My dear sister and her endowed with the most fantastic sense of humor husband are coming down from Bangalore to be with the kids for 3 days. This while Ravi and I take 6 hours off each consecutive day to read/talk/discuss/delve into/play with/explore UNSCHOOLING in all its glory :-) We plan to read Sandra, Ren, Pam, Kelly, and so many others who dish it out well cooked, seasoned perfectly.
We were hopeful of attending a conference in the US where all the radical unschoolers would gather... there are many happening thru the year in all parts of the US. But we were unable to commit for various reasons. So instead we decided to do the next best thing. Give ourselves some time to sit and mull with the internet as our conference room. We then figured out the the only way this would work was if the children got their fav aunt and uncle to baby sit... with some help of our local lovely baby sitter Anandee (a fantastic, recent manifestation :-).. happened thanks to Sandra's chat session)
We will give the newly married couple the evening off each day. And the morning/afternoon will be ours... about 9-3. Living this life involves a tremendous effort in deschooling ourselves. In focusing on healing ourselves of past issues. Our inner voices shape our lives and if i am today able to smile at chaos (i used to be a stickler for list/order/plans etc) it is because i could let go of internal issues, could heal myself and allow chaos :-) So while i may still want to make lists and have a plan in place.,.. its okay if the kids make changes, cancel things or if the lists change. I"m able to go with the flow mostly. Kids are already perfect in a way... they are happy, learning, connected deeply with their inner voices... i just need to get out the way. So this conference is for me and Ravi to look within and learn to get out the way... and allow ourselves freedom to just "be". We need to baby ourselves. We need to listen to our needs... if i want to explore eating lots of snickers bars... then so be it. LOA is also helping me here. I no longer associate food with guilt, boredom, gain in weight etc.
Ravi often has issues with Raghu's hair falling over his eyes. Raghu has longish shoulder length hair. A while ago Ravi and Raghu played with styling hair... and Raghu found that he could use oil and water and get his hair to stay up. I coudl see that it was Ravi's issue. Raghu was fine the way he was. But at some point Raghu foudn his hair bugged him when he was trying to concentrate on something. And that day he decided to use gel, oil, water to style his hair off his eyes. So while it was nice to give Raghu a way to help himself.... Ravi can now see that if its his own issue... he needs to be able to talk without coercing. And if Raghu feels the same... as he indeed did the day his hair bothered him..... then he will ask/use our help. Ravi is happier when Raghu's hair is off his forehead.... but he is only now beginning to see the implications of coercion and how it affects the relationship. And at the same time he sees the beauty in simple non-coercive conversation, offering solutions/help and backing off.
Sitting with our own needs/desires and seeing how they affect our children... esp when its not something that has any true consequences... is so important to this whole process. For this and many other reasons... we hope to sit with and distill the parts that seem to act as blocks to our otherwise lovely life. I think TV, Video gaming, what are our obligations to friends and family etc... are some of the areas that we will be pondering and unblocking :-)
Meanwhile Raghu had a wish for home-made pizzas with the works... fresh mushroom, olives, mozzarella, home-made sauce, etc... for his little party of 7 kids! Zoya, my 3 nephews and nieces down for a longish stay during their school hols, Aarohi and her brother Rushabh and Devesh. Wow it was quite something today. For about 2 hours the house was in chaos/laughter/some tears/jumping on the bed/crazy conversations about babies coming out of stomachs.. correction from Raghu... uterus etc... It was a blast. but at the end of 2 hours i requested the 3 building guests to make their way home... moms were ready to pick them up. The remaining 3 cousins and my 2 are now chilling out with individual games/interests.
Raghu in the middle of his pizza looks up and says,"Amma... 3 glasses of iced tea with one ice cube each please". and a smile that made me feel so happy to be able to comply and give him such pleasure. He loves sharing his home, food and loves planing elaborate meals.
It has been quite an experience for Raghu to have his cousins here. He seems to find it easier to switch to Hindi from time to time so his cousins understand him. They do speak English but are more fluent in Hindi and probably think in Hindi and Marathi. They live in Indore, way north of here.