Thursday, 30 October 2014

Your Story Matters.

When I was young I grew up very naively; as I was very certain about how my life would pan out. I spent hour’s day dreaming about “being grown up” and free to do just as I pleased; never once realizing that I would be substituting accountability to parents for accountability to society.

Eventually I did grow up and life happened. 

Gloriously, tragically, amazingly, terrifyingly, recklessly, responsibly, coming at me in waves with endless pressure to conform and measure up.

I found myself with bills to pay, people to care for and all sorts of other un-imagined problems to resolve.

Relationships become more complex and challenging. Marriage and children added to the complexity of these relationships and although I loved being a mother I was constantly aware of my decisions and how they affected my children. I wanted to be ‘super mom’ and I wanted to protect my children from all things negative and create a safe haven for them to grow up in. I wanted my children to have unlimited optimism about their futures.

As a home-schooling family, we were isolated during the week, yet at the same time free to explore and flexible enough to take part in field trips, art, dance and all sorts of other lessons.  We baked, experimented and tested whatever came to mind.

It was during this extremely busy time that I learned the value of listening to and reading about other people’s stories. Everyone has a story and no story is boring or unremarkable. I literally would absorb and soak in other home schooling families stories, because they “had been there” and been through the things we were facing. 

Their successes and failures became important to me and I took their advice seriously because they had the credibility.

Their stories gave me permission to be discouraged and weary at times. Their stories gave me hope that all would come together in the end and that my children would grow up to be educated and well-rounded citizens in their generation. Their stories were real and just as messy as ours. 

With hindsight I realize that although many of them will never know it, they were like cheerleaders standing beside our field, cheering us on while we muddled through maths lessons, trips to the library, laundry and quick snacks.

Their stories mattered to us because they dared to share them. 

*Hugs* till next time.