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Learning in Freedom

Welcome to Learning in Freedom, a blog all about the learning adventures (and mishaps) of the Allen family. My four children are unschooled, following their interests and passions every day and living the lives of their choosing. The purpose of this blog is to share our every day lives (and my not-so-humble opinons) with anyone interested in stopping by. We hope this will give a glimpse of how natural learning unfolds from day to day......

Monday, October 29, 2007

Random late night stuff...

So it's 2:21am here in Eastern Tennessee and I'm wondering why I have no new email. Doesn't anyone else stay up half the night? Doesn't anyone else get energetic around midnight? Anyone? Hellooooooo.....

I've always been a night owl. My kids are too. Society doesn't seem to understand us. It's like you're a bad parent if your kids aren't in bed by a certain time and you must be a little bit "off" if you stay up until the wee hours of the morning.

Some of us are just programmed that way I guess. It isn't insomnia because I sleep hard once I lay down...
...unless some random thoughts start tripping around my brain. But that's unpredictable. It happens while falling asleep at times, early in the morning at other times (and believe me, I will NOT be awake early unless absolutely necessary or while camping).

Does anyone else have thoughts that force them to the computer at random times? Typing out your thoughts so they'll leave you the hell alone? I feel like that Amy Steinberg song; "I'm so sick of taking shit from my inner child, I wish she'd take a fucking nap or just stay quiet for a little while"
Yeah. Just for a while.
Let me organize my thoughts before a new one comes along, teasing and pestering the far corners of my brain. Pushing me to write, to create, to ponder.

We worked on Halloween costumes today. Jalen makes a perfectly adorable "Link" (from the video game series Zelda) and Ciara's "Corpse Bride"(Tim Burton movie) is slowly coming together. Jared's custom vampire fangs fit perfectly and I'm packing a box to mail to Trevor who has not decided when he's coming home yet. It's strange without him. I guess it's practice for when he moves out, but I'm not ready. Not yet. Maybe never.

I just wonder where all the other night owls are right now. 2:30am is a lonely time. Even with night owl kids around....they eventually give up and go to sleep like sane people. It's a quiet world outside. I'm missing Trevor and wondering how a person like me ever gets out of debt. Random thoughts. Typing in an effort to sort it all out. Feeling like crying because my oldest baby shouldn't be old enough to move away, or talk about marriage or anything of the sort because I don't feel old enough to be his mother. Everyone tries to warn you how fast childhood goes. You don't believe them until your child is an adult and then you scratch your head and wonder what happened.

Things like spilled food or broken mugs or cuss words or matted hair or dirty clothes or not brushing your teeth are insignificant really. It's the jokes and stories and playing in mud and making honey milk and eating nachos at 2am and Dracula movies and Link costumes and Obos and kittens climbing your leg and being ok with it all. No, not just being ok with it but reveling in it, enJOYing it, embracing this messy, inconvenient and miraculous thing called parenthood.

When your kid leans down to hug you someday, what do you want them to remember? A parent that dropped everything to go get a hissing cockroach and ended up with a rabbit instead? A parent that jumped into the tub with their clothes on? Or a parent that followed the rules and made them brush their teeth and worried about eating some Red40? Life is short. Childhood is even shorter. In some cases far shorter than anyone could have imagined.

Willie Wonka said "We are the music makers and we are the dreamers of the dream". The dream is to be a memory maker. That's what we parents are; memory makers. They should be damn good ones in the time we have. I think filling up your life with good memories is better than worrying about making your life a longer one. Fill up the years you have with the best stuff possible. Drink coffee like it's the most healing elixir on earth, and it will be. Make it good. That's what it's all about.

I miss my son. I smile at the smaller one looking like Link in the hammock chair right now. I sigh at my sweet Ciara snuggled in bed,having given up on her Mum coming to sleep anytime soon. We have costumes to complete tomorrow, we have a box to mail and bills to pay. Before then I need to sleep. Soon. Truly I will. I'm just glad I don't have to hide a book with a dim light and spend the first half of a school day struggling to stay awake. School was hell for me that way. Nobody drags me out of bed or dumps water on me to wake me anymore. When morning must intrude on my sleep, a coffee will do the trick. A warm, comforting cuppa. My choice. My way. Nobody else to dictate my sleep schedule.

I'm a night owl. Happily so. Anyone up for some chit chat? I'm here.:)


Blogger Snavleys said...

Did you forget that you can call me in the middle of the night? Cause it's not the middle of the night for me! Kids grow up so fast, it seems like yesterday you were cussing that woman out for driving her car to close to your precious Trevor as we waited on the curb in front of Ross's. I think he was four months old. Or carrying him in a wrapped box to give to Grandma Ollie for her birthday; him looking so bewildered but so excited at all the attention. Oh, I could go on and on. I'm not looking forward to when my kids start leaving the nest either. I sure do like their company.

1:47 AM  
Blogger rupestur said...

This post rocks my socks :D I think I may have been wondering why I didn't have any email in the middle of the night too. Ah, the typing out the thoughts so they will go away... I can very much relate.

It is a quite lonely time, really.

3:04 PM  
Blogger Stephanie said...

Hey Ren, I'm always up in the middle of the night, we are night owls too. Sometimes I wonder where everyone is also :)
I appreciate your post, my oldest is 12 but he is growing up too fast.

3:42 PM  
Blogger Ren said...

Nice to hear from some other night owls!:) It is a rather lonely time, yet maybe that's what I like about it.

I forget I can call you at 2 and 3am Heidi! Seems strange. We're in different worlds in many ways.:)

1:47 PM  
Blogger Kim said...

Hi Ren, We have never officially met...Hi.
I've been reading your blog for what is probably the past two years (I can't believe it could really be that long,) and tonight I'm compelled to say "hey!" and let you know you are in good company. My son, Wes, just 14yo, and myself, Kim, pushing 46, are die hard night owls too.

From the moment we began unschooling over 4 years ago I remembered just how magical the night is. There is a hush that's pulled down when the late night comes and 'we' thrive when others are long asleep. (My husband sadly, works too early to join us most nights.)

It didn't take me long once I caught up to my unschooling instincts to recognize the gifts my son shared with me late into the darkness...

...we both become more creative the later it gets...we love watching tv and movies...and our conversations seem to take on an even deeper, more intimate twist...not to mention the silly moments that are absolutely delicious!

Because Wes was such a night owl, I found myself shifting to closer to his internal clock which meant we spent more time together and I couldn't be more grateful for that decision since he is growing into a new and exciting stage of adolesence which has a more separation from me...all natural...all good...just different.

Anyway, I wanted to say hello and that I'll continue to enjoy and learn from your postings of your passionate unschooling life!

Happy All Hallows Eve from the Coast of Maine!

Warm regards,

7:58 PM  
Blogger piscesgrrl said...

I've gotten to be less of a night owl, but I can sure relate. I couldn't speak or eat until late morning when I had to get up for school - it felt so wrong to be up! - and simply don't feel tired at night. That's chgd a bit, thx to rigorous exercise and my son's early school (eek) schedule.

I really loved reading your thoughts though, even if I am late in arriving. I think good things pour from us when we're between the worlds late at night. Keep sharing!

12:26 PM  

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