Friday, May 2, 2008


I frequently wonder if I spend too much or too little time with my kids. I think there's often too much quantity without enough quality. . . that's when we frustrate each other the most. But I also recognize that I often am somewhere else during the mundane moments, using bath time to wash dishes or read blogs or tidy up the living room.

So, with the intention of working on my "needs to be done" list near the kids, I cleared out a shelf in the bathroom cupboard during baths. As Cami was almost finished, she said, "Mom, I want you to go to school instead of Dad."

I guess it's hard to imagine one's mom being anyone other than "Mom." She wasn't there when I was a student, when I worked in an office, did volunteer work, or taught university classes. She needs to see me out making a life independent but not disconnected from the role I've taken on since she came into the world.

So, when we go to Leeds, I have an even greater motivation to sit in on classes at the university. I want to be taking classes for my own growth. To study art & drawing & color, because I want to. I regret that I only studied literature because I am naturally good at it & chased the "Easy [for me] A." I didn't pursue the ideal of a "liberal education." But beginning in September I can educate myself in ways that I want to, without any obligation & without any grades. I'll study things simply because they interest me & I'm not good at them. And it will all have a bonus: Cami will see that my life didn't end with motherhood -- and it'll be fun to hear her ask, "How was school?"


Tricia said...

What an awesome opportunity! I'm jealous. Even though it seems like not being in school will be a relief, I wonder how long it will be before I miss it.

The Windy City Duo said...

Too cool! Too darn cool! You are the best Starr.. always have been, always will be.

celine said...

in addition my mom's ability to love us unconditionally, i always loved that she had her own life and welcomed us into it only when we wanted to.

Not that you can't have your own life without going to school, but sometimes a bit of separation from the kids is good. A friend of mine once said, you gotta have your own stories --- so true.

Mary Beth said...

Good for you!

Kristin said...

Starr, I didn't know you were so into visual arts. I totally second what Celine said - there is a study that children who do best in school are not the ones whose parents focus on helping them do well in school (and focus on nothing else), but rather parents who pursue and love learning for themselves. for its own sake. Makes sense to me!