27 February 2013


Some of my Facebook friends and I have been thinking and talking about dreams a lot lately.  Not the sleeping kind.  The bucket list kind.  The things you want to do, but you're not sure if it will ever happen.  And you're kind of afraid to try.

We've been talking about what they are, why they're scary, and who's doing what to try to accomplish them.  It's really inspiring.  There are a lot of us taking chances and doing hard, exciting things.


This conversation is the intersection of lots of things in my life.  One would be the movie Accepted.  I've written about it before here.  It came out right after I finished college and got married.  Immediate love.  It's my favorite feel-good movie, seriously.  And this is the most important part:

What do you want to learn? Write it on the board.

For a while back then Norman and I had a list going on the little chalkboard in our spare room.


I think that movie gave me the courage to keep thinking outside the box.  First the college box.  Then the school box altogether.

Before my daughter was born, I discovered Attachment Parenting philosophy.  Thank God I did, because Lucy's babyhood would have been even more miserable than it was if I hadn't.  She had a lot of needs, and she refused to let them go unmet.  Attachment Parenting leads naturally to peaceful parenting and non-violent discipline.  And peaceful parenting and non-violent discipline lead naturally to Unschooling philosophy.

The thing about unschooling is... You have to know yourself well enough to know your dreams.  It won't work if someone else is always telling you what to do or what you can't do, and it won't work if you're afraid to stand out, to be different, to be passionate.

Lucy will learn from my example.  I want her to know that we don't live in fear in this family.  No fear -- of God, of our parents, of punishment, of hurt, of society, of failure.  So we don't hit her.  We listen to her.  We try to err on the side of love and gentleness.  And we try to live our own lives without fear.


Almost exactly a year ago, I wrote my own stanza to the song "I've Got a Dream" from the Disney movie Tangled.  It goes like this:

I've long been kinda flabby
Athletic skills are shabby
That I'm no jock, no one could debate
But despite my HSP
And a creaking in my knee
I really want to learn to figure skate!

Can't you see me on the ice skating to Chopin?
Salchow jumping while my sequins gleam!
My thighs in tights would be a sin
But soon I'll do a layback spin
Like little Russian girls, I've got a dream!

And that's my dream.  Since nearly forever.  I'm realistic.  I know I'm not in great shape, I bruise easily, and I've never been any kind of active.  But I just want to be able to do a waltz jump before I die.  But right before I die would certainly not be the time to try.

[First day of lessons]

And neither, I decided, would After the Kids Move Out.  (That mythical time that seemingly all parents long for and then immediately lament.)  I want Lucy to see me working hard and trying scary things.  I want her to work hard and try scary things!  I'm going to help her.  I already help her do it!  We all help each other. 

And eventually she will leave for her own life.  I would rather not be left with nothing.  I am a mom, and that calling is extremely important to me.  But the bulk of that work is gonna be over in about 15 short years.  And then I'll probably keep living for another 35 or so.  So I'm taking skating lessons.  And I love it.  Gotta keep dreaming.


I want to hear about your dreams. Leave 'em in the comments!