Saturday, September 10, 2011

Plank Pullin' - Rotten Fruit

Recently I read about a phenomenon called Homeschool Split Personality Disorder. I didn't realize there was a name for what I had been feeling due to my internal battle between my schooly and Unschooly ways and that other Mom's suffered from it too.

This school year, I AM doing better than I was when we first started Homeschooling last fall. We're only about a month into our "official" school year, but so far I seem to only suffer with Homeschool Split Personality Disorder about once a week now. Its usually not a big event....just an internal freak out with minor outward signs....

But, I had a major episode a couple weeks ago.

On that Tuesday as a spur of the moment thing, there was talking about going to the new library. Padawan actually wanted to go to the library to get some books, but by the time the guys got around to head out of the house it was too close to closing time. So I decided that we would try again for Thursday. I hoped and prayed that with that much notice, I would be able to WILL myself to physically feel good enough to go with them.

Well, Thursday morning came and when I woke up, I actually was feeling good enough to try to get out of the house! I got up, ate breakfast- all systems were go! Took a shower, got dressed, put my make-up on, fixed my hair- all systems were still go! THAT was a major accomplishment for me.

BUT the guys were still in bed. Padawan woke up next and got involved with his own agenda while we wait for DH to get up. Well, he finally got up about an hour later, and was moving rather slowly. He wasn't feeling great, but was still willing to take us to the Library.

By then Padawan had decided that he didn't want to go to the library this day because he was too involved in his routine. He fussed and whined and gave me all the reasons why it was just going to be a waste of time anyway. His best argument was that we would go get some books, and that they would just sit there until time to turn them in just like they always do. He totally shot down my enthusiasm about going to the library, but I knew he was probably right.

At this point I wasn't even feeling as good as I was before I had waited for everybody else to get up, but I was still going to push through and do my best to go and be able to walk around in there for a minute or two. I wanted so much to see the new Library and to get out of the house, and pick out some books. Besides, I spent all this effort and energy successfully getting ready. (If you don't have a chronic debilitating illness, this part may be hard to understand)

Well, about that time an assortment emotions completely took over and my hissy fit began. I started talking and acting like an irrational crazy woman. The sad part is I knew I was doing it the whole time, but like a child I just let it ride.

"Just Forget It" 
"We don't have to go anywhere!"

Right about then is when the Homeschool Split Personality Disorder kicked in too.

I proceeded to tell Padawan that he! I told him I didn't care if they came from the Library, the bookshelf in the hallway, his room, Google books, my Kindle, or his Kindle App on his iTouch or the one on the computer.

I knew the entire time that I was doing this that pushing him to read books would just kill any desire to read books at all, just like it did with me in High School. But this was MY hissy-fit, and apparently I was going to ride it out.

Then I got the notion to visually let him know that he cannot just only learn history and science all the time, (even though I know he's learning so much more). I mean really how is he going to get by in life overdosing on history and science, doing mental math, and not reading BOOKS. I needed to let him know that he has to do Language Arts and read BOOKS. So, I took the dry erase marker and wrote on the white board:.

x 180 DAYS!!!

He looked at me, and softly said (in his I know Mom's upset and now she's acting like a crazy woman voice.) "OK, I get the point."

There...I did it...I got my point across...
But what did I do?...
What did I REALLY accomplish here...
Nothing of value. 

He felt bad...
I felt bad...
And it was MY fault...

For not controlling myself due to the emotions that *I* was dealing with. 
It had nothing to do with him...

or homeschool...

or even reading or BOOKS for that matter. 

It had to do with me dealing with this stupid disability...
and my disappointment...
and them not seeing the effort I put into trying to go somewhere...
and the hurt feelings I had 
because they didn't share my enthusiasm about going to the library. 

to the library...  

It was all about my rotten fruit.
The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. Galatians 5:22,23
"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails" (1 Corinthians 13:4-8)

Its not like we don't have books all over the place here or no access to books without going to the library at all. Its not like he doesn't read. He prefers non-fiction over fiction anyway- just like I do. He'd much rather read a Wiki article about the states of matter or any other factual topic than to read a fictional story.

But I wanted to go somewhere. And I wanted books. I wanted books that we could read together. Story books. With Pictures. Like the ones he used to let me read to him. The kind that he's mostly outgrown.

And what did my actions teach him that day?

Mom was not setting a Godly example. 

Mom was not handling her emotions in a mature way. 

Mom was not acting loving or being a good role model. 

Mom was not acting rational. 

Mom was showing off all her ROTTEN FRUIT.

A few days later, while I was writing some new things on the whiteboard, he asked me if I would erase the things I wrote the day "I was acting like he was a bad son and that I didn't love him."

I cried think that those words written in ANGER and FRUSTRATION had been sitting on that board reminding him of that day...and my actions...and the way they made him feel when my hissy fit wasn't really about him at all.

I apologized. And repented. And prayed that God would erase the hurt that I caused my  son's precious spirit as I erased those words that reminded him of that hurt.

I'm so thankful for God's Word written in LOVE, and for His GRACE that he extends to us when we mess up if we ask for forgiveness. And I'm thankful for my Savior, Jesus, who came to this earth to be a role model for all of us.

I don't want anymore ROTTEN FRUIT. I want the FRUIT of the SPIRIT.


If you feel inspired to post one of your planks that needs pullin', you can head over to Bohemian Bowman's to link up.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for this reveal. I've done Exactly the same sort of thing --especially the "irrational temper tantrum" when you know that very minute you should stop...and don't. Sigh. Thank God for mercy and merciful children xo --Mama at


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