As a young homeschooling mom, I have many older friends who’ve been in the trenches longer than I whom I look up to and admire. They’ve homeschooled tons of kids, gotten their children accepted into colleges or prepared for religious life, all the while maintaining a full head of hair and some semblance of sanity.
I’ll admit it, I’ve developed some crushes. I get all a-twitter and my tongue gets tied when I see one of them. “Oh, oh….should I just ask her what math program she uses or wait to see if she brings the subject up. What if she hates, Abeka? I love Abeka! Should I point out the fresh stain on her shoulder? No, no! Don’t stare at it! Aaaaaa!!!
I always want to sound like I’ve got my act together and my house is in order, but somehow all I manage to say is something like, ”The baby thinks the Hillside Press books taste the best.”
But thankfully, these Sibyls don’t mind my questions or puppy dog eyes as they tell me the best science courses for middle schoolers, or their full-proof method for occupying a toddler all morning. And if we start talking about special needs education and alternative teaching methods, oh, be still my heart !”It’s time for Mass? But I could listen to you expound the benefits of fish oil for hours!”
In my mind, I imagine my kids becoming best friends with my crush’s younger children. Maybe one day, my son with marry her youngest daughter and we’ll be related, sort of. I can try to have her whole family over for dinner some night when she’s not busy on the homeschool prom committee, or yearbook committee or running the local co-op, selling products through home parties or shuttling her 13 kids amongst private music lessons, ballet practice or township sports in a spotless 15 passenger van.
Sigh, she makes it all look so easy, and glamorous. I mean, why don’t I look that attractive in a bleach stained nursing top and denim skirt? Why does my hair always have to be washed to have that much body and shine? And she says she only drinks tea in the morning with no sugar. If I didn’t love her so much, I’d hate her. (But she did admit to using full fat cream cheese on her bagel so she’s got that untamed, wild side too.)
Plus now, the internet has exposed me to a whole new group of women who homeschool and blog about it. Most of these woman are so above me with their 10,000 followers and professional headshots, I know I’d never have a chance to be a part of their inner circle of friends and confidants. It’s like the nerdy freshman trying to buddy up to the homecoming queen. Even amongst the smaller blogs, I feel like I’m trying to make my way into an exclusive club. Should I comment on every post? What if I have nothing funny or intelligent to say? Can I link to a post of hers in every one of my posts? Maybe just once a month? And Oh Goody! she just commented on my blog! Crap; do I respond right now or wait until later. Do I want her to think I’m online all the time? What kind of homeschooling mom would that make me? Do I profess my love for her blog now or wait until I’ve answered her question about truck balls?
I panic every time a younger mom starts coming to me with lots of questions on a regular basis because I fear being on the receiving end of a homeschool mom crush. It would only end badly. “Well, I can’t do a playdate for my preschoolers on Thursday because my older kids have drama. Friday? Well, I don’t know. Can I just call you? It’s not because of the books is it? You can just keep the books you borrowed. I don’t need them back, honest. A girls night out? I’m sorry I need to go the baby is crying!”
I don’t have the answers; my oldest is 9! I can’t provide the stable relationship you’re looking for. I change curriculum more often than my kids change their underpants. It’s not you, it’s me!
I feel like I’m 13 all over again. I try to gauge how attractive I am to other homeschooling moms by asking my close friends loaded questions. “Do you think my homeschooling philosophy sounds well-developed? My kids always look clean to you right? Be honest, does this denim jumper make me look like I’ve had more than two kids? What if I wear it with ballet flats instead of sneakers? On a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being Michelle Duggar…okay forget it.”
So far, I don’t know if any of my crushes know I exist, except as just “friends.” Maybe some day they’ll admire my style and skills the way I worship their’s. Maybe, they’ll share a link to my blog, tweet my latest post and tell all their friends to like me on Facebook. Until then, I’ll continue to favorite their posts in my Google Reader feed and corner them with my frivolous questions after Mass on Sunday, giggling all the while. “You tell me your favorite school supply store! No you go first! No you! Tee-hee hee! And that mantilla really brings out your eyes. No I mean it! Really!”