“Life is a series of seasons.” This phrase from Susan Yates, who I’ve had the privilege of befriending through an annual writing retreat remains in my mind each time I have to adjust the way we teach our kids. As homeschoolers we grasp the need for flexibility on an academic scale, but changing with the seasons applies to discipleship, too. Last fall we were about to welcome our third child into the family, were three months self employed, and were in the middle of the Covid pandemic. This fall is different and presents challenges of its own.
Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, and like All Saints Day, we like to celebrate this small holiday in a way which connects to its church history. Though we no longer have access to much history of Saint Valentine (who was likely a conglomeration of more than one person by that name), the church legends associated with him grant much greater meaning to this holiday than the commercialized version would have you know.
Since reading The Tech Wise Family by Andy Crouch a few years ago, I’ve worked hard to create boundaries with my phone, laptop and TV. Though we aren’t anywhere near as strict as the Crouch family, we do endeavor to have tech boundaries in place. The quarantine of 2020, however, really did a number on our family culture. I don’t regret the increase in family TV time (we probably watched five seasons of Forged in Fire and the Great British Baking Show, each, plus other favorites) but going into the new year and a new school semester for the girls we need to get back to our boundaries.
We are in that awkward stage of marriage where the holidays are no longer the “free and easy” of our dating days, when events could be attended without coordinating a babysitter. But we’re not quite to the stage of parenting where our girls can really engage with the holiday, either. But I don’t want to wait until our girls are older to start making family traditions and enjoying the Christmas season.
I’m going out on a limb talking about this; a limb the mommy wars might saw off at any moment, and I’ll go tumbling to an untimely internet death.
But this message is worth the fall, if I take it. Because I’m really over the assumptions we’re making – these assumptions we women make about each other.