I had forgotten I drafted this post. Maybe it’s been a month. Then I wrote another because this thought lingers. So, though similar to my very last post, here is another attempt, a continuing exploration.
I’m still having trouble saying the word. I say it slowly, syllable by syllable. So-do-ku. It’s been years since the puzzles entered my life. Though I’ve never been an avid player, I’ve completed enough to know what they are. I should know how to say the word, but uncertainty lingers.
Nine numbers in a row. Nine numbers in a square. Nine numbers in a column. Nine large squares total.
A new phone arrived for me the other day, and today it snowed. While I love watching the snow, my Florida-self longs for warmth and sunshine. Two kids went outside to play in the white wonderland, and I stayed inside with the oldest. I downloaded Sodoku on my new, faster phone and I explained the game. For forty-five minutes he sat, and I snuggled next to him under a blanket watching his brain and his fingers work out the puzzle.
Homeschooling begs for material things, and though we have plenty around our house, I am caught with one sentence which says, lean not on your own understanding.
My understanding is that of humanity. It’s of America. It’s of the culture which loves to show off possessions. So we buy books and we buy lesson plans and we buy puzzles. We stand in front of children and talk, and we call that school.
Yet school is not the goal here, but education. Puzzles are great brain exercises, but another puzzle hangs from the ceiling of my path.
How does one teach? How does one encourage? How does one live the life of a mother and know that what they’re doing is right?
This is a house of peace. I say to my children. Choose kindness. I say. Choose to forgive. Stop fighting. Stop yelling. Stop. Stop. Stop.
It can’t all be “stop” though. Sometimes, mustn’t we say “go”? Yet when I give freedoms, my children take advantage. They slip up. They spill the eggs on the floor and they walk to the neighbor’s house without invitation or permission.
Sodoku shows every mistake. It begs for trying. It boasts an eraser. Nine numbers over and over. Nine times nine squares. The same numbers shown in different patterns. Different answers for every new game.
Every day we have the same numbers. We have beds and lightbulbs. We have a kitchen holding breakfast. We have a room with homeschooling supplies, windows which let the sun shine brightly, a small library. We have parents and children and enough understanding to distract us from everything real.
We have the ability to realize that what is real is actually not. That looking beyond our visual reality allows us to make the same mistakes, to learn, to rearrange, to fight and forgive and move on.
Not school, but education. Not things, but lessons. Not a bunch of words, but The Word come to life. Can that be our understanding?
What is true and what is right?
Day by day, we wake and try.