Today’s Poetry Type:
We live nocturnal namaste
Learn far beyond the end of day
Does it matter what hours we sleep?
If we’re awake beneath full moon
and all sound asleep at high noon?
Does the sun control what we reap?
Why should the coming of the night
make all learning and love take flight?
Why ask why? This is peace we’ll keep.
In many families, school is a part of family life, and its schedule is a large part in determining household rhythms. Bedtimes are a useful tool in helping kids to get up on time; chore charts can facilitate a smoother transition through all the things that need to be done before the school day begins, and, when it ends, there may be homework, extracurriculars, chores, dinner time, baths and showers, and then on again to bed to get ready to do it all again.
I’ve often heard that things can get a little crazy in these families, when off days and vacations come around, and the familiar structure is suspended.
If you have kids in school, you might know a lot more about this than I do – I lived it as a child, but never have as a parent.
Unschooling liberates us from that schedule, and, instead, we tend to follow more natural rhythms, based on readiness to sleep or wake. There are four of us, and we often flow at four different rates.
It’s not quite 8 am, Thursday, December 29, as I write this. There’s no school this week, but, if there was, I would be hearing the bus trundle by anytime now. We live in the country, without a lot of traffic, and, if I’m awake, that bus is hard to miss.
Jeremiah’s in the kitchen, making macaroni and cheese and eating Cracked Pepper and Sea Salt Triscuits. We chatted for a few minutes; I haven’t slept yet, and he’s just getting up. Neither my Accomplice or I remembered to set up the coffeepot for the morning brew, so he was willing to do that when I asked.
Lise is asleep. She was still up after 2 am, chatting with one of her best friends from a neighboring state via Skype, and filming a new Littlest Pet Shop drama sketch she thought of earlier in the day.
I can’t imagine having to compel these growing kids with interests and circadian rhythms of their own to go to bed at a certain time, regardless of how busy their minds might be, or what they might be in the middle of. I can’t imagine having to drag them our of pleasant dreams and needed sleep, to rush them through morning routines so they could get on that loud, smelly, intrusive bus….
But most of all, I can’t imagine losing out on all the nighttime namaste, the flowing of four people from sleep to waking, each of us in our own orbit. Because, often, at night, those orbits intersect, and there is conversation, connection, and wonder in it.