Paying It Forward

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I have a friend who has a friend that is in need of a little help.  She is a single mom that is barely making ends meet and my friend helps her when she can.  Her friend told her not to help her anymore, not because she was able to stand on her own two feet, but I think pride may have gotten in the way.  My friend asked me to be a “secret Santa” to her friend so that her friend could buy some groceries.  Are you still with me?

Sometimes we need a helping hand.  Sometimes we need several pairs of helping hands.  And you know what?  It’s okay to be on the receiving end of some much needed assistance when circumstances may not be going our way.  Feeling uncomfortable for a situation that is not wanted, is never anybody’s choice, but to not accept help from those who truly care is just plain stubborn!  And then there are those who may feel that now this person who has done something generous now expects something in return… and to them I say, “Get over it!”

Throughout my life, I was the one who always needed a little help to get me on my feet and moving forward.  I was the one that needed a place to stay, the one who took on jobs that came with a meal, the one who didn’t have a car to get me to that next job… and along the way, I have had many hands that have come to my rescue.  Did I feel awkward or embarrassed or that I could never pay these people back for their kindness?  Of course I did, but without their genuine concern for my well being, who knows what park bench I would’ve laid my head on or which morgue would’ve been my final destination.

Times have changed for me and my situation, and I am now able to be those helping hands to those whose lives might need a little extra TLC.  The sense of satisfaction fills my heart when I am able to make a positive difference in someone’s life.  I know how it feels to be on the receiving end of aid and support, now I am the giver and I wouldn’t want it any other way as this is how I pay it forward.  So please, if you are ever on the receiving end of true generosity, please accept it graciously and when you can, and you will one day… pay it forward.

Looking back, I am thankful for each memory that an angel appeared disguised as a caring “friend” who helped me make it through another day.  For these people have shaped my perspectives and to this day if I see or hear about a friend in need, my hands become helpers and under my T-shirt, I hide my wings.

Homeschool Comments 101

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“Yes, I homeschool my kids. No, I won’t take your kids and homeschool them too!”

When other moms find out I homeschool my kids, it never fails, I get the same comments all the time… “I could never do that!” or “I don’t have the patience.” or “You must be a Saint!” Now let’s think about what’s been said by these moms and break down what it is that these words mean to me as a homeschool mom.

“I could never do that!”- How could someone say, “never,” if they’ve never tried it? I don’t understand those who tell me never as if it’s their final decision etched in stone. Wouldn’t these moms want to try something or anything that has everything to do with their child’s future outcome? If someone told me that my kids could have favorable results in their schooling and an ongoing love for learning, I’d be asking for more information! Maybe it’ll work, maybe it won’t, but the word never would not be a part of my vocabulary, especially when my children’s future success depends on it.

 “I don’t have the patience.”- Patience is something that is practiced. I have learned that over the past ten years of homeschooling my kids, that, and a nice shot of bourbon at the end of my day! Seriously, this comment makes me wince every time I hear it. Not enough patience? Then why even bother becoming a parent?

Patience is waking up three to four times a night when your baby wants to eat. Patience is when you spend an hour and a half sitting in the bathroom by the plastic training potty clapping your hands every time your toddler acknowledges that that’s the place to poop. Patience is rereading Goodnight Moon for the third time in a row because you’re hoping your child will fall asleep at the next, “Good night bears. Good night chairs…” To tell me that they don’t have patience to teach their child basically says to me that their child is bothersome and they don’t want to deal with them on a daily basis. Again, why did they become a parent?

“You must be a Saint!”- Thank you, I’ll accept that comment graciously, but I’m no Saint! I am resourceful, creative, open-minded, flexible, and someone who goes through lots of boxes of hair color! I do my best to be a good role model not only for my kids, but for other parents who want to try something new but are unsure of where to start. I’m always willing to share my knowledge about the homeschool community and be as helpful as I can so that those moms with questions maybe have a new perspective on what’s best for their children’s education.

After chatting with me for a few minutes, the new comment from these moms are always the same, “Can you teach my kids at your house? I’ll pay you!”- The point of homeschooling my kids is to homeschool my kids. My kids are thriving with their education because I can do that, I do have the patience, and maybe I am part Saint…