Wearing Lots of Hats/Adult Metamorphosis

“If you are good through this meeting, I will let you watch a lot of Magic School Bus,” I said to the boy this afternoon. He doesn’t get free range of Magic School Bus. It is a coveted bus. I had just finished talking to him in my most scolding voice—acting in my role of Strict Mother—about how he was terrorizing the household. I needed good behavior today.

image-2018-07-01.jpgSwitching roles: from raindrop to diamond.
The thing most likely to make a homeschooled family roll their eyes is the word “socialization”. I know, because I sometimes tie my hair up in a tight bun, pick up a ruler, and take on a role as Homeschool Teacher. “Socialization” is such a popular topic among those that haven’t thought homeschooling through. For a naturally outgoing kid, meeting friends and interacting in society is ridiculously easy while homeschooled. There are endless opportunities. For a child that is a little shy but warms up easily, it is still not a concern. For the child that is hardcore shy—that clings to a parent’s leg and takes more than one meeting with a new friend to actually interact—is where things get a little more difficult. This fall my son will be joining a lot of activities for the sole purpose of getting a bit more comfy interacting with the outside world. The first of which we started today.

Oh the things a parent will do for a child. I will put on a forest green polo shirt, rummage through the closet to find a pair of khaki pants, and smile while I open my door to some strangers, all for my newest role: Scout Leader.

image-2018-07-01 (1).jpgTransformation from princess to mermaid.
I decided to start up a local chapter of Spiral Scouts, acting as co-leader. The boy needed a scouting program to join that was not too big—something low key; something that could grow with us. In addition, I really like to teach my children the rhythms of nature. The rhythms of nature are a lot of what Spiral Scouts is about, because it was started by a pagan church. So here I am, living in what I consider the southernmost tip of the Bible Belt, starting up a scouting program that reeks of pagan undertones. Although we are not actually pagans and the group is run secularly, I have a strong feeling that we are going to have some interesting interactions around town. It is so easy for people to judge what they don’t understand. That said, I always see value in showing the kids the world without the rose colored glasses of “normal” life.

image-2018-07-01 (2).jpg
The well mannered scout and the driveway pool.

The Magic School Bus promise kept things smooth. My clean living room internally exploded with craft supply rubble as the eight children entertained themselves. I was busy in the dining room with the adults, pamphlets spread out neat across my table, while I transformed into Scout Woman.

I wonder if most people transform like I do, or if it is a unique feature of my personality. I fill whatever void is left in a relationship. If I am with robust personalities, I fill in the role of shy listener. If my companions are taciturn, I become outgoing. Standing in my dining room surrounded by the staring eyes of adults all waiting to hear my presentation, I am suddenly an organized, dependable scout leader.

The boy was making crafts with the lot of them, not outright socializing, but not hiding either. Progress. Once we really start to get our hands dirty, friendships with his fellow giggling kindergarteners are inevitable. Meanwhile, I’ll be Strict Mother-Homeschool Teacher-Scout Woman, among other things.

After all the stress of metamorphosis, we unwound before dark in the pool of the driveway. We all unwind in our own ways. The boy kicked the water to see how far he could make it splash. The tot crawled, rolled, and frolicked. What a strange lot we are. For my final role of the day, I walked lazily barefoot through warm puddles, and stared up at the sky to think about life, as Philosopher Woman.