A Regular Unschool Day

Memorable conversations from our day yesterday are a perfect example of this unschooling journey we’re on. I want to share some with you.

The first was on our drive to work, where I talked with B about how we have two weeks left at my nanny job, before they move, and then we will be starting something else. He offered to start doing his lemonade stand every weekend to contribute to our family budget. I love that he wants to help. I talked about finding another babysitting type job, so he can come with me to work. Then I said, “unless you’ve changed your mind about starting school in the fall?” He came up with many reason why that was a no, but this was my favorite. He said, “then I’d only get to see you like 9% of the time.” That warmed my heart like nothing else.

Another conversation was with B and one of the children I nanny for. We talked about the presidential candidates and that one of them is a woman. How all of the presidents so far have been men. B had told her that before I entered the mix. He remembered from his Picturepedia book and a previous talk we’d had. The qualities that would make a good president, based on gender, were volleyed back and forth between the kids. I left them to it.

While eating dinner together, B and I talked about how people can tactfully do things with regard to their jobs and sticking up for themselves. We talked about what quitting vs. being fired means and why burning bridges with employers isn’t always a good thing.

On our way from dinner to a store, he noticed some people waiting at a bus stop and he mentioned that they were homeless with a level of disdain that made me recoil. I explained that they may not be homeless, they may just not have a car. Even if they are homeless, they are people just like us and we could just as easily be in their situation. Homelessness is not something that happens to just a certain kind of person. It can happen to anyone and shouldn’t be something you ever look down on a person because of.

Then we got into the store and we’re walking along when we came across a woman who was distraught and was tugging at her clothes and yelling, “excuse me!” to no one in particular. B looked at me quizzically and I told him that she seemed to be unwell and that one of the employees seemed to be handling it. He asked how I knew she was sick. I explained that sometimes people have sickness inside their brains that we can’t see from the outside.

On our way home, Amy Winehouse’s song “Rehab” came on in the car so we talked about what rehab was and how sometimes people need help quitting, when they use drugs. I shared how sad and ironic the song is since she died because of her drug use. No sooner had we finished that bit, when we drove past a table set up gathering signatures to push for marijuana legalization. Naturally, we talked about that too.

So, B’s “schooling” for the day may not have even included the 3 R’s but we hit on A LOT of big topics and lessons of great importance. This is my favorite part of the unschooling process. We discuss interests or topics as they come up organically in our day. There is no school or curriculum that could rival this, in my opinion.



Being Strong

The past week has been a test of my strength. Many of them have been, actually. People tell me that I’m one of the strongest people they know.

First there was the five-day notice to vacate our home. That turned out to be a mistake on the leasing office’s part. They lost my rent check. The one I had enclosed in a card to explain why it wasn’t big enough.


The picture shows how I also had to go about getting some coins on the sly, for a lost tooth. I do what I need to do. The teller at my credit union was amazing about it and even wrote a note back saying she chose nice shiny ones!

So the rent got paid in two chunks, we still have a place to live and I could breathe for a day or so. Then I got the news that one of my dear friends was hit by a car while riding his bike in New Orleans. Luckily he wasn’t killed. Unfortunately he has no insurance and has a very broken hip that had to be pieced back together. He’s out of the hospital and on the mend for at least the next ten weeks. Which means he can’t work. I started a GoFundMe for him. It’s all I can do from here, although it pains me to not be able to do more.

Yesterday was Vegan Fest here in town. I look forward to this every year and was excited to go. B wasn’t excited to go and when we got there he proceeded to scowl and make the brief time there as unenjoyable as possible. We left and went to run a couple more errands. I was very disappointed with how the whole thing went but tried to hold space for how he was feeling and why. I didn’t want to let it ruin our day. Well, my car took care of the ruining. The brake line failed, the brake pedal went squish to the floor and I got home as safely as I could.

Here’s the part no one knew until now. My being strong sometimes involves taking the time to myself to completely come unraveled. I went into the shower and stood there under the water and sobbed until I felt functional again. I let as much of the weight of the week as I could roll right down the drain. Then I got out, ate a popsicle and then lounged in bed for a good part of the evening, playing Clash Royale and texting friends.

There’s always more to the story, but they are mostly other people’s stories to tell. My heart is going out to a few people I care about right now because of their financial situations, health and relationship statuses. A lot of people I know are having a hard time and they’re getting through it too. That’s all that makes me strong, I guess. That I  do what I can for others when I can and I keep plugging along when life beats on me.