Two mothers stood at the cashier line
And chattered on just to pass the time.
They each thought the other a paradigm,
With children ages three, six and nine.
They talked of purchasing clothes and shoes,
And how so quickly they seem outgrown.
And how the summer has quickly flown
And now they’re singing the school-year blues.
Then pulling a photograph from her purse,
The first mom showed off her little brood:
A dimpled girl with two brothers stood.
“They’re all three mine, and yet so diverse.”
The other mom said, “I quite agree.
My Jan likes to color, and Pete likes to draw,
But my little Mike doesn’t like art at all.
I have variety with my three.
I teach my kids what they need to know:
Before they run off to school each day,
I show my kids how to work and pray,
And thank my God I can help them grow.
When home they come at the school day’s end,
We look at homework and play some games,
Like ‘Flash Card Bingo’ or ‘Guess the Names.’
I love the time we together spend.”
“At home is where all my youngsters learn,”
The mom of the other three children said.
“We work, though they’d rather play instead.
To build godly youths is my main concern.
To teach my kids gives me joy and bliss.
Our parenting styles are different, true,
What works for me may not work for you.
At home or school, just remember this:
We mothers must learn to trust God alone
To teach our kids to be kind and wise.
And one thing both of us recognize
Is: Education begins at home.”
With Mother’s Day right around the corner, I’ve decided to take the next several days to write about this amazing journey called Motherhood. If you are a mother, I’m sure you’ll agree that the road can be bumpy at times, but then there are those peaceful stretches that take your breath away.
About this poem: I came from an area where homeschooling is very popular, but of course, I am well aware that it isn’t for everyone. I wrote this poem years ago, when my children were small, and we were teaching them all at home. I wanted to show the advantages of both perspectives rather than trying to pretend that one is better than the other.
As I said, we home schooled our children, but we also took breaks now and again, when it was appropriate for our family. We have experienced both Christian and public school, and I have taught in Christian schools. This stage of our life is nearly done now, as both boys have graduated, and our daughter is a junior, studying at home. Our oldest son graduated from public school and is now a college sophomore and also serves his country as a Marine Corps reservist. Our younger son graduated from home school this past August and works at a store nearby while waiting to be accepted into the army. Our baby girl is also college-bound, though her dad is not quite ready to talk about her leaving home. That’s okay, Dad. It won’t happen for another day or two…. All three of our children have accepted Christ as their Savior and are experiencing spiritual growth each at his own pace. My growth is in the form of learning to let go. I think being a mom of young adults is harder than being a mom of toddlers. Life was so much simpler back then…. But I digress. Time moves on, and so must we.
Photo taken in Chesapeake, Virginia, on the occasion of the first day back to home school after two years in a traditional school, 2006