Thursday, April 19, 2007

Where Are You Going, My Little One?

This morning, as I was placing his daily cup of hot chocolate breakfast drink before him, N. announced:
Well, today is the last day!"
"The last day of what?" I queried absently, thinking more about adding figures to my hypothesis paper than about what he was saying.
"Kamana." He replied. "Actually, Kamana I. Today I will listen to the cd about bird language, reflect on finding my secret spot and then take the "Alien Test."
"Well, then," I said. "After you do that, we will need to copy the pages that Wilderness Awareness School will want to see so that you can send in for your certificate. And we will have to order the supplies for Kamana II."
Inside myself I was thinking: "What? How did he get here so fast!" You see, he took charge of the whole thing. I was not even aware of where he was in the program. All I did was make sure that he had supplies he needed as well as drive him to the library so that he could check out supplemental nature books. And I read to him.
In the meantime, we did do some study about the Shoah--at his suggestion--but I was not teaching.
So somewhere deep within, I think I was wondering if the "guide on the side" method really worked.
There was an inkling of doubt about the whole unschooling approach. I mean, it works for those other kids--the perfect ones--but mine? He's not normal--but in a good way. But still...
I am really glad that I did not let myself get in the way.
Oh, every once in a while I would ask him about his progress. He'd tell me how to tell the difference between dog and coyote tracks. Or where to look for bear scat. Evidently, Ursa is picky about his toileting habits.
Last week, he snuck up on me while I was typing and nearly caused me to bolt from my chair. "I was practicing the 'fox-walk' Mom!"
So why do I feel surprised by his independence?
Or am I suffering preliminary "empty-nest" syndrome? This is what it means to be a mother: Watching your beloved child walk off into the sunset. Again. And again. And again.
It's a bittersweet moment every time.

"Where are you going, my little one, my little one?
Where are you going, my baby, my own.
Turn around and you're two,
Turn around, and you're four,
Turn around and you're a young man, just going out the door."


Mom said...

"Where are you going, my little one, my little one?
Where are you going, my baby, my own.
Turn around and you're two,
Turn around, and you're four,
Turn around and you're a young man, just going out the door."

I LOVE THIS!! Who wrote it? Where is it from?

This post really hit me in the heart. At times I'm so frustrated with my "not normal, but not in a bad way" child's clinginess and dependence. I find myself longing for the time when he exhibits a little independence, fer Pete's sake. And yet, when he does--like last week at the park when (all by himself!) he walked over to the concession stand and confidently purchased snowcones for his sister and himself--it throws me a little off balance; like expecting another step when I've reached the bottom of a stairway.

Kaber said...

I love this aspect of homeschooling! (my boys have Asprger's syndrome, I think Iread yours does). I love how they just all the sudden take off and do someting and come up with ideas!

I just got here to blog spot a couple days ago and am browsing to meet other homeschoolers. stop by if you get the chance)


Beth: said...

Lovely post; what a wonderful accomplishment for him. It is amazing isn't it, how swiftly they grow and change and mature.

Nanci Griffith sings that song, but I don't know what album it's on.

steph said...

"Turn around and you're two"

This hit me, too, like a ton of oldest just turned two today...Friday (I know, such an advanced age!) I'm not ready for her to be a young woman leaving the nest yet. I know it goes by quickly (for example: when did I grow to be old enough to have children? How is it that some of my age peers have kids entering their teen years...or in their teen years?) I'm looking forward to knowing my two babies as young women, but not quite yet! I want a little more time to cuddle and kiss them...I'm not too clingy myself to let them go when the time is right, but it's still hard to think about.

Great post! So wonderful your son is finding his wings, and they are strong and sturdy!

On another note...Accuweather is showing rain in our zip code. What do you think the chances are it will get cold enough to snow? I don't gamble, but I sure hope NOT!! I'm ready for spring to STICK!

Elisheva Hannah Levin said...


I'm glad another poster knew who the artist was. I just know that a choir sang it at my high school graduation. Another verse says:

"Turn around and you're small,
Turn around and you're grown,
Turn around and you're a young wife
With babes of her own."

It's gonna happen pretty soon for my firstborn daughter.

Kimberly, thanks! I'll be around to check out your site as soon as I finish this #$**! paper!

Stephanie, it did snow a bit this afternoon (Saturday) here. Didn't stick, thank goodness! It's supposed to be nice tomorrow, which is good because MLC and I are going to High Tea with the Jewish Women of New Mexico.

Angela ,MotherCrone said...

This is a wonderful program...thanks for sharing about it. I was just thinking of creating a literature based unit study for my Girlie, who would loves to emulate Beatrix Potter and Rachel Carson.
The first level of this program would fit wonderfully in my plans. Please keep sharing about the upper levels as you get there!

Lill said...

This is so true, Elisheva. A few months ago, I was still pouring my daughter's milk for her and tonight, she cut up her chicken, rinsed her plate and helped load the dishwasher. My son plows the driveway and shows me how to fix glitches on the computer. How did he get from four to seventeen in a couple of years?


Mama Squirrel said...

Thanks for submitting this to the Carnival of Homeschooling--as usual, your posts are wonderful!

The song "Turn Around" is by Malvina Reynolds, and it's been recorded by many artists: Kenny Loggins, Harry Belafonte, Nancy Cassidy, Jimmy Rodgers...the lyrics are here and there online, usually without credit to Reynolds.

Mama Squirrel said...

Re Malvina Reynolds--you might be interested in this Wikipedia bio of her.

Megan Bayliss said...

Isn't it amazing how we are so locked into expecting that learning looks a certain way. N's evidence based practice is something that traditional school could never impart.
A beautiful post E.
When are you both coming to Australia to look at Cassawary scats? They're brightly coloured due to the variety of rainforest seeds and if you plant a scat, you get 100% strike rate due to the Cassawary's higly advanced digestion process.
I'm amused by the fact that as our children grow older, we stay the same age!
Stay safe

Anonymous said...

The song was written by Henry Belafonte, you can google it under "where are you going my little one". I heard Michael Douglas, the talk show host that recently passed away sing this song when I was MAYBE 10, which would be 40 years ago, and that song has remained in my heart since the one and only time that I heard it. I wish this song could become famous again as it has soooo much meaning.... God Bless!

chris said...

The talk show host Michael Douglas also had a famous song, for those of you who have daughters; its called "The men in my little girls life" google it for the lyrics, it'll tear you up, especially those who have grown daughters like I do. We have 5 total between us and the 1st one is getting married this month. The other girls range in age from 23 - 26, so we go through the drama,..,