It was about a week ago now that I met a homeschooling family at one of my son’s baseball games. The mom and I had a nice visit together as we watched the boys play and at one point Grace came walking by with her friend. I stopped her and introduced her to my new acquaintance. “Oh, I used to be homeschooled,” Grace offered excitedly, “I loved it. I never wanted to go to public school but mom made me.”
Part of me cringed to hear these honest words. However, after last night, watching Grace with her class and teachers, seeing her bright smile, how mature she was, how capable, her light shining bright, it all became clear to me.
She bloomed where she was planted.
She took a difficult change in her life and made the best of it.
She had ups and downs, more downs, a few more ups, on and on for the six years she was in school, rather like a roller coaster.
She had fun, tears, anxiety, sleepless nights, songs, dance, silence, wide eyed wonder, false friendship, true friendship, romance, responsibility, headaches, dizziness, academics, good grades, good books, teachers who were kindred spirits, teachers who were her second mothers, and through it all…….she had her faith in an unchanging dependable Father God keeping her steady.
She did it. Rich and I could not be prouder of our daughter.
A month or so ago I was feeling a little desperate about Grace leaving home so soon and mentioned, half teasing, that she might like to take a year off from college and just stay at home with us (me). After all, she did start school when she was four and was younger than a few of the juniors this year. “We would have so much fun, Grace!” to which she replied (and I quote because I wrote it down):
“I know we would but. . . .we have all summer. And I need to move on with my life.”
I just had to laugh with respect, happy to have a child this steady and focused on her goals. I know how much she adores her siblings and depends on her parents. The relationships within the family circle couldn’t be better, which is to say, perhaps this is the very reason why she is confident in moving on; her needs are met so she is not needy or clingy. Plus it’s just her personality in general. She’s forward-moving.
She’ll be attending Christian college in the fall about 5 hours from home (not too far), easy enough to get her home for the holidays. I know she will have the time of her life there.
For our small town, the class of 2017 was rather large and cars parked all over the the place outside in the parking lots AND out of the parking lots. I drove up over the curb with my big mama vehicle and parked in the lawn! Saving seats was a hostile experience! But we all got squeezed in and you can see my view from the middle of the room. . . . . .thank the Lord once we sat down I found that I could see Grace if I leaned over to the right and then forward in my seat.
There she is!
Recognized with the other scholarship and honers students.
waiting in line for her diploma
two hours after walking in……the class left the gym to loud & happy music.
(dear girl; Emily–our neighbor and also Ethan’s girlfriend’s sister…kids rode the bus together for years)
and now for the fun photos:
With gratitude to the teacher who understands that some families NEED more tickets, Grace’s siblings were able to attend this year’s graduation ceremony. (all 9) Her two big brothers visited the old HS stomping grounds and saw some of their teachers and friends. (I say “old” but Ethan just graduated a year ago, and Jacob the year before that).
After getting through the crowd and out of the gym, we found our girl.
Oldest girl with youngest girl; oldest boy with youngest boy.
adoring little sister
One of “our other kids” Zak, also graduated. He is a close friend of the family.
My husband coached him in wrestling.
W E N D Y ! ! ! !
I had left my purse unguarded in the hall so Jacob collected it for me. Brittany is another dear friend of the family and graduated with Grace.
Caleb and Seth got through the night thanks to the kindle and…..cheese. 🙂
Ethan with his girl.
My daughter, my friend.
Love you, Grace…
How hard the battle goes, the day, how long;
Faint not, fight on! Tomorrow comes the song. ~Maltbie Babcock