Take Chances with Your Body
In my immediate family, whenever we send each other off into the world, we hug, wave and offer a not-so-traditional, slightly confusing to outsiders, but exceedingly heartfelt home-grown colloquialism, “Take chances with your body!”
Pulled from an interview given by my paternal grandfather before the birth of my children, and revived following Grandpa’s passing 5 years ago, when asked what wisdom Grandpa wanted to share with the upcoming generation, he said:
1. Love the Lord God with all your heart (Matthew 22:37).
2. Don’t drink “booze” or do drugs.
3. Don’t take chances with your body. “You only have one body.”, he clarified.
In memory of Grandpa, when my family says “Take chances with your body!”, we mean the exact opposite. The translation is “Good bye. I love you. Have a blast, but please, oh please be careful. If anything were to happen to you my heart would shatter into endless, irretrievable pieces.”
Obviously, one must read between the lines…of our words.
The same can be extended when encouraging families to homeschool.
Initially, homeschooling may appear a dangerous alternative; after all, can’t it be likened to taking chances with the little bodies we are accountable to raise?
It looks intriguing, but where is the protection? It appears to be safe, but where is the certainty for our children’s future? Homeschooling seems to be a viable alternative, but is it a responsible choice?
These are the questions all parents considering homeschooling will/should ask.
It is much easier if we all agree there are no certainties, not in the well-frequented, highway of public and private education, nor the wandering path of homeschooling. There are pitfalls prevalent in both, and thorns abound regardless.
That said, we are raising individuals. As a Christian, I believe our children’s very existence indicates their lives bear a unique purpose in this world (Jeremiah 29:11).
As an example, while I am detailed and structured, my oldest is an idealist who is learning to plan and prepare, but primarily flies by the seat of her pants.
I serve as her caregiver, disciplinarian and guide, but do I feel her way should mimic my own? No.
Do I really want her to be so careful that doubt paralyzes her hopes and dreams? No.
Do I question whether I am making the right choice by not forcing the arguable, yet still mostly popular tried and true educational agenda, but instead, giving her a level of freedom to discover her own way? Absolutely.
So what do I do? I pray. I trust. I love. I lead. And when she walks out the door I say, “I love you baby. Take chances with your body!”