A month ago today, my family attended the Life Rocks! unschooling conference in beautiful North Conway, NH. It was five days of non-stop, jam-packed festivities. To be among like-minded people was, for many of us, a blessing, a respite, a sanctuary from the world in which we usually live. It was easy to see how nourishing this was simply by scrolling through Facebook posts in the days after the conference. Clearly, many of us were going through withdrawal!
This year, I had the privilege of leading the Rockin’ Moms program, which met for two hours each morning. During that time, I got to know some simply amazing moms (and some totally rockin’ dads, too!). Throughout the rest of the day I enjoyed snippets of conversation with many others as well. And I was struck by what a diverse bunch we are. Here are just a few of the things I noticed:
Some of us have tattoos and multiple body piercings. And some of us do not.
Some of us have wild and crazy hair. And some of us do not.
Some of us are vegan, some are gluten-free, some are raw…and some are just regular old omnivores!
Some of us are rebels by nature. And some of us had to work hard to let go of blindly following the rules.
We come from all walks of life: from military service, to business, to ‘unjobbing’ – and everything in between (including teaching!)
We’re authors, we’re artists, we’re fire-twirlers, we’re sword-swallowers, we’re knitters, we’re gymnasts, we’re musicians…and on…and on…
We represent the entire spectrum of spirituality – from Eastern philosophy to Western religion, to atheism.
We’ve all come to this life in unique ways – some in reaction to the way we were raised ourselves, some to the way our children were treated in school, and some because it just seemed like the natural way to parent.
Quite the motley crew, don’t you think?
In spite of all that diversity, we’ve got something in common.
All of us rock.
And here’s why:
We choose to walk the path less traveled, blazing a new trail for those who will come after us.
We’re willing to take the flak from friends, family, and even strangers who don’t understand.
We are committed to undergoing a constant process of learning and growing.
We embrace the fact that we, like our children, are works in progress.
We earnestly desire to support one another, sharing experiences and offering guidance to those who share this path.
We find unique ways to foster a sense of community although we are a far-flung lot, separated by states, countries, and even continents.
We love and respect our children, and place a high value on the sacred trust we have as parents.
We model a radical new way of parenting to all of those around us.
We are the change we wish to see in the world.
Not bad for such a motley crew, eh?
It’s not an easy life we’ve chosen. But it is an amazing one. And in the valleys between our get-togethers, always remember that together or apart, unschoolers rock!