Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The School Decision---Part 2

My husband and I are in a stalemate. 
Talking about school leads both of us to plant our feet firmly on our side of the line.
Maybe I don't have a side of the line yet, but how can he be so stubborn about his decision?
I'd prefer us both to be standing ON THE LINE, so at least we could discuss this rationally.
RATIONALLY.    Why does he chuckle when I say that word?        
My husband is nicer than I am.
I've never fought fair.   I really just want to be right.
It's been a persistent issue in our marriage. 
He makes logical, clear, unemotional explanations to back up his decisions.
Well-expressed talking points rarely exist in my highly charged debates. 
Logic was never my strength.   
In fact, my logic is simple:  All discussions worth having should be EMOTIONAL.
There's nothing unemotional about sending your first-born, homeschooled son to school for the first time. 
HELLO.  How can he talk about it so calmly? 
I've decided it's because I love our children more.

He says, "What's there left to discuss?   I thought the decision was made."
I say, "Not so fast..."
He says, "It hasn't been fast.  This has been evolving for two years.  TWO YEARS."
I say, "But still...aren't we rushing into things."
He says, "When we send Zach to school..."
I say, "If we send Zach to school..."
He says, "When we..."
I say, "If we..."

He's clearly planted on one side of the decision.  
I'm on the line.  
How can he be so sure?   
Yet, he seems immovable.  
And deep down...if I'm really honest...I'm kind of relieved.   
Relieved that he wants to make this call.
Because he usually lets me lead in the child-related decision process.
But this time, I just don't know where God is leading and I'm too tired to really fight for a path... 
There's peace that falls on our family when he leads and when I step back and respect his role.      
Gradually, my toes are beginning to creep over the line.  

Then I watch the teen playing "bad guys" with the toddler at lunch time complete with swords and shields and I pull back ready for battle.  LIFE'S GOING TO CHANGE...NO LUNCH-TIME "BAD GUY" PLAY DATES.   I disengage from calm discussion with my husband and cross over into an emotional dialogue with a man who I'm convinced must want to ruin our children's lives.
Who does he think he is making this decision?      
What does he know about raising kids anyway? 
He doesn't know them as I do.  
He doesn't love them as I do.  
The decision should be made by the all-knowing, all-wise parent.  
And that's me. 
It should be my call.  My decision.   My lead.  
(And the serpent in the garden smirks.)
He.  Doesn't.   Know. 
He's always trusted me to make the homeschooling decisions.  
He knows that I KNOW BEST.   
Why can't he just follow me?
(And the great power struggle that's been in existence since the beginning of creation re-enacts itself in our home...again.)   

But my husband has moments of TOTAL AWESOMENESS and he lovingly steps into my emotional ramble.   
Because he knows me and gets me.   
And he knows this isn't easy. 
And in his grace and kindness to me, he doesn't point out all that I don't know.  
He doesn't call out my arrogance.  
He doesn't attack my thoughts.
He doesn't point out my illogical arguments.   
He just softly explains.    

I don't know the best way to school. 
But here's what I do know:   
I do know how hard it is to become a man.  
I do know that whether he's a natural leader or not, he's going to have to learn how to lead his family.   
I do know that making decisions is a part of life and I'd like him to have lots of chances to do this when he's still under our roof and we can guide him. 
I do know that he has no idea what interests him and I'd like him to have some other opportunities to see what might spark his interest.  
I do know that as an adult he's going to have to get out of bed in the morning--whether he feels like it or not--get dressed and go to work. 
I do know that doing seemingly meaningless work is a part of life.   He needs to do things that don't always seem to have a grand purpose to him...and he needs to be expected to do them well.
I do know temptations will be a part of life.   While he's in our home, we can help him...and discipline him.  
I do know that protecting him from making bad decisions doesn't automatically guarantee that he knows how to make good ones.  
I do know he might stumble.   And I sort of hope he does, so we can pick him up and help him understand more about the great grace of God.  
That's what I know.   

And his gentle answer turns away my wrath.  Because I know he's not telling me he knows the right answer to our schooling dilemma.   But he is telling me that he has a perspective outside of my own.    And maybe I could listen.   There's probably a thousand great ways to do the next four years.   Many Godly ways to raise a man.   God happened to put us in charge of just three.  And our first one is up to bat.  My husband is the only one of the seven of us who has actually made this transition.    Maybe I really should listen.        

Maybe I could trust his lead on this...
All of the sudden, I'm painfully aware of all that I don't know. 
I don't know how to raise a man.  I don't know how to raise a provider.   I don't know how to raise a leader.    And I certainly don't have clarity on how he needs to be schooled. 
My husband wants to make this call based on something he sees in my son.
Something that he wants tested now.   Under our roof.
I think he sees himself. 
Something I can't see because I want so badly to protect him.   For him to make good choices.   For him to be safe.
Or maybe I see my husband in my son, too.    

The realization hits me that this might be a discussion worth losing.  
Because I'm losing to a man who also loves these kids with all of his being. 
I'm losing to a man who has walked a broken road and wants his kids to choose differently. 
He does know some things...maybe I could trust him on this...because I have not the foggiest clue what this looks's a path I've never walked...  

But my son still needs a mama...
So, now, I just have to figure out what that mama looks like in this process of raising a man...
Perhaps that mama needs to finish the school application process...

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