I remember going to my first homeschooling conference more years ago than I am willing to admit. As my rolling duffels and I waddled awkwardly across the hotel lobby, I couldn’t help but notice the swarms of impeccably dressed women sipping white wines and expensive coffees in the nearby lounge. Each had hair directly out of the salon and purses that I imagined must have cost more than my car. Some carried leather totes too, while others pulled croc or tapestry or signature valises. Many had canvas bags with girly-logos, eye-lash trim, toile and tassels.
So these were the homeschool moms.
Fast forward a few minutes later as I entered the exhibit hall. There, I saw women in pony-tails, no makeup, in comfortable shoes. I saw women holding 3, 4 and 5 hands at once. There were women in nursing bras badly hidden under roomy t-shirts, and some wearing children both front and back. I saw women with gray hairs, women in scarves, women with too-short bangs [self-inflicted hair cuts], and women with hair to the ground.
I saw women juggling teacher carts and baby strollers at the same time, often with a potty or a lunch cooler inside one. These were women with a purpose, women with focus, women on a mission, women who exuded confidence and determination with every step.
But they were also women with eyes all around their heads it seemed, because they never seemed to lose sight of the many little people toddling all around them. And they did it with ease, with grace, gliding up and down the aisles effortlessly because it seemed the most natural thing in the world.
I saw women like me there, too. Differently dressed, slightly better coiffed, and there with fewer children and sometimes with no children at all. And though they stood out just a little bit more than the rest (as I thought I did), these other women still gave off the same vibe as the others…something that cannot be put into words — something you can only experience for yourself.
There were men there, too. Husbands and fathers I assumed. Some looked almost too young to be fathers (big brothers?) and some old enough to look like grandfathers. The homeschooling dads. Neat, quiet, and responsible, controlled. But it was really the women I watched because their peacefulness put me very much at ease. I felt a warmth, a gentleness, a sense of calm radiating in their aura as I walked in their wake.
And I felt very much at home.
So these were the homeschooling moms.
And even though my Northeastern college professor self may have looked a bit more like the women in the lobby, I felt much more comfortable with the women in the exhibit hall.
And I was relieved by that.
Homeschool moms can do that to you.
That was a long time ago. Times have changed. Homeschooling has changed. And many of the moms have changed, too.
But I still like them best.
SHARE it: Image: Freedigital