On our way to visit a friend, we heard Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You” play on the radio. The kids fell silent and listened. I realized that they had never heard this song before or heard Whitney Houston sing for that matter. They were mesmerized by her voice. I listened too as if it were for the first time, trying not to picture the cheesy movie or re-living awful karaoke moments.
As I listened to this song as my children listened to it, with rapt attention and careful attention to the lyrics, I was overwhelmed with emotion. The past associations faded and I really soaked in the lyrics in relation to my life RIGHT NOW.
Here is the song:
If I should stay
I would only be in your way
So I’ll go but I know
I’ll think of you every step of the way
And I… will always love you, ooh
Will always love you
My darling, you…
Bittersweet memories –
That is all I’m taking with me.
Please don’t cry:
We both know I’m not what you, you need
And I… will always love you
I… will always love you
[Instrumental / Sax solo]
I hope life treats you kind
And I hope you have all you’ve dreamed of
And I wish you joy and happiness
But above all this I wish you love
Writer(s): Dolly Parton, Edward Craig Hinton
Copyright: Bama Lama Music, Velvet Apple Music
The context for me has changed. When I heard this song today, I was reminded of how I will have to let go of my children, and how I am always in the process of letting go. I’m not sure if I was so emotional because I miss my eldest or it’s because I am becoming more vulnerable as I lay it all out here. But it struck a chord as I intentionally listened to it as someone who had never heard it before.
Today I reflected on my questions that I posted yesterday – see the end of that post. The above Mary Oliver quote came to mind. I am still learning to LOVE THE WORLD. I am still learning to be astonished. This is when homeschooling excites me: when I am in love with what I am teaching. When I am in love and astonished with what I am learning or re-learning in order to teach or to guide the kids, the kids feel the love too. They actually teach me how to love the world again because I see everything (or hear everything) fresh and new. When I see the world through their eyes, things that I take for granted become alive again. This in turns fuels my creativity and we can’t wait to explore the world together.
I came across the above postcard in my craft supply pile. It was part of a pack, a gift from my friend Rowena over at Paper Plus Cloth. It reminded me of a time when I used to pack lunches for my oldest daughter when she was in school. I used to cut the crusts off of white bread and sometimes I would use cookie cutters to make cute little sandwiches. I used to cut out rice krispie squares in heart shapes too. It was a way for me to show her that I loved her even when I wasn’t with her at school. I added my mama touch, infusing this plain cheese sandwich with my love. Perhaps there are better choices than white bread and rice krispies but the point is that sometimes practical and sensible should be placed aside. Sometimes the crusts can be cut off. Sometimes being astonished means to be awestruck by the little things, the everyday ordinary things that we can see again for the first time.
Last year, I fell short with homeschooling when I forgot what my work is for myself and for them – loving the world by taking information and topics that I know already and approaching them from the perspective of my children. Homeschooling worked when I taught things that I loved or I found people that loved what they did and shared it with the kids.
I am still learning how to love the world over and over again. I learned it today through a Whitney Houston song and a memory about white bread. When I find myself getting lost in the past or expectations for the future, I ask myself the questions that Rachel Carson asked in The Sense of Wonder, which I have posted before:
What if I had never seen this before? What if I knew I would never see it again?
(Or hear it. Or smell it. Or taste it. Or touch it.)
This is why I homeschool. This is why I love homeschooling – those moments when they see something I don’t see and then I get to stand still and watch them love the world.
100 scribbles…hurriedly writing the here and now.