I was telling Mrs. P. the other day that I haven’t felt very inspired to write lately because I’m kind of in the middle of ordinary. Nothing too great to share and nothing too terrible; just ordinary life. She said maybe Ordinary is what I should write about. Maybe real life happens in the Ordinary.
Like having a two year old who is consumed with baseball. Ordinary. He wakes up in the morning, puts on his red cowboy boots over his pajamas, and tries to find a willing sibling to pitch to him, all before breakfast. Extraordinary. But it won’t last long… I try to not interfere with the passions of a two year old if I can help it.
Like having your five year old use up all your (precious) sticky notes doodling. Ordinary. He draws music notes and then asks his piano-playing siblings to play his “song”. They usually try. Sometimes it sounds like something. Extraordinary. I tuck those little sticky notes in my journals.
Like having your seven year old insist on being tucked in every single night. Ordinary. Does he stay awake waiting for you to finish feeding the baby or doing the dishes or taking a shower no matter how much past bedtime it is? “Son, it’s 10:00, why are you still awake…?” “You haven’t been in to kiss me good night.” Extraordinary. I forgot. “Good night, son. I love you.” Someday it won’t matter so much to him.
Like having a nine year old who has way too many collections. Ordinary. A pocketbook full of old, dead cell phones. An empty chocolate box from a San Francisco souvenir. Best chocolate ever…she doesn’t want to forget. Extraordinary. A shell collection. A rock collection. Here’s the rattle from that one rattlesnake. How about a collection of toilet paper and paper towel rolls because they might come in handy? And her room’s a mess. I made her throw away the chocolate box. And then I gave her mine.
Like having your twelve your old think recess is 80% and school time is 20%. Sometimes I consider strapping him to a chair. I think I did once, in jest. He thought it was hilarious. Ordinary life…fighting with the twelve year old to finish his work before he plays. But to see him out there throwing his football to himself and wielding a star wars light saber. Extraordinary. It makes me smile. Don’t tell him, though.
Like having your fourteen year old catch a baby garden snake. Ordinary. Did she really find an aquarium and build a habitat and ask me to go buy crickets? BUY CRICKETS?! I hate snakes. ..don’t think much of crickets either. But my fourteen year old is smiling. Extraordinary. She named him Coulson. And I bought crickets. And drove home with them in my car.
I’m an ordinary mom with ordinary children. We have ordinary homeschool days. We read and write and spell and figure. “You can’t stop now…it’s the middle of a chapter; I can’t wait till next week.” That was Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew. Our car rides are ordinary; “Can I sit in the front this time? He’s putting his feet on my side. She’s kicking the back of my seat. Can we listen to that cd again?” It was Brahms. My bedtimes are ordinary. “Did you brush your teeth? I can’t find my toothbrush. Someone used my toothbrush. Clothes in the basket not on the floor. Can you read to us?” That’s our poetry hour. They’re waiting for Milne and Stevenson and Rosetti. A Charlotte Mason education is an education for ordinary people with ordinary schedules living an ordinary life. And it’s extraordinary.