Monday, October 7, 2013

The Socially Awkward Homeschool Graduate

It was Saturday night that we were sitting at our kitchen table, chatting, and listening to the Baylor vs. West Virginia game online. The teen s'mores & pizza party was over and cleaned up from the night before, a baby registry for my friend Christie  had been accomplished earlier in the day, and I was working on a grocery list and my Francis Schaeffer worldview homework simultaneously.  Robert had already put in a full day at the NewComers Class at church and then polished and preached the Sunday sermon in his basement office.  It's always very fiery in the basement, and I could hear most of it from the kitchen where I worked.

Anyway, we have all of a sudden become radical Baylor Bear fans, resorting to listening to the games live or watching a simulated, play by play version on  Yes, we actually "watched" a couple of games this way, since we can't get the games on TV. Who are we?  We didn't even realize until after the fact that our own alma mater ~ The University of Texas ~ had played their game on Thursday.  Not that we would have watched, but still, it's Baylor that's on our mind all of the time, making us do crazy, out of the ordinary things to keep abreast of the world in which our firstborn now lives.

Baylor was just killing their poor opponents right off the bat ~ or right out of the huddle, I should say, and so I texted Kory.

"Whoa.  What a game!  Are you there?" I messaged.

I now know that that is a silly question.  Big 12 sports was definitely on the list of Baylor perks when he was considering a school.  He doesn't miss a game. (And I now know what "Big 12 Sports" even means.  But I'm pretty sure the 12 really means 10, so I'm still a bit confused.)

He messaged back and said he was on the front row and that I should check out Baylor's Instagram page.  I'm new to Instagram and iPhone, but I'm really enjoying the whole new i-world, so I clicked over to begin "following."

This is what I discovered:

To be honest, I didn't even recognize Kory right away.  But it was him all right.  Front and center, 50-yard line, screaming his lungs out ~ you know, my socially awkward homeschooler, ill-prepared for the life outside of our house, sheltered, and unable to function in the real world. 

Or maybe not.

Funny thing is, I STILL get the questions, "What about socialization?", "Do your children have friends?"  Somewhat recently, I even had lunch with a woman who was quite defensive about her choice to put her children in public school when she learned that I homeschooled. "We don't want to shelter our children from people of other religions or backgrounds or experiences.  We CHOSE NOT to homeschool, because we wanted our kids to learn to interact with people of all backgrounds and experiences, so that they will be prepared for those interactions in the real world," she somewhat harshly scolded.

I'm sorry she feels that the public school system is the only place kids can learn how to accept and interact with people who are different from them. My kids have learned those things by being active members of a church, playing on sports teams, visiting nursing homes, helping out in homeless shelters, hosting all sorts of people from all over the world in our home, babysitting, attending summer camp, going on mission trips, and traveling in general.  In my opinion, the public school exposure to a diversity of people is limited in comparison. In fact, it is interesting to me that the church has been the main place my kids have learned about the harsh realities of people's lives ~ their rebellion, their deep struggles, their sufferings, their weaknesses, their differing opinions, and also their great value and worth.

Now I know that some would argue that Baylor by no means offers a "real-world" experience, but I would beg to differ (after a bit of novice detective work on Instagram and Facebook...and a visit there, of course), and it makes this homeschool mama very proud that Kory has been able to navigate well the various situations he's encountered ~ rooming with an international non-believer, discerning true faith among "Christian" friends, having great, encouraging, conversations with professors after class and during office hours, and shopping for groceries and computer software, too!

And I'm not taking credit for teaching him these things.  Yes, I depended on the Lord daily for wisdom in nurturing my kids and educating them and providing experiences from which they could learn and grow, but I can clearly see that it was and is the Lord who accomplishes the non-socially-awkwardness, and the positive, mature, eagerness instead.

And joy, too!  This kid is joyful and "all there" in all that he does ~ even if that means donning the gold jersey and leading out in the cheers for his new favorite team ~ and he was a DIE. HARD. LONGHORN. FAN. Y'ALL.  Cheering for the Bears took a bit of adjusting, but if you pay close attention at 48 seconds in the video below, you'll see that he made the adjustment quite nicely:

On Sunday afternoon, we got another text message telling us to watch this "Behind-the Scenes" video on the Baylor Athletic FB page.  It wasn't difficult to pick him out, and we laughed and laughed at his new "poster boy" status.

Now, he may be horrified that I've written this post.  Pretty sure he tries to keep the whole "homeschool" thing on the down-low, but even that is partially due to the silly stereotype he knows exists.  Pretty sure he tries to keep the whole "pastor's kid" thing in the same category and for the same reason.

Really, it's not about public school or homeschool or private school, though I have loved being able to "shelter" my kids from unnecessary and too-early exposure to sexual and other mature issues.  It's more about nurture and love and faithfulness and obedience, and quality time, and dinner discussions... but mostly it's about grace.  Growing in grace as a parent and growth by grace as a child.  And lots of prayers of desperation and crying out for that grace to be given in abundance on a daily basis.

Thanking the Grace-Giver today for a weekend of reassurance and joy!


sweetly broken said... I really just wanted to say something to you and needed to pick a blog post to comment on...Thank you for sharing your life here on the blog. As a mom totally disconnected from her home country and all that is dear in that place, I know when I come visit your blog I will get a dose of my American home, biblical perspective and hear open confession from a fellow pastor's wife and homeschooling mom who longs to follow God in everything. Thanks Melanie!! I pray that is an encouragement to you today. You are to me many times, and it is NO SMALL THING. Warmly, Kristin

Melanie said...

Hi Kristin! Sooooooo sorry for the delay! I am barely keeping my head above water here, and my blog is often the first to go ~ even though it's such a fun outlet for me! Thanks for your encouragement. I think of you often, and hope you guys will have a wonderful Christmas! Will you be visiting the states?