And it is. But not only for the reasons you might think.
When Thomas was two years old, we began a descent into a years-long nightmare that left me, in my darkest moments, uncertain whether Thomas had any kind of future ahead of him.
He had morphed from a happy, loving little boy into an angry, explosive child. He was rarely happy, often irritable, and occasionally violent. Test after test, specialist after specialist provided no help and little hope. Thomas was slipping away from us.
Miraculously, that is no longer the case (you can read about the details in my book, A Pair of Sparkly Sneakers, if you’re curious). Today, Thomas is a vibrant, passionate, talented, happy child who is living an abundant, rich and joy-filled life.
I do not exaggerate when I tell you that unschooling quite literally saved his life.
Learning to embrace this way of living and looking at life has transformed our family. It has changed old beliefs, revolutionized our parenting, and healed many wounds. It has allowed Thomas and his sisters to flourish.
I just finished making a photo book for Thomas celebrating his first decade. As I looked back over the years, I was filled with gratitude that the labels under the photos read artist, musician, wonderful friend, and nature-lover. I think about the path we could have chosen, and I am filled with certainty that the labels in that life would have been dark and depressing: oppositional, disabled, depressed, difficult.
I have Thomas to thank for this reversal in labeling fortunes. He led us to unschooling. Deep in his tiny self, he’d known all along the kind of life he needed – we all needed – in order to truly thrive.
That’s why unschooling pioneer is another label I included in his photo book.
He is. And I’m so grateful.