Homeschooling is hard. I never question that it is the right choice for our family, but there are days when I would love to put them all on the bus and drink my coffee in peace. There are days when I dream of all the things I could do with six or seven kid-free hours in my day.
Then I hear them playing together. Today it is Little House in the Big Woods, which the four of us have been reading every afternoon. They've transformed the playroom into a log cabin, and the window seat is their horse and buggy. Last week they built a fort in the boys' room and all fell asleep in it that night, curled up like three little bunnies in a nest. The last time it was my turn to carpool to dance class, I overheard a first-grade conversation in the back seat: the little neighbor asked Chloe who her best friends were, and without missing a beat she said her brothers.
To be sure, they do get on each other's nerves; there are sibling squabbles in our house all the time. But the bond I see forming between the three of them brings me great joy. Because so much of the world is edited out right now, they're able to spend hours and days and weeks on end building relationships with one another. One of my deepest regrets about my later childhood and teen years is the amount of time I spent dissing my sisters and focusing all my relational efforts on my "friends" - most of whom I haven't seen or spoken to in about a decade or more. My prayer is that these four kids will grow to understand that God has chosen for them to be siblings. He designed our family and gave each of them as gifts to one another. The world may be against them, but they will always have three other people who will be for them forever.
Here they are, bravely preparing for their well checks last week. They had each other's backs that day. I loved it and was proud.