This morning, just as we were starting the day, I caught my son staring out the window.  The little lines on his face still showed where he had been sleeping, and the sun caught in his hazel eyes.  I froze, in awe of this moment.  This little moment, which reminded me of 7 years ago, when I had a similar moment with my oldest.  And I was reminded why I do this.

My 19 month-old, Liam, stared out the window, and I realized he was staring at some crows in our yard.  “Do you see the birds?” I asked him.

“Bird!” he exclaimed.

I was immediately taken back in time to about 7 years ago, when I had just quit work to stay at home with my oldest, Laynie, then 22 months old.  I had only been home with her for a few days, when I saw that she found an interest in watching the birds in our backyard in the mornings.  I remember staring at her precious little face, watching the innocent awe and amazement, and just soaking in the joy I felt at that moment.  It hit me how blessed I was to have the privilege of being able to stay at home with her and experience the little moments like this.  I vowed in that moment never to take it for granted, because I recognized that these were the things my heart had grieved over missing in the first part of her life while I was working full-time outside the home.

Liam staring out the window and learning a new word this morning reminded me of three reasons why I do this.  

Why do I homeschool?  Why do I stay at home with my children?

1.  Because of how fast time flies.

Children grow up so quickly.  I can’t believe my oldest is now 9 years old.  Laynie was running around in diapers and pigtails just yesterday, and now she’s doing cartwheels in the yard.  Lily is learning how to write her name.  Liam is picking up new words every day.  They grow up so fast, and I don’t ever want to waste our short time together.

2.  So that I can witness the little moments.

I can’t believe how many things I missed when I was a full-time working mom.  I want to stop more often and just be grateful for those little things I could be missing.  Our days are so rushed now, and we tend to stay busy. I don’t want to forget Liam’s chubby little toddler feet slapping on the floor as he learns to run, Lily’s giggles over getting a puzzle completed, or Laynie doing flips outside on our playset.  These moments fly by, and can go unnoticed if I don’t stop and appreciate them.

3.  Because I want time together.

I am so glad our time together doesn’t consist of rushing to eat breakfast and run out the door in the mornings, or fighting over homework and bathtime in the evenings.  I’m blessed to have an abundance of time with my children during the day, which is unstructured and allows flexibility for spontaneous fun together.  Even so, we tend to get in routines of doing the same thing every day, and it can become quantity but not quality time.  I’ve gotten less intentional about doing things together, especially individual activities with each child.  I want to carve out specific time to do things together that create special memories for them as well as me.  Homeschooling and being a stay-at-home mom is such a blessing and allows quality time together, and I shouldn’t forget that.

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My prayer is this:

Lord, help me to soak up these little moments of joy so that as my children grow, I will not have taken anything for granted.  I realize that staying at home with my children and teaching them is a gift from You, and I pray for wisdom in how I structure our days.  Help me to be intentional and grateful, for I know that this privilege is only for a short time, with Your blessing on us.  Amen.