I am just so glad he didn’t sit on the line …
All those years ago — the pre-school teacher would hold me after class:
“Mrs. Anderson,” she’d say in a patient tone …
(I was 29. I felt like I was the one in trouble.)
“He just doesn’t want to sit on the line during story time.”
During the drive home, my inner rebel would emerge.
What 3 year old does, really?
And I felt the questions bubble up.
Followed by the ideas.
And now I’m just so glad.
When I see them with their friends — a rag-tag group of kids so comfortable with themselves that it never occurs to them to judge each other.
When I peek in their closets at the animal T-shirts and hats and ripped jeans and corduroy jackets and capes.
When I watch them help each other through math, riding bikes, tying shoes. Building great cities of wood and Lego, ruled by herds of tiny animals.
When we cuddle together reading. When I get to see them fall in love with a book. When they help me fall in love all over again.
When I see them master a skill. When I get to watch an idea be born. Whenever I am given the amazing opportunity to see them discover a new passion …
The delight they get out of packing a lunch. And eating it in a hallway with their pals, inside a little church where they take classes like chess and performing arts and nature explorers.
When we go on adventures, discovering cafes and book shops and teeny museums and bakeries and farms and caves.
I get to be there. I get to be with them.
It was a sign I could have taken so many ways.
I spent so much time worrying when my kids were young, but this one thing — this one huge decision felt so natural and easy.
Let’s never have to sit on the line again, OK?
We stumbled. We still stumble.
And yet every day, we have every day.
And so we sit around the table on Thursday mornings and we learn math and Latin and Shakespeare and history.
And then we pause and watch Kid History.
Because we get to do it our way.
Because perhaps we’re all a little bit rebels — this kid who wouldn’t sit on the line. His mother who refused to sign him up for Kindergarten. The sister who won’t be locked in by what others think. The father who tells friends and strangers, “it’s the right choice for us.”
I may have regrets some day, but I know I will never regret these days.
I’ll never regret the afternoons spent reading together; the library trips; the hikes in the woods.
The mornings surrounded by friend and brownies.
The people. The amazing, kind-hearted kindred spirits who eschewed the line too.
I’ll want more, I think.
I’ll wish it all didn’t go by so fast.
But I’ll never regret for a moment looking at my son in the back seat, and thinking that if I’d ever had a choice, I wouldn’t have sat on the line either.
And so we haven’t.
And I am just so glad.
Every single day.