I had a great weekend. There are too few words to describe the state of happiness and relief that I have lived in since Thursday. Geoff commented to me just a little while ago, when he caught me smiling for no reason whatsoever, that it is good to see me so full of joy. That is exactly the right word to describe my inner state of being.
I spent all of Friday and Saturday attending an annual homeschooling conference and, for the first time, I allowed myself to begin to contemplate how I will homeschool three children: one of whom is too young for anything resembling school anyway; another of whom will not, in any way, be ready for school despite being of an age where he would be considered appropriate for entering grade one in fall; and a third who is about to complete grade one and head forwards towards grade two. It was a daunting, but exciting thing to think about, and I feel so blessed to finally be in a position of making some concrete plans.
Incidentally, the conference content was great. I particularly enjoyed the seminars on "how to cultivate competent communicators" (the premise being that even if our children are/become good readers, this is not a predictor of how well they will communicate, either in writing or orally), and "how to teach boys who would rather build forts all day." (And wow, do I have a boy that fits that title! In fact, that boy has a mama who is not entirely different from him!)
For both days that I attended the conference, I waited for someone to ask me how many children I have. I was dying for someone to ask me that question. I had my simple, but oh-so-profound, answer all worked out. Someone, another h/schooling mom most likely, would approach me with a smile and introduce herself and ask me about myself and about how long we've been h/schooling, and then throw at me the question I was longing for..."so, Ruth, how many children do you have?" I would smile calmly and very casually reply "three...I have three children; two boys and a girl." Oh, how I wanted that question. Well, slight correction...oh, how I wanted to provide that answer. I was just waiting for the right jeopardy question before popping out my little gem of an answer.
Sadly, I waited in vain. The people I knew at the conference either already knew about our good news (and had no reason to ask me how many children I have anyway because they know me) or they knew we were in the adoption process and wanted to know where things were at (and it was great to be able to tell them our news). And no matter how many strangers I looked at and tried to engage in conversation with an opening smile, not a one found reason to ask me how many children I had.
...I did get close. Close enough to enjoy a real moment. It was while I was roaming the gymnasium full of curriculum vendors and wandering their booths of materials. I happened to be investigating for some specific curriculum for next year and was not finding exactly what I wanted, so I mentioned to a vendor that the curriculum she had suggested seemed too advanced for what I needed. She asked me, and here's the question closest to the one I longed for, "how old are your children?" Oh, the heady glory in that little moment. I actually paused for a heartbeat, just to savour it, just to roll the answer around in my mouth a little. Finally, it slipped off of my tongue and passed through my smiling lips.
"My oldest is seven," I said in utter calm, oh so casually, oh so calmly. I thought I'd nailed it. But then I completely wrecked my own moment by starting to laugh. It was just pure joy coming out of me...pretty close to the belly laugh that I hear from Matthew when something wonderful is just too good to hold in any longer. I may even have slapped my hands on my thighs, I don't really remember. I'm sure the poor vendor woman thought I was crazy...I just kept grinning and laughing at her and didn't hear a word she said about her product offering. Making no further progress whatsoever on my curriculum choice, I made my excuses a few moments later, and walked away, beaming from somewhere deep within.
I am a mother of three. I still can't believe it. I repeatedly catch myself thinking or saying something that begins with "if we pass court..." or "when we pass court..." and then remember our news and am so happy and relieved and thankful. Though I know we will all experience some pretty major adjustment issues when the kids come home, and although I know the first number of months (maybe years, I don't know) will be pretty rough, I am still so thankful that we're finally in the place of getting ready for that time. There's no doubt about it...this is my dream come true.