Friday, November 18, 2016

Weekly Wrap-Up: The One Left

Facebook has that wonderful, terrible "On This Day" feature, and so I think a lot about how things used to be. "Nine years ago today" and I read about a hilarious discussion between my youngest, then six, and his friend. "Six years ago" and there is a photograph of my daughter, a new teenager. "Two years ago" and I'm reminded of when I took my literature class to see "Macbeth" in Atlanta.

And every day, "On This Day" remind me of life in a homeschooling family: co-op classes, exhaustion (those two were really paired together 99.9% of the time), projects, activities, and lots and lots of sweet, beautiful moments. {I'm a poet, remember?}

Those days seem long ago. My house is so quiet now, most of the time, anyway. Long gone are the sounds of Legos being dumped on the floor, shrieks of "STOP IT!!" and calls of "MOMMY!" Today, the dog stretches in the sunlight, cars swoosh by on the busy road, and my One Left turns a page in his chemistry book.

Here's what homeschooling looks like with One Left at home—and that one a fairly self-sufficient nearly 16-year-old.

He wakes up at 9:15 and watches an episode of something on Netflix while checking Instagram and Facebook.
I fix him an omelet. {NOTE: this is extremely unusual; however, necessity required me to be a good mom and fix breakfast because we're out of milk and he can't have his usual bowl of cereal.}
He gets out his spiral notebook, which lists his assignments for the week.
He reads today's chemistry assignment.
He reads a chapter of The Good Earth for literature.
He then says, "Can I take a 5-minute break?" {Note: only 50 minutes of school have elapsed so far.}
He gets dressed, and we go (he drives) to pick up his Eagle Scout project papers. While we're out driving, we decide to drive down to the Smokies to see what's going on with the wildfires. Also, Duncan still has 20 more hours to drive before he can get his license, so this seems like a great thing to do on a sunny day. There is a terrible fire spreading about 10 miles away.

We drove past it and then decide to take a hike up to the tower on the Foothills Parkway to see what we can see. And while we're there, I remember that just today, this picture (on the left) taken on up on the tower showed up on my "On This Day" from nine years ago. He was six. SIX. He's still just as sweet and not nearly as mischievous. I don't have to worry anymore about him climbing over the edge of the tower or sneaking onto the ladder that goes all the way up.

And so, a little drive turned into two hours, including a hike, a drive, and a talk about ecology. And some pictures, of course.

 These are my favorite kinds of days: the ones that start normal and take some out-of-the-ordinary turns.

And so we're back home now, and Duncan is back to reading. I have dinner cooking in the crockpot, and I've canceled my run, since we took a hike. In a little while, we'll go over his latest ACT practice test and then go visit my parents—probably play some cards with them. We'll eat supper with Randy and then head out to watch a movie (October Sky) with Duncan's Appalachian Studies class.

It's mostly a quiet life, these days.  I do miss the boisterous little people that once filled this house, but I enjoy this, too, and am so grateful for the one who's still left at home.

{And, although I know she's very sad to be leaving Vienna, I am pretty excited that my girl comes home from her study abroad in just 10 days! But here she is in Venice, because what's a blog update without a European picture?}

Linked up with the Weekly Wrap-Up


  1. Aw, I tend to love those days that take unexpected turns too.

  2. I'm far, far from the stage you're at, but I'm well aware I will get there, and I appreciate the perspective offered from where you are.


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