This week the Dean family experienced a crisis. My grandmother, my children’s dear G.G. (Great Grandma), breathed her last and found peace. The rest us were thrown into turmoil trying to grasp the reality of a life without someone who has been so strong and active and stable in all our lives. With this shock, of course, came several aftershocks, as suddenly I was thrown into being actively involved in the nitty gritty of planning a funeral, sending off a great woman. Obituary, eulogy, flowers, clothes. This was my “to do” list this week. Not language arts, math, vacuuming, grocery shopping. So our education plan was thrown into crisis.
Instead, this week our education was about how to deal with a crisis, not about spelling and piano lessons as I had planned. But it was that education, that commitment to the day to day which prepared us for this week.
When I suddenly left in the middle of the day in a flight to the hospital the children were able to prepare a meal, to pick up the next morning and do some of their school work, to help dad with the packing of bags and the preparations needed to leave the house for a few days. This is a testament to their education. They behaved in a mature and rational manner despite their anguish and fatigue. When staying with family, what a joy it was to have them take the occasional opportunity to do the dishes without being asked, to make a bed, even if it wasn’t their own, to help with farm chores that they had never been acquainted with.
It warmed my heart to have my cousin, a long time teacher, say that she had never seen four children behave so well. I am so thankful that I have the privilege to spend time with my kids in the day to day so that we can learn to better show our love for one another and for others. I’m not specifically talking about home schooling but about the influence that every parent has on their children in their every day interactions with one another. What an awesome responsibility.
I think that it is this commitment to the needs of the family that my children have reflected this week, something that has been passed down to them from a very special woman that we had to say good bye to this week. What a legacy to leave. It was a week of crisis, but a time of deep learning for our hearts.