If you are old like me, then you have been a part of many weddings either as a guest, participant or as the actual bride or groom. Weddings are an amazing event of seeing two people come together to establish a new family unit. The young bride and groom are filled with expectation as they set out on this journey. They enjoy renting or buying a new home, setting it all up, decorating and just enjoy being in the presence of this special person.
The big day comes, often on the tails of a whirlwind of planning. The flowers are beautiful, the dresses are perfectly fitted to each bridesmaid, the catering company has arrived on time. The guests are assembled and the wedding goes off without incident. The bride and groom have an amazing time of celebration and the dancing goes on into the night. But, all good things must come to an end and it is time to go home. The bride and groom are off to a luxurious, tropical location and a week (or two!) of fun and rest from the long weeks of planning.
However, I have heard countless stories of honeymoons fraught with bickering! And even if the honeymoon was amazing, real life is just around the corner and guess what? The first week home, there is a ‘knock down, drag out’ fight, causing both the bride and groom to question the marriage. Celebrating the golden anniversary of 50 years seems like a dream at best!
Why does this happen? Well, we often set up expectations in our minds of how things SHOULD be and more often than not, those expectations are not met. That leads to our frustration and then to arguing because we are NOT getting what we want. I remember my first year of marriage and it was disheartening at times. I expected to be ‘adored’ by my husband, expected breakfast in bed, coffee made every weekend, exotic trips to cool places. However, those ‘daydreams’ were replaced with busy work schedules that left both of us exhausted, ‘on-call’ schedules that took me out on weekends and, if we were home on the weekends, my husband wanted to be up and doing ‘chores’ early on Saturdays. Forget breakfast in bed or even a few minutes of quiet ‘coffee time.’ And exotic travel destinations never materialized. Four children later and teacher salaries have not permitted much travel.
The problem is NOT my husband. The problem is my expectation. We often paint beautiful pictures of what things should look like. Perhaps that is a remnant of what is left from the ‘garden living’ that Adam and Eve experienced. Things as they SHOULD be (without hassle, focused on leisure, walking with the creator in beauty) are not possible in this now fallen world. CS Lewis said “If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.” I happen to agree with Lewis. We were created for more, but on this earth, those expectations may not be reached. And, if they are, they are glimpses only.
So, I bring up honeymoons because at FEC, we were in a ‘honeymoon’ period. We went through all the planning, preparing, setting up the ‘event,’ and, held the ‘wedding’ on September 6. That was fun, exciting and, for the most part, the honeymoon was great! Most of us have jumped right in and are settling into the routine. But for others, there have been challenges. Certain classes have had too much homework. Others have had too little. Some teachers are excited and having a great time. Others are struggling and need help. Most of us are afraid to open our e-mail box, expecting the gazillion e-mails.
The honeymoon is definitely over and we are now in ‘real living’ time. And how will we succeed in this ‘marriage?’ WE COMMUNICATE.
I promised you that there would be bumps, but if we are in for the long haul, we have to realize that even Frederick East Classical, this new, exciting homeschool option, is just that. A homeschool option. It will only be ‘new’ for a little longer. Many will come through the doors. Some will stay for a year, some will stay through graduation. Some will be happy. Some will not. The homework will be too much for some and too little for others.
I cannot offer you promises. I cannot give you guarantees.
I can assure you of a few things. Frederick East is important to me. I value the job that we do. To that end, you should communicate…with the department chair, the financial person, the teachers. If you don’t feel that you are communicating well and there are still problems, then speak to a board member. And, if you ever need to yell and scream at someone, I give you permission to yell and scream at me. I am a big girl and can handle it. Sometimes we just need to vent.
But, if you yell and scream at me, I won’t leave you there in that place. I will ask you questions, seek to focus the discussion and will pursue reconciliation and restoration. I am about pointing us to the person of Jesus in all that we do.
So yes, dear friends, we are home from the honeymoon and now the real living begins. I would encourage you to check the expectations. Some of you have been at similar programs, some not. Some of you have only experienced public school, some private. Either way, we all have files and files in our brains of what the other school did. But, instead of looking back, let’s look forward and seek to be part of the formation of Frederick East Classical. Very little is ‘in stone’ at this point and we want/need you to help us build the strong foundations. That is the exciting part...being in on the planning, adjusting, forming.
I ‘caught’ a glimpse the other day…I was walking the hallway upstairs and looked down on children at lunch, talking with each other, enjoying the treats. I heard a teacher teaching…being creative in communicating the concepts. Latin chants were drifting up the stairwell and I overheard another teacher giving instructions on making pyramids in class. And for that moment in time, I stopped and breathed in the realization that the dream became a reality.