Here I Go AGAIN!

I can’t sleep.  AGAIN!  I kind of expected it, which does not help.  It is 2:30 am, the night before my fourth chemo treatment.  My brain is racing, my stomach is growling and I am pumped up on steroids, Dexamethasone to be exact.  It is used in low doses as an anti-nausea drug, to help prevent an allergic reaction to chemotherapy, and to increase my appetite.  It also causes sleeplessness.  I guess that is why I am awake at this ungodly hour writing a blog, planning Maggie’s new itinerary and chowing down on a huge bowl of Toasty O’s.  Organic, of course.

Maggie’s new itinerary you might ask?  She is not fond of school.  She told me the other day, “Mom. I learn more in one hour of tutoring than I learn in an entire week at school.”  I know there is some truth behind her statement, although her math skills have improved tremendously.  She has been attending Journey for the last three months, a Waldorf school, truly the next best thing to homeschooling.  It is small, relaxed, and hands-on but simply stated, it is still school.  Unfortunately, she likes homeschooling better.  Or should I say fortunately? 

Our family went to Palm Springs on Mother’s Day to visit Aunt Rose Marie, Uncle Tom, Grandma Anita, Aunt Barbara and Uncle Pete.

It was a very pleasant day, spent around the pool, catching up and playing games. 

The boys drove home that evening, but Maggie and I stayed.  We checked into a hotel and took a trip “The Living Desert” today.  When most kids were off to school, we were off on an adventure.  Just the two of us.  We saw a great wildlife show, petted a snake, “oohed and awed” over the giraffes, rode a camel and had a magnificent time.  I was reminded of why I chose homeschooling in the first place. It was a perfect day!

You may have noticed that I use the word homeschooling instead of unschooling.  Maggie is a bit different especially from the boys at age eleven.  She likes to have a plan.  She likes structure.  She likes doing worksheets and homework and keeping busy.  Did I mention she is a bit obsessive?  Please don’t tell her I said that.  Hanging out playing video games all day does not work for her.  Doesn’t work for me either, so, I have a lot of work to do.  The question is can I do it AGAIN?  Do I want to do it AGAIN? 

I have to admit I enjoyed having all three kids in school for the first time ever in my life.  I actually had “me” time.  Although most of the “me” time has been spent fighting cancer, recuperating from surgery and going through chemo, it was really nice to have moments completely alone where I can plan my own day.  I had my own agenda, my house stayed clean (well cleaner) and I could blast my stereo and dance in the middle of the day.  I suppose I can still dance but I get really strange looks from Maggie. 

But Maggie is not completely happy at school.  And I have a difficult time being happy if she is not happy.  If grade school were more like college, where she could choose her classes, create her own schedule, decide on her own field of study and sleep in she would love it.  But unfortunately, our school system doesn’t work that way.  Maybe someday.  A girl can only dream.

I had a talk with her teacher the other day and he suggested that I not waiver and lay down the law.  He said something like, “You have to go to school Maggie, that’s the way it is.”  He also prefaced it with “I am not an expert in this field”.  I truly appreciated his opinion and in “normal” circumstances I am sure this would work.  But, these are not normal circumstances.  First of all, I never raised my kids this way.  I have always given them choices and Maggie knows it.  Boy hardy does she know it.  She chose to try school, now she is choosing not to go to school.  She gave it a valiant effort I must admit and I respect her for that.  Most kids do not have a choice.  I am sure if they did some would choose the same as Maggie.  Second, I have cancer.  This is a difficult time for her.  She wants to be with me.  I can only imagine what is going through that tiny cute adorable brain of hers during a time like this. 

So, as I am writing this blog, I have a list next to me of “Things to do with Maggie.”  I am actually excited about it.  We are currently doing a California unit study, the Gold Rush and the Westward Movement.  We have hardtack to make, museums and missions to visit, books to read and movies to watch.  I am not doing this alone.  She has a tutor and my mom just came to town tonight to stay with me and help out.  Little did she know that helping out would mean more than cooking and laundry.  Now she will be helping with homeschooling as I work hard to get through round four of chemo. 

At first, I was not looking forward to this next round of chemo especially since round three was so difficult.  Unfortunately, my last round of chemo knocked me on my butt.  Fortunately, I got through it and I know I will get through it AGAIN.   In some strange way, I felt the same way about homeschooling.  I was worried about taking on such a big responsibility AGAIN.  Been there, done that.  Can I do it AGAIN?  Of course I can.  If I can get through chemo I can do anything.  Do I want to do it AGAIN?  Absolutely!  After having some time to readjust, shift gears and spend time with her in Palm Springs, I am actually looking forward to it.  So I have decided to take the “un” out of “unfortunately” and embrace homeschooling AGAIN.  The two of us have a lot of adventures ahead of us.  I can’t wait.  So watch out world!  She is a bit of a pistol.  A lot like me!

4 Responses to “Here I Go AGAIN!”

  1. Raundi Says:

    How wonderful to wake up to a blog from you. Well, actually I have been up for hours getting everyone ready for school and I am finally at my computer. Nearly everyday I wake up at 6 and sorely miss our “unschooled” days where everyone slept in and then we spent the bulk of the day hanging with friends and continuing our lifelong unit study of the beach. Doing it on my own, make some look like a loser. I miss unschooling. Count me in as one of Maggie’s tutors. I think she needs some time studying beach ecology.

    P.S. Yes, you are a pistol, too. I wouldn’t want either of you to be any other way.

  2. Diana Says:

    Hey maybe Maggie might like to make some homeschool field trips together with Max :-). He has really been missing all his friends who have gone off to school. Deanne, you truly inspire and amaze us all! I think Maggie is going to help you get through this more than you know! ROCK ON!!!! <3 D

  3. John Alvarado Says:

    Huzzah! :-)

  4. clare Says:

    Where oh where are Dr Phil and Mrs Osborne when you want to say “I told you so”?

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