I lived in California for half of my elementary years. Both in So Cal, northeast of LA, and in No Cal, inland from San Francisco. I have funny memories of drought restroom protocol- If it’s yellow, let it mellow; if it’s brown, flush it down– and of the many playgrounds we toured as busy children living in gorgeous weather.
I was homeschooled while we lived in California. My mom said that she lamented sending me to elementary school right when I got interesting, so she decided to keep me around for a little bit longer. It was a pretty great experience for me. My family speculates that this extra little time of nurturing may have given me self-confidence, an entrepreneurial spirit, and a comfort level with being an outlier that my siblings did not receive from their early childhood years.
On last year’s annual pilgrimage to our favorite orphanage we took a drive up the coast to see our childhood homeschool families. My parents & I circled up with as many as could make it, to celebrate and cherish the community as we had 30 years prior. This time, our backyard dinner included a new generation, but the laughter and life rang as true as it did in decades past.
The girls, whom in childhood, I had loved and wished were my sisters, continued to be beautiful and funny and so smart. Heart sisters among themselves. Nearly the entire crop of homeschoolers became educators, some with an eye on administration; all with an eye on changing lives. We looked at each other over breastfeeding and cocktails between conversations of spirituality and our shared childhood oddities- and realized- we were the ages of our mothers when they decided to all move in together, school together, and church together. We are them. How lucky am I to have ever had this? The luckiest. I’m so thankful my parents are weirdos. I’m so thankful they made their friends family as we traveled the country.