fun, though a bit more work than I expected. In October I will petition to get into the PTA program. Madeline began her schoolwork for her final year, which makes me realize that this will be a year of “last times” for her, and for me.
Today, for the 14th and last time, I filed my PI-1206 form, which is my formal declaration that she is in home-based, private education in compliance with Wisconsin’s compulsory attendance law. Of all the forms I fill out in my life, PI-1206 is the simplest and most straightforward, thanks to the efforts of WPA, or Wisconsin Parenting Association (homeschooling-wpa.org), which is a watchdog and information group for homeschooling here. Wisconsin has an excellent homeschooling law and I’m grateful for that, grateful that I’ve been able to homeschool my kids. It’s been the best choice for both of them, for different reasons, and they have both done very well.
I look ahead to next fall, and think about how my life will be very different– both kids off in college, me hopefully in school again. It’s going to be odd. In many ways, I am ready to move ahead with my life– I’ve been mothering, and giving it my full attention, for over 20 years now. Because of Jacob’s needs as a non-neurotypical, and because of the divorce, my kids have needed more attention than perhaps most kids do. I’ve been happy to give that attention, but it definitely meant giving up some things– in terms of socializing, in terms of education for myself, a career for myself. So although the future scares me at times, and there is a lot of uncertainty in the months and years ahead, I don’t deny that I’m looking forward to mothering myself for a bit.
However. Being a parent to my two children has been the most fulfilling, most rewarding work I have ever done, and if I had it all to do over I’d happily do it in a heartbeat. I love my kids, but I also like them as people, I enjoy being with them. I will treasure this last year with my daughter.