Its 5 a.m. and the house is quiet. Its the only time the house will be completely quiet all day long because I have four children still at home. One grown son has come back home between jobs. One grown daughter is not going back to college this fall, trying to find where she should be in life, and two still in school here at home.

I have educated my children at home for the past 20 years. My oldest is grown, out of college, married and has two children of his own. My youngest two are in the 10th and 6th grade this year. Home education has been a delight and a struggle. And my house has not been quiet one day since we made that decision to educate at home.

In the summer there are video games, movies, popcorn, laughing (lots of laughing),a messy kitchen most all day. There’s the almost constant activity of 4 young people moving about, building, drawing, playing instruments, talking and creating some masterpiece in the kitchen.

There is a pile of shoes by the front door almost all the time. The grocery bill has sky-rocketed since they’re all either in the teen years or close to them. Projects of one kind or another litter the dining room and kitchen most days.

During the school year it is almost exactly like summer with the exception of the almost quiet times of studying and school work. But still, there is that under-current of activity.

Its the kind of activity, vibrant and alive, that you have only when there are young people in the house.

And I’m going to miss it one day.

I said that aloud once and my children joked and said, “Nah mom… one or two of us will always be back to bug you.” Somehow that encouraged me. I like that idea.
I told them that their Dad and I were going to sell everything, buy a motor-home and come park in each of their drive-ways a few months out of every year. That was met with glassy-eyed stares. I got a good snicker out of it though.

Its been 27 years that I have been parenting. And in those 27 years, quiet and peace have been hard to find. I have gone to great lengths to find it sometimes. Getting up extremely early, going to bed extremely late. Leaving the children with their Dad and going somewhere, anywhere, to find some quiet and peace for just a little while. I think that helped find my sanity sometimes.

But I don’t want to rush things. I wouldn’t want to speed up the process of their growing up if I could. Because I know I am going to miss all the noise and activity.

Isn’t it interesting how the things that exasperate us, irritate us and strain our sanity are things that we look back at fondly?  I am looking forward to my children all being adults. I love to sit and talk with my three who are adults now. It pleases me so much to see what they are doing, know that they are successful and that they are loving life.

But I’m still going to miss all the noise and craziness. Just a little.