Monday, February 27, 2006


We have been watching the Olympics and the one event we focused on was ice skating. It is the only one the girls had any interest in and really the only one I cared about as well. We would tivo the nights that had coverage and watch them the following night, skipping to the skating parts. A would say each and every night we watched, "I HAVE to go skating again!" So we did. Saturday we all went as a family and even invited some friends along. Both girls did amazingly well. They have improved so much since the last time we went, and I credit it with the rollerblade practice they have had. A got out on the ice and just made it look like she was born to skate. E even held her own, preferring to hold my hands, or hands, for the majority of the time, but more confident than she had been before. Things being how they are, when we got home from the skating, the movie Ice Princess was in our mailbox. I had a raging headache, so I went to lie down, but C and the girls all watched it. They begged me to watch it with them today, so we did this evening. Quite the unschooling movie, I must say. All about following your heart and passions and succeeding because of that and not the "training". Anyway, the actual skating was the focus for the girls. They spent the second half of the movie pretending to skate, twirling and leaping across the floor. I have been told we will be going skating a lot more!

I have something to share that I have been a bit obsessed with the last few days. There was a tragedy that touched the unschooling community - a little girl died very shortly after being diagnosed with leukemia. I had been reading her mother's account of the treatment she was undergoing, having a personal connection to cancer as my own mother died from it five years ago. It came as quite a shock when an email from one of my unschooling lists came into my mailbox stating that this little girl had died. I pretty much reeled for a day or two, as if it had been my own child who left me so suddenly. I scoured the unschooling blogs and boards and lists all weekend, devouring the tiniest tidbit of news about her death or her family's experience, with a neediness I did not expect in myself. Almost as if I was creating a talisman against the same tragedy occurring in my own family. If that makes ANY sense.

It was amazing to see how people like myself, who did not know this family, other than seeing emails from her mother on unschooling lists, rallied to reach out to this family in their time of need. All because they felt, in some small way, a part of the bigger family of unschoolers. It brought home to me how incredible the internet is, how it can bring so many people together under the common goal of unschooling, no matter how far apart we are, no matter how different we may be on the surface. I could go on and on about this, but I won't right now. I just want to share one more thing. In this little girl's obituary it said:

In lieu of flowers, the family requests outpourings of love and tender regard to every child, and gratitude on the part of parents of living children everywhere.

If we could all just remember that the little people we have brought into this world could leave us at any moment, and remember to treat them as the precious gifts that they are, what a wonderful world we could create. I believe that this child's life was a gift - that this truth is what she was meant to bring into the world. I know it is one gift I will hold dear my entire life.


Justine said...

Thanks for the reminder.

Liz said...

I have been thinking about it too. So unutterably tragic...

Saren said...

That is so sad. [How the child died].
And what you said ,so, sweet.