When I began homeschooling my children back in the 1990’s, I dreamed of creating Moments and Memories and Magic. Some of the time I was successful, but there were lots of “3M” attempts that were royal flops instead.
I had always thought that field trips to bring history to life would be the cat’s meow. Then we went on a few, and found that all of us — yes, that includes mom — were bored because we didn’t really enjoy studying history unless it was ancient. (Please, don’t hate!)
We studied mosaics in a co-op once, and it was going to be SO cool to make our own mosaics. Well, I don’t know how I managed to buy virtually unbreakable mugs for smashing into colored pieces, but it was literally HOURS of violence trying to get those pieces small enough to use in our mosaics. And then we discovered that those little pieces were sharp! It was not the magical-memory-making-moment I’d envisioned.
Sometimes, we try hard and there’s a wonderful homeschool payoff.
Sometimes, we try hard and all we have to show for it is a day marked off as “school day.”
But SOMETIMES the moments we never expected to be magical come to life and create a memory all by themselves, without our brilliant hard work. They are just gifts from God.
A few days ago, my hubby and I visited a botanical garden while on vacation. He is a landscaper in his heart (and on the side, vocationally), and whenever we travel we try to find a garden place to visit for ideas and inspiration. I enjoy these trips, but nowhere near as much as Fred does. I was happy to be there, but I wasn’t expecting magic.
We visited the Children’s Garden (Hershey Gardens, Hershey, PA, for anyone who’d like to visit…) and saw that they had a butterfly house. I have visited lots of butterfly houses at botanical gardens over the years, and they have always been….eh. Oh, look, there’s a couple of butterflies hiding on the ceiling. I’m pretty sure we saw more butterflies right outside the door to the butterfly house than we did in here.
But THIS butterfly house was….OH! They were everywhere. There were so many varieties. They were glorious! There was, of a course, a sign that said, “Please do not try to touch the butterflies.” Being a respectful sign-follower, I kept my hands to myself. (My mama raised me right!)
But a few minutes into our butterfly house visit, a butterfly landed on my wrist. I don’t know if it liked my skin lotion or what, but that little critter just settled in and stayed put.
For close to ten minutes, I got to observe it as closely as I wanted, to feel the tickle of its movements, and to enjoy the feeling that this butterfly CHOSE to sit on my wrist!
Those moments in homeschooling are the best, aren’t they? They are moments of normal life that are transformed because something we didn’t work for happens….and we are blessed. Those grace-filled moments make memories.
What unexpected moments have graced your homeschool?