I spent much of my teen years trying to fit in. I figured out in late high school that “fitting in” wasn’t nearly as fun as being true to myself was. It was the beginning of what seems to be a theme for my entire life.
Nothing I have done in my life is “text book”, but it certainly wasn’t a conscious decision.
When I got married, it was a last minute run to Vegas, 6 days before Christmas. I rented my dress. We left with $30.00 and a tank of gas. It snowed. In Vegas. A lot.
When I had my first child, I instinctively refused most modern parenting practicies. I discovered years later that there was a name for all of my “hippie” habits, as I called them. Attachment Parenting. Huh. Go figure.
I cloth diapered my kids. I breastfed long after my kid could talk to me. I slept with my babies for years, in our “biggest bed in the world” that was simply mattress after mattress, lined up across a bedroom in our tiny house. I questioned everything, approached medicine from a holistic standpoint and you better believe my kids wore soft leather booties for years. Above all, I devoted myself to truly connecting to my kids and couldn’t bear the idea of losing that when they went to school.
So, in the next chapter of parenting, I began homeschooling. After years of pretending to fit the mold of a structured learning environment, I decided to fly my “unschooler” flag once and for all and release myself and my family from the pressures of our modern school system. My kids have never learned more.
In an effort to live more simply and focus on what was important, we bought a ranch on 7 acres. 3 years later we figured out that it was, in fact, NOT more simple for us and willingly rented out the house in order to move into a small-ish apartment with a patio that is perfect for container gardening. We learned a lot. Talk about unschooling. We all got a lesson or two in those years.
Something else I learned? We don’t fit between anyone’s lines. We are a pretty original bunch and I like it that way. We are not alone, of that I am sure. I know there are others like us, but they certainly don’t live nextdoor.
It can get lonely.
I love God. I don’t love the current state of the modern church. It’s hard to fellowship with believers when they are busy trying to encourage you to join their congregation. I love being a stay-at-home mom, and I don’t plan on changing that, despite the stigma that my “job” carries. I don’t trust the American food system, even though the government deems it “safe”. Above all, no, I dont’ want to buy a house, and yes, I’m sure my kids are learning.
Life is a journey…we all know the cliche. I’m just glad mine is a colorful one.