Argh. But a Good Argh.

Today it happened.

The crazy mix of wanting to throw in the towel on this whole homeschool business and of pure confirmation that I was doing the right thing.

My burden to homeschool began with Sawyer.

My precious redhead from whom all things stubborn, mischievous, and temperamental flow. If you haven't had the privilege to meet The SawDog in real life, then you are missing out. This kid has the hind legs of a mule mixed with the heart of a big ole' slobbery puppy dog. To know Saw is to love him, but on the same token, to know Saw is to want to pull your hair out of your head one painful strand at a time.

Sawyer is a smart kid. Really, he is. He just isn't quite the brightest bulb on the tree. Bless his heart, he gets his common sense from his mama (and she didn't have much to spare...ahem), and there are days that he just has to be reminded to walk in a straight line or else he would be constantly turning circles trying to remember where he was going.

Sawyer is also a follower. He has tremendous potential to be a leader, and he even masquerades as one once in awhile, but for the most part, Saw's viewpoint is that everything is always greener on the other side. He's a walking xerox machine....from mannerisms, to sayings, to actions, to you name it....and because of his periodic lack of judgement, he usually isn't xeroxing the right folks.

Mix all of these characteristics together, and not only do you have a funny, hysterically cool kid (he really is a great kid), but you have a recipe for trouble. Just keepin' it real. Because Sawyer is our one that we struggle with. He is the one that causes Kirk and I to constantly check to make sure our parenting cards haven't been revoked. I love him to ever-lovin' pieces, but he is just a tough kid. Tough...as in...Dear Jesus, Please come back before he's a teenager...tough.

And so came my burden to homeschool. I kept feeling that if we didn't get a grasp on his behavior and attitude issues now, then there was the potential for losing him when he was older. I knew that keeping him at home with me during the foundational years would allow me to remove some of the distractions that so hinder my precious son, but also give me the minutes and hours that are so crucial to instill God's Word in his heart and refocus some of his energy in a more positive way. I knew it would be a long hard road, but admittedly looked through rose colored glasses as our homeschool process started.

Our first couple of weeks have gone as smooth as silk, but this morning, the gloves came off. It was more than a battle of wills. It was an all out massacre. Two hours were spent on copying 15 spelling words. There were no less than 4,934 tantrums thrown, and we had to change shirts once because the first one was soaked through from all the crocodile tears.

After the 495th time of me saying, "You can do this, Saw. You can. We'll get this done and then we'll move on," I was about ready to snap. It was really all that I could do to not leap across the table, rip up the spelling words, and rip him to shreds in the process.

But, it hit me.

This is why we are here. This is why we're home.

The easy thing would be to send them to conventional school. To send Sawyer off to another teacher to handle. To not deal with things like spelling word meltdowns and handwriting hissy fits. It really would be easier.

But confirmation came today in the middle of the throwdown, because I was reminded of exactly why I'm doing what I'm doing. Because I know that we can get through it. That Sawyer is going to see patience and perseverance modeled in his mother, no matter how hard it is for his mother to pretend like his stubbornness isn't making her crazy. That Sawyer is going to come out better because of our experience. That Sawyer will grow.

And that is enough.

Even if it means that by May my hair will be completely gray, and my prescription for Prozac will be tripled.

It will be enough.


mimi said...

mmmhhhhmmm,yep...what you said. Gosh, some days are so hard and I want to throw in the towel and then in the same moment I'm holding on so tightly to the towel nobody can pull it out of my hands(did that make sense??)

Yesterday I called G and said "I think we should try private school" then when he said ok, I yelled and said "what?! This is where you are supposed to cheer me on and encourage me!"

Good days and bad days. You are very wise dear Amber!! And you rock as a mommy!!

Cathy said...

Oh to have your cool with my "sawyer", for they really are twins it seems. Will tries my patience DAILY, no, hourly, no, every 10 minutes it seems. Truthfully somedays there never seems to be a break.

Just today I realized that he is a reflection of me in alot of ways. Ouch.

Thanks, for in "talking it out" on your blog you encouraged me to keep on keepin' on.

Love ya...like pineapple in a Diet Dr. Pepper. Boy, I could really use one of those today.

Tiffani said...

Oh, my sweet girl, you are so wise.

Yes and amen.

I love your heart to endure this, good moments and not so good ones...the worth is still in the middle of them. Most gems are encased in dirty,pokey,dull coverings..

..meaning they don't come outta the ground looking like they do set in that pretty ring or necklace...it takes time.

And, since I'm enjoy a little precious stone analysis..the pearl started out as an irritation in the oyster's belly! ;)

I know you know these things about that sweet red-headed boy...just wanted to remind you that you ARE doing the right thing. I love you!

