There I was minding my own business, all curled up with my nose in a book, enjoying the cool mountain air, when my husband’s 2nd cousin (who’s probably in his 60’s) smacks me with a question. You know the one! “Are you homeschooling them kids?’ It’s said with such a disdain that it left a bitter taste in my mouth. I felt my southern roots kick in and I had to resist the temptation to smack him upside the back of his fool head! But as a southern lady I just replied with a smile on my face, “Yes, I am.” Make sure you say it with a southern drawl, Ha ha! Then he looks at me, “All three of em, still?” “Yes, all three of em, ” I reply. Then with a snooty voice he sits further back in his chair and asks me what time I finish them with school for the day and how long are we at each day and I am gob-smacked.
Now please don’t get me wrong. I love talking about my homeschool. I love answering questions for those that are curious, new to homeschooling or anything else. But when there is condescension in the air, it just ruffles my feathers. I just looked at my sister-in-law sitting across from me, whose been playing on the laptop listening to our conversation, and we both looked shocked. Now to answer his question I just simply said “However long it takes us.” I figured that was the truth and I wasn’t going to exaggerate it. My wonderful sister-in-law, who is an assistant teacher replied, “They do it till I get home from school.” Whew! Done, or so I thought.
Then he looks at me and draws a deep breath and as snarky as can be said, “Then what? You let em run around the rest of the time?” Ewwwww! I’m boiling at this point, but I suppress it as best as I can and just tell him, “No! My children have practices and game to go to, church and a million other activities. Then if they have the time, maybe they get to run around.” Done! Conversation over.
Why did he get under my skin so bad? I’ve been doing this for 13 years now. I know better than to let someone get to me like that! Especially people who are uneducated about homeschool or just trying to get a rise out of me. But man did he ever drive me crazy and my sister-in-law, too. I guess it’s like this. No matter how long you’ve been at this or anything for that matter, there are times when we still feel attacked about the fact that we made a decision to go against the norm.
People don’t like it when someone does something that’s different from most of the population. We don’t like it when we feel like we’re cornered or that we’re doing something wrong, because we’re not. I think for me, heading into my oldest daughter’s senior year is putting me on shaky ground again. You know, that feeling you had when you started? Apparently it comes back around if you homeschool long enough. I just have to remind myself that all is well, with me, my family and our school and who cares what someone else thinks, right? Easier said than done, I know. But we just have to put our trust and faith in God who put us on this path to begin with and remember this gentleman who was so critical probably woke up this morning and doesn’t even remember our conversation and hasn’t even given it a second thought. So why should I?