Another year of homeschooling is upon us and even though I promised myself I would not get caught up in the back to school photo frenzy- I still did. I decided that we would take our own but we would put our own homeschool twist on them.
After our morning time packet and math lesson I decided that we reached a point for a little outside time before finishing off the day.
We headed out for a nature walk along the river, a favorite spot of ours.
I began thinking of various poses and places to take our another year of school at home photos.
We come to this spot on this fallen down tree often. We walk across it, trying to balance ourselves. We climb the small waterfall. We wade through the shallow river. We gather rocks, sort them, examine them, and well just play.
Sometimes we even read here because we can and because we want to.
I wanted a photo to capture these moments, our own first back to school at home.
However, no one was in the mood for it. I sheepishly admit I continued to try anyway. I just wanted one good photo in all our back to school outfits.
Was it really too much to ask for?
I know I am not alone in this, we see it paraded across social media every year. If you’ve ever taken family photos then you know sometimes it is actually “work” to get everyone to look in one direction and smile at the same time. Which I did, with the help of my husband.
“Stay close to together.”
”Look at the tree on the paper.”
No one is looking at the tree on the paper.
It is far from perfect and I was growing irritated.
”Come on kids the sooner we get this done the sooner we can have fun!”
More unhappy faces, groans, and moans about how hot it is and “this is boring.”
I felt the sweat trickle down my back and agreed this was awful.
This was not us and it isn’t me.
I helped my little guy off the log and did the same for my oldest. I turned my back and heard a splash. I spun around to see my youngest, fully dressed in his special outfit, knee deep in the water.
On any other day this would have been entirely fine- I typically encourage this but I just wanted this one. Good. Photo.
I felt the frustration begin to boil up, I prepared to chastise him for jumping in fully dressed.
Then I heard a giggle and I saw the pure joy spread across his face.
I stopped and watched.
My oldest jumped in to join him and her face became full of happiness.
I jumped in too and we all began splashing and laughing.
This is us. We are not perfect. We are messy and we like to get dirty.
We like barefeet.
We love to splash in the river.
We are wild and free.
It was a sobering reminder for our homeschool days to come.
That I will not push for perfection. To not fall into the comparison trap. To let life unfold naturally and allow education to be an atmosphere. To break free and be our imperfect selves.
To know that in our imperfections that is when you find perfect joy.