As I see my friends' children going back to school, and hear the sadness as the Mom's have empty houses, I am reminded of how truly blessed we are to be living this life.
It is a tradition, on the first day of public school, for homeschoolers across the world to celebrate going Not Back to School. During summer, streets are full of friends and summer people with whom our children play for all hours. Then, all of the sudden, they either go back to their winter homes, or are getting called in early to rest for the school day. Then the big yellow bus comes, and friends are gone for hours and hours! And when the bus FINALLY brings them back, they are hurried inside to do homework and have supper and take baths and prepare for the next early morning bus pick up...what an abrupt change! So, to celebrate freedom from all of that tedium, we go to the beach!!!
Tuesday was the first day of school in our district, and many others across Long Island. My kids went to Central Park to play with the NYC homeschoolers (and Tom Cruise and Suri!!); they had a blast exploring and soaking up the energy of the city.
Yesterday, Wednesday, we had our celebration with our local group and Town Beach. It was one of the most perfect beach days we have had all year. The weather was gorgeous, the water was the perfect blend of calm and current, one of the boys found a sand shark, the kids took boat rides, but most of all, the group that gathered was delightful.
East End Homeschoolers was started to fill a need in my daughter's life. We had just moved, just pulled her from school we had 2 babies at home. I was not in a position to schlep all over the island taking her to 30 minutes classes that excluded toddlers and infants. EEHS began with just about 6 or 7 families, all with similar aged children and all from the same town! Now, the group has 50 families spanning all 5 East End towns and even a few choice families from Brookhaven. As the Dictator, er, leader of this group, I hand pick who gets in and who I think would not be a great fit for our group. Our perfect day yesterday reinforced for me the importance of this process. All of the families in our group are simply lovely! We do not all share the same beliefs, we educate in different ways and we come from different times and places. But there is no drama!!! Everyone is respectful, curious, nurturing and kind.
We had such an amazing time yesterday, we've decided to go Not Back to School again today! At a different park, on a different beach, probably with some different families...but I am certain it will be just as peaceful.
I love this life.