Once upon a time, a bright, exuberant boy started kindergarten at a local public school. His mom loved volunteering in his class, getting to know all his classmates and their different personalities. She even liked the school and his teachers. Sure there were things she wished were done differently, but all in all, it was “good enough.”
As with every good story, there was a villain. In this tale, his name was Fear. This mother was held captive by Fear as she watched her own mother battle end-stage cancer. She tried to hide him from her children as no good mother wants her children to see her taken hostage by such an evil force. But her sensitive son was very perceptive and he quickly picked up on his mother’s burden.
Once he was discovered, Fear wasn’t happy with just one hostage so he decided to take another. The boy was an easy target. It was effortless to plant the seed that something might happen to his Mama too. He began worrying about her, fearing something tragic would happen to her while he was at school. Before leaving in the morning, the boy would cry and cry, clinging to his mother, desperately begging her not to make him go. The mother (and father, a prince of a guy) eventually hired a professional counselor to help figure out a way to dislodge Fear from her son’s psyche but nothing worked. When she picked him up each day from school, she was always greeted with a tear streaked face, half smiling to try and hide his pain from her.
When the mother had enough of her own wits returned to her, she was able to fight off Fear and start focusing on a plan of action for her son. She knew that above anyone else’s opinion, she needed to trust her own gut. With the support of several amazing women she knew who were homeschooling their children, the solution became obvious. The naysayers worried he would regress, that this would only feed Fear by enabling the boy to be with his mother all the time. The mother had to fight off a healthy dose of new Fear emerging, as it was hard to ignore the input of others, not to mention she wasn’t overly confident in her abilities to play teacher.
Luckily, as with most fairy tales, this one has a happy ending. The boy was home schooled the following fall and something amazing happened. He not only fought off Fear with fierce courage and conviction, he began to thrive as he never had. He faced new challenges of separation from his Mama with a smile on his face. He made new friends and kept the old ones. He didn’t always love what he was asked to learn on any given day, but he worked hard anyway. He quickly developed new interests that would have never been discovered had he been in a traditional school setting. In other words, he was himself again.
And the Mama? She surprised herself with how much she enjoyed teaching and had no doubt that mother’s intuition had steered her in the right direction. She knew it wouldn’t be an easy road, but she also knew that most of the rewarding aspects of life don’t come without a lot of hard work behind them. And most importantly, really the only thing that mattered, was seeing her boy tackle Fear to the ground and leave it in his dust, holding his head high as he took on the world again with a stronger, braver heart.