Wow! I have tears welling up in my eyes before I even begin typing this blog.
There is a deep level of vulnerability about what I am about to share. There is also a slight reluctance because it not only involves me but includes my son.
When I first felt the guidance last spring to home school my son I had no idea what I was getting into. All I knew was that I was following my heart and after seeing my son suffering, I couldn’t stand by and watch him in pain any longer. Something had to change and it took great courage for me to step up to the challenge.
I wrote a blog post about “Why I will be home schooling my son” and used it as an opportunity to teach the importance of trusting your intuition and following your heart. Out of respect for my son I didn’t share the entire story behind my decision. In light of mental health awareness today and with my son’s permission, I feel compelled to share more.
Last spring my son had a melt down, ran to his room crying and slammed the door. It was over something seemingly small but it created a huge upset. I let him cry for a few minutes then felt guided to go into his room.
As he sat on the floor in the middle of this room with his head tucked into his arms crying uncontrollably, I sat down beside him. I wrapped my arms around him hoping to soothe him. After several minutes, he stopped crying and I encouraged him to take some deep breaths with me.
He looked up at me with such pain in his eyes and said “Mom nothing in my life is going good. I just don’t feel happy about anything anymore.” I felt the heaviness of his words but also could feel the energy of grief filling his little body. I recalled that I haven’t really seen him smile, I mean really smile, in months. He seemed depressed and an emotional storm waiting to happen. It was getting worse. The bullying he endured at school, his resistance to school and life had worn him down and left very little spark in his eyes.
He then proceeded to say “It is hard being a kid but it will be even harder in high school. If I feel this way when I am a teenager I don’t think I will be able to say no to drugs and alcohol.” My heart sunk and tears filled my eyes as fear flooded through my entire body.
Memories of feeling so lost and misunderstood as a child came into my awareness. I remembered feeling so unhappy and depressed but so afraid to share it with anyone. I remember feeling like a burden and thinking the world would be better off without me. I remember hating my life and hating myself. I remembered using any means necessary to numb the pain inside.
Suddenly a huge mother bear energy rose up inside me. Enough is enough. My son will not follow the same path of self destruction I walked. I surrendered my helplessness and fear to Spirit and asked for guidance. “Please show me what would you have me do? I cannot sit and watch my son suffer any more. I am willing to do anything. Please show me.”
The words “home school” came in clearly. I was so open that I could hear it, I could receive it and I could embrace it fully in that moment. The moment I said “We are going to do home schooling next year” his entire body softened and a feeling of relief moved through both of us. “We will do it together.”
In the first week of our home school adventure I received the following comment on my blog post. I didn’t approve the comment to display publicly but I did share and discuss it with my son.
“This is wrong…When your kid says he wants toy of $1000 to play with. Did you get him that. You try to teach him that its too much. What will you teach him at home. You will raise a weak person that will not be able to face the modern world out there. He will not learn the human skills that a kid learn with interaction from other kids. If It was in my hands I would ban home schooling unless a kid is Special needs.”
We used it as an opportunity to discuss judgment. We used it as an opportunity to handle adversity and a form of online bullying.
We used it as a platform to express any upset or trigger that comes from other’s comments or actions.
A few days later my son said “You know that person who wrote that comment? She has no idea who I am and what I went through at school. She has no idea how I feel and why we are home schooling. She shouldn’t say stuff to people she knows nothing about.”
I replied “You right, she doesn’t. Shall we practice forgiveness and let it go now?”
We used it as an opportunity to practice forgiveness and take his power back.
This school year has been challenging but not in the way I thought it would be. It turns out it is not really about the math, science, french or any other subject. It is about the emotional well being of my son and creating space for healing and heart to heart connection. It is about giving him my undivided attention and holding space for him to express all his leftover anger and frustration. It is about helping him find healthy ways to express his emotions, take his power back and teach him life skills that will go farther than any math equation can take him.
Every day I spend with my son is a gift for both of us. I am grateful to see him smile more and his energy feels so much lighter. We are in the process of integrating him back into his old school.
So I have the rest of this year to instill as much wisdom and tools as I can to prepare him for life’s challenges. I know I am creating a foundation that will support him long after this brief year.
At the same time I recognize that he is teaching me even more. I have learned to put my phone down more and put my work aside. I have learned to give him my undivided attention. I have learned to hug first and ask questions later. I have learned to ask for help. I have learned that life at home may seem full of things “to do” but nothing is more important than being fully present with those you love. I have learned that when I follow my heart everything we need is given with divine timing even home school lessons.
Life is our classroom no matter where we are or what we are doing. When we use every moment as an opportunity we are constantly healing, learning, growing and awakening.
Stop, be fully present and give your undivided attention to those you love. They deserve it and so do you.