Lemonade Girl said...

It must be the red hair, because my red-headed boy is the exact.same.way. Very stubborn and can throw a fit that will make you think about placing someone in an institution. Good for you for sticking through the tough parts for your son!

Kendra said...

I know of a good colorist, should you need one to cover that stubborn grey. As for the stubborn child, we're raising one, too. Only he's a red-head in disguise. And that's why I've been kicking around the notion of home schooling. That, and we live in a ghetto school zone. Hang in there! Go do yoga or get a pedicure!

Carpool Queen said...

This encouraged me today, friend.

Keep it real...you aren't alone.

Mich said...

I love that little red headed guy to pieces...

Hang in there sis.

Love ya!

New Every Morning said...

Your transparency is beautiful.
Thank you for allowing us to see the whole picture. I love how you said God is giving "me the minutes and hours that are so crucial to instill God's Word in his heart." I am finding that THAT has become the most beautiful part of this grand adventure. A bonus, that I had no idea would be so enormous.

I'm right here/there with you, and I agree: It's so worth it!

Mocha Momma said...

Sorry to hear you're having tough days, but it sounds like you're on track and your motives and actions are good.

Hang in there, you'll be so happy you'll be crying croc tears.

Tale care

Mocha Momma said...

When you get time, come over and pick up your Nemo Award that I've passed along to you.

I posted it August 31st.

Mocha Momma said...

That's Nenos Award, sorry.

Gretchen said...

I'm so proud of you, Amber. That's all I can think of as i read your wise and heartfelt words. You're choosing the high, narrow road, and you'll be blessed. And Sawyer is blessed right now.

Elizabeth said...

I admire you so much for being a great mom. The homeschooling thing just amazes me more. You are doing it for all the right reasons, and I know that God will bless all of you for your commitment. Even when it's hard, I know you know it's a good thing. Keep at it, because I bet you will grow as much as Sawyer (I admit, the Prozac might help!).

Jessica said...

It sounds like you have a good outlook on having a stubborn child. and that's probably one of the many reasons He chose you to be his mother. and if your hair is completely gray by May, I vote that you go red. =)

The Bowden's said...

So proud that you are doing this. It will get easier! We all have those days no matter what we are doing.

Jim said...

What can I say more than your blogeeps have already said? I noted Tiffani's comment about the pearl - I like that visual. Here you've got Saw in that homeschooling shell that's supposed to be a smoooooth kind of ooooze educational trip, and he's that red-speck of non-smooth energy that you are just going to have to cover with pearly white patience and love. Is that poetic, or what? True though! But I know you've got the right stuff to love him through it! Thanks, Tiffani, for an excellent illustration. I may use that in a sermon sometime soon.


Emily said...

Getting a new perspective on elementary teachers huh? (insert evil laughter)

No seriously. Great job pushing through. You are an awesome Mama for doing something so difficult for you son!

Ginger@From The Cocoon said...

You are doing an awesome thing for your son. If only more parents would put aside themselves for the sake of what is best for their child. You'll probably have more days like today...actually, I'm sure you will...but God will continue to give you the grace to face them!

Jennifer said...

Thank you for reminding me why I am on this journey!!

Love ya dearly!!!

Anonymous said...

You know what? You may have a repeat of this day. Blake and I had several days where we both ended up crying and then hugging. That's why I'm glad you wrote all of this down because when you have another one of these days, I want you to come back and read this post.

You are doing the right thing. And you are doing it better than anyone else could do it because God trusted that red-headed boy to you and no other mom.

P.S. I only feel like I can be this bossy because I'm partly speaking to myself, too.

Shannan said...

Amber, the Lord sent me to your blog today!!! I don't get to read them very often...so that's even more proof that I found your post! We've been going for about ten days and had a few tears shed (and me in the bedroom crying out to God while they are doing their work, "Are you sure I'm supposed to be doing this, Lord? Oh how I NEED you right now!") I will be reading that post again and again when I need some inspiration!


Becca~TimeWellSpent said...

Hang in there and know you're doing a great job! I wondered why you decided to homeschool. I'm so proud of you for the reasons~ your little man WILL grow and mature and having him with you to do that maturing rather than peers who don't have his best interests at heart (and aren't mature themselves) will make him a strong and confindent leader one day!

christy rose said...

Awww! What a sweet post. You are such a wise mom! Homeschooling is not easy. I did it for years and then decided I was done. Sent them all off to school and have had moments of gratitude and regret ever since. You are going to be so glad you took this time to put your love into them in their education.