The other night, I sat at the table with papers spread about. In those papers were the details and road map of the last 14 years of my homeschooling journey with A. Of particular note, were her high school years as I set out to document her coursework for her transcripts.
My stomach knotted as I shuffled the papers. So many years passed far too quickly. Tucked within the pages of records, I found treasures more valuable than all the gold in the land. The scribbles of a 5-year-old. My fingers traced the crooked letters. A card written by my 3rd grader learning to write a proper “thank you note”. I smiled back at the simple heart next to her name. A poem written in 7th grade to memorize the countries of Africa and the doodle on a random page of Chemistry notes. All reflections of a journey that began when she was 4 with a box of crayons and a coloring book and will end this spring with a cap and gown.
As I recorded class names and grades, I thought about who she was then and who she is now. And I realized, at the core, she is who she was at the beginning; my animal lover with an indomitable spirit. She’s always had a strong sense of self and an even stronger sense of right and wrong. Rarely, does she see the “gray” in life’s conflicts, but she’s come to accept that gray is usually there. She is and always has been introverted, but she’s unfailingly faithful to those lucky enough to be let into her heart.
As the evening progressed, I moved the papers from one stack to the other. 9th grade, 10th grade, 11th grade all recorded and documented in advance of my meeting with the director of the school that will issue her official transcripts. A journey summarized on a page, but not reflected are the hours I worried about who and what she would become. Now, as we round the bend to the finish line, I realize the error of those wasted hours. She is who she’s always been, my wonderful, beautiful, amazing A.