Friday, October 14, 2011

Happy Happy Day

I am so freaking happy!

My daughter, my amazing daughter, is living her dreams! She has the career she wanted, the job posting she wanted, her own apartment, her own car, a full social life, beautiful art she continuously creates, and she is getting her degree studying the language she loves. I. Am. So. Happy!

She has roommates of her own choosing, activities of her own choosing, romantic interests of her own choosing, and when she truly leaves our home- meaning all the way out of state, where we can't meet up for dinner or drop by to see her latest art project- she will have a well-paying job and can easily afford her own place, food, clothes, everything she needs. And she is looking forward to that new experience, not afraid of it.

I am deliriously happy!

You see I had none of those things.

I was on my own at eighteen, aged out of foster care. I had no car, no job, no family support, no hopes or dreams, other than to just make it through another day. Oh, and I feel compelled to add, I went to twelve years of public school. (That was for my cyber-friend and reader who claims that public school is the golden key to finding your place in this world.) My daughter was home schooled from birth until she went to college. She is living her dreams at an age that I was hanging on to a minimum wage job and praying my car would hold together. Too sweet.

My other "children"- my son's best friend and the daughter of a former friend of mine- are also living their dreams. I KNOW I had a hand in that too.

My son's best friend spent more time with me from middle school on than he did either of his own parents. His dad was home, but not exactly a nurturer, and his mom was working late hours bringing home the bacon. They are his parents, and they love him and of course support him. But I was there encouraging him to hold on to his dream until he had the courage to tell his parents what that dream was, since it did not match the plan they laid out for him. He did, and he excelled at it, and when he got an audition for an arts school, his parents were ready to listen. Being the wonderful people they are, they finally caught the vision, and he is excelling with their blessing and support. Booyah.

My former friend's daughter came to live with me for a semester. She was flunking math so her mom sent her to me for a semester, to help her catch up. She was easy to teach, and caught up and moved ahead quickly in math. But more important, she learned about love, forgiveness, and what real family support felt like. She is still considered a sibling by my two children! Her mom was telling her she was ugly, fat and would never make it. When she left our house, she knew better. Instead of returning to her mom's, when she left our house she went to live with her dad and his boyfriend. She is now a happy sophomore in a major East Coast university, and I saw her post a picture of her beautiful self in a bikini on a social network this summer. Live the dream, young friend!

Then there's my youngest. I love that kid! He was sharing a poet with me today- amazing stuff! He is such a deep thinker with such a big heart- both the poet and my son! (But mostly my son.=)

He has his first job and they love him! He is still doing school, so he applied for 10-20 hours a week, but it's always at least 20. He is a really good musician. When he was really young he played cornet, then baritone, but now it's electric bass. He has a duo with another home school friend of his, a sweet little vegetarian rocker who is in public school this year. (Incidentally, it was taking a Brit Lit class in my house that I facilitated that inspired her to go to the arts magnet school. I'm just inspiring like that. I wrote her recommendation letter. =)

In addition to his music, work and school, he also kick-boxes and does Tae Kwan Do. He beat his kick-boxing instructor in all three rounds the other day. He came home glowing that his instructor said he had taught him all he could. Since his instructor is ex-military, currently a police officer, that made the teen feel pretty good.

He applies to the local private university on Monday, and then he's applying for their biggest scholarship. I hope he wins. His big dream is to be a doctor, and I believe he will make it. He's always been an enthusiastic leader, starting with playing center on community league football when he was eight years old. He was the unofficial leader of his team of volunteers in Dominican Republic this summer, and made some lasting friendships there both with his public schooled peers and his college student sponsor.

Politically, he keeps me informed and opens my mind to new perspectives, which I love. Anyway, all my praying friends, keep him in your prayers next week. Also, he's trying to get a donation of shoes to the kids in the D.R., so pray for success there too. And my non-praying friends, just send good thoughts his way.

No time to edit this. I have to go to bed. I have a TON of school tomorrow! Goodnight!

Buddy Wakefield: Human the Death Dance


  1. Nice. You totally butchered my actual position. Ah well, that's your prerogative.

  2. Gee,thanks for being so happy for my family! Not. What's your problem?

    Your experience, and even your education, does not define my life. I thought I was doing our friendship a favor by posting MY thoughts about MY family on MY blog. I'm not interested in stirring up controversy on your blog. Nor do I want to be called a liar again or even try to refute your basic premise, which is clearly more often true than not.

    (For those wondering what the heck is going on, Libby's assertion on her blog is that all home schooling is inherently harmful,and public school is the primary means of socialization into our society. In reality, public school IS one common experience most Americans share, and many home schools do stunt a student's ability to fit in and find their way in this world. I don't want to get in a dispute with her. I'm just taking about my family here.)

    Besides, I didn't choose the timing, the Air Force did! My daughter just found out she got her first choice assignment, and I truly am swimming in happiness right now. Also, my 'dopted daughter just posted that shot of her in a bikini, and my 'dopted son was home from the Big Apple this weekend. And I really am taking my son to apply for college on Monday,and his bosses and Tae Kwon Do instructors really do like him. He honestly does play bass, at church and in a band. Oh, and his band mate really is attending an arts magnet high school this year, and I really did write her recommendation. I'm set to write a college recommendation for his ex-girlfriend soon,too.

    And the poet? Buddy Wakefield.


  3. Congratulations on all of your successful children (biological and otherwise). :-)

  4. Thanks, ilovemyflora! n_n I think it went pretty well at the college today. But then I always think my son's amazing. Lolz

  5. Shadowspring - You're right, I should have started by saying how happy I am for your daughter, and for you, and I really am. I love to see girls excel and take on the world, and not be held back by patriarchal teachings or expectations. So good for her!

