It happened again. I was checking out at a warehouse store and the cashier asked, “Do you homeschool?” I smiled and nodded. Then she said, “You must be so patient.” She went on to say that some days she just couldn’t wait to send her kids off to school. I clenched my jaw and swiped my card.
I’ve grown so weary of the familiar assumptions.
“You must be so organized.”
“You are a saint!”
“You must be a lot smarter than I am.”
“You’re so brave!”
“You must be so patient.”
Guess what, people? I am none of these things. I am so not these things that sometimes I want to shout it. Yes, there is some vain part of my persona that has occasionally puffed up at the praise and even been pleased that this is what other people think of me. But the bigger part of me, the honest me, wants everyone to have a reality check. Why? Well, it’s too much pressure for one. Secondly, and more importantly, it frustrates me that people think that they have to be these things in order to homeschool. As if they themselves might consider homeschooling—if, and only if, the Virtue Fairy would come and bestow these gifts. It annoys me that people put on blinders and assume that all public school teachers and college professors are all these things. (Because let me tell you, I’ve met more than several hands full who are not.) People are people! We all put our pants on one leg at a time; we all have different strengths and weaknesses to work with and we all have something to offer, no matter what we are or what we are not.
So what am I? I am a mother who loves my children and is trying the best way I know to do what’s right and best for them. So, before walking off with my purchases, I smiled at the cashier and simply said, “I’m really not that patient. I just don’t want someone else getting the best years of my kids’ lives.”