My daughter will be getting married in a few days, leaving me in a state of mess for a few months; some days I can talk about it and be quite content, other days I can’t think of her leaving home without bawling like a two year old.

While daddy and I are so very happy with her choice of our awesome son-in-law, it’s also a time of reflection for the both of us.

One of the things I look back on and can say that we did right was our choice to home school her. While this is not the best option for every family, it fit ours just right.

I taught our daughter how to speak French, sign language, and our native tongue of the Cherokee Indian, Tsalagi. She graduated with honors, held down a rather largish paper route, and she kept up with her Bible studies as well. By age 3 she was taking spelling tests and by age 5 could spell ‘cardiology’ and several other medical terms.

Needless to say, we were busy parents K through 10 (she also graduated early).

When I look back at all the hours I spent in front of the computer screen, tapping out worksheets, grading papers and researching for projects – I remember sometimes wishing that I was tapping out the keys to my first book, then with pangs of feeling guilty for that thought, I’d press on with social studies.

Come to find out (years later), I could have written that book a long time ago - and that would have been just fine! I wouldn’t have been looked down on at all – instead, I would have been viewed as some sort of genius and my favorite coffee company might have even awarded me with a lifetime supply of the miracle that flows through my veins!

Well, maybe not. But I would have been leaps and bounds farther than I am right now.

I look at all the home school moms out there who have 5 children, housework, church duties, a husband to squeeze in and getting the dog to the vet … and I have to wonder if these moms (and dads) are even sleeping. Where is their lifetime supply of coffee?!

Seriously, these women should write a book on how they do everything and still manage to breathe. Or at the very least, post their daily schedules for a full week. The rest of us believe you’ve got a secret twin who helps you behind the scenes. Or you own a time-warp cell phone that you can whip out at any given moment and use when you’re in a pinch.

Well, maybe not. But these women who have actual writing careers as they home school their children are amazing and I give my full and sincere round of applause to them.

If anyone could have given me a piece of advice a few years back, it would have been this: Write that book. Little by little if need be. Write while the family watches Jeopardy and you’re waiting for the dryer to stop. Even three nights every week. Just do it. For yourself. Because one day you’ll be sitting at the bridal shop, watching your daughter try on her dream gown – and you suddenly realize something. It’s time to reinvent yourself. Who have you groomed yourself to become once the kids are grown and doing their own things?

It’s something to think about. I knew at age nine that I’d be a writer, but waited until I was 42 to begin. I could have written several novels by now if only someone had leaned over and whispered to me, “It’s okay! You can do this one step at a time. Just take that first step.”

 

Robyn