    It's just that I find your assertion that I "claim that public school is the golden key to finding your place in this world" off base. I think having a good, loving, stable family is incredibly important, and I'll readily admit that kids growing up in inner cities are often failed academically by their public schools and find themselves without much in the way of opportunity. My post was NOT meant to say that public schools are some sort of perfect panacea and that if a kid goes to public school that kid will turn out perfectly. Honestly? I think in many ways the family matters more than what school the child goes to. I also wasn't trying to say that every homeschool family is equivalent when it comes to socialization. My point in my post was simply to say that homeschoolers do have a socialization problem to deal with, and that homeschool parents should realize this and do what they can to mitigate it - which it sounds like have.

    The bottom line here seems to be that you view homeschooling more positively than I do, and this makes sense, given that you and I have chosen different paths on this issue (you have homeschooled, while I don't plan to).

    Personally, I'd like to overlook our bruhaha over the socialization issue and return to being just plain "cyber-friends." If that's not possible, I understand.

  6. The end of the long paragraph should read "which it sounds like you have" not "which it sounds like have."

  7. Congratulations! Savor the happiness! Enjoy it while it lasts, lol! What is your daughter studying exactly? And how are YOUR studies going?

    I had plenty to post on the socialization issue but was beat to it by so many excellent comments I didn't bother. If people can escape the hyper-fundamentalism in homeschooling, I really believe there's been no better time to do it. The internet has both reduced the isolation of homeschoolers and changed the way the rest of the world interacts (ie, my teenagers don't see their friends, or call their friends, they text them. All. Day. Long! Something easily enjoyed by homeschoolers also).

    Having been and had my children all over the educational spectrum, I tend to make more enemies than friends in these discussions, since I know how much gray area permeates the issue. Public school isn't always the unending hell it's made out to be. Homeschooling isn't always the isolation chamber it's made out to be.

    Interestingly -- we are actually having socialization issues of a different kind with my (so far) only homeschooled child, who is now in public high school. Last year we had to limit his extracurricular activities, as they were leaving no time for sleep. This year we are having to put limits on his phone, as he was texting an average of 300 times per DAY (thank God for unlimited data plans). Much of this was around homecoming, and girls, and dating decisions, but I'll respect his privacy in this situation... suffice it to say I shudder to think what we'd be facing if I hadn't "hampered" his socialization by homeschooling all those years! ; )

    Anyway -- congrats again. I'm always happy to see a post that things are going well. ; )

  8. Libs,

    Totally possible, probable and even inevitable, dare I say? =D

    My late response is due to a heavy study load, not offended feelings. Life is too short, and besides I like your writing.

    Honestly, I truly didn't post it on your blog because a) it would have been argumentative, and I really just wanted to share my happiness, not argue b) you already said in comments *I think I remember this right* that if I told you my kids were well-socialized you'd just assume I was lying. So why bother?

    But thanks for the good will. I honestly hope life turns out amazing for you and all of yours too. Seriously.


    Congrats on the super-social teen. I hope yours is as fun as mine!

    I'm studying too hard to blog; my daughter is majoring in Japanese whilst planning an amazing Halloween party this Friday.

    I can't say that public school did me any great favors, though I can read and write and do math, so hey, thanks public school! Oh, and I met my first politically radical people in public school. (Nod to the 99%!) But especially in grade school, there was a lot of bullying and shaming going on. Try being the smart, fat, new city kid in redneck middle America. I doubt that's any more fun today than it was when I did it.

    Public school is great for kids who land in the middle, but tough for the kids on either end of the spectrum. Still, the only way my childhood could've sucked more is if my mom had been a SAHM and home schooled me! Horrors! Serious, "Carrie" level horror!

    I agree that technology keeps kids connected, and for those with access, media is the main means of socialization for today's kids. Movies, music, television and especially the internet play a huge part in the average teen's life.

    Though patriarchal families who limit internet access, don't have televisions, etc. keep their kids from those ways of culture transmission as well. It's horrible, it really is. I couldn't agree with Libby more on that one.

  9. Oh, me too. But we don't like how patriarchal families do a lot of things... discipline, Christianity, family planning... not just homeschooling. I hate (like you do, I know) that the idea of homeschooling is becoming so intertwined with the Christian patriarchy cult.

    I have a great time with all my kids, and they are all about as social as they choose to be I think; he's just always enjoyed being in the middle of things. We took him out of public school and homeschooled after watching a downward emotional spiral for almost two years, and couldn't find any acceptable alternative. When we see him so happy and involved now (which was always the hoped-for goal), we're glad we jumped in when we did.

    I don't complain too much about my all public school upbringing. I'm sure I would have been more comfortable in a private school of kids just like me, but I think public school made me stronger and more tolerant. It was definitely the better choice academically at the time. I think I could have used a break in middle school, when I hit the violent bullying and drugs all around, and definitely would have homeschooled the end of high school if possible... as it was, I managed to get special permission to leave campus half a day and attend community college, long before that was a common option. I was just done with the drama of high school way before my senior year.

    My older kids had a great public school experience until No Child Left Behind, and that's why we've found ourselves investigating alternatives the past few years. Our schools can't even teach to the middle anymore; they have to focus on bringing up the bottom scores, and no amount of "parent involvement" changes that; this is a federal mandate with funding tied to it. It will only change when a political party takes office AND gives a damn about education, and my kids could be graduating by then.

    Again, thrilled to hear good news for you and your family.