As we're headed into fall and the boys are gearing up for school I'm beginning to get invitations to be a part of various homeschooling activities. I often have to turn these down or work out a way to get the boys back and forth with Gary dropping them off and my picking them up.
My work schedule is erratic by design, but, between my husband and I, we make sure that schooling takes precedence over all other activities. From Monday through Friday everything else stops from about 8:30am to 3:00 or so and we focus on our books. On the days I can't be there, my husband oversees what I've laid out. It took two years to work the bugs out in this system, but by our third year we were rolling smoothly.
I don't give this a lot of thought unless I run across someone who disapproves of my working and homeschooling (can't be done right unless you're undivided), or working mothers in general, or homeschooling in general, or someone who thinks I'm not working enough or they're horrified because I'm talking about quitting work (must be lazy). I get all kinds and I've learned to blow past it. I'm a little worse for the wear, but my kids are better than fine.
This evening I got a call from a member of the first group. This is the woman who asked a circle of Christians to pray for my twelve year old son's soul last summer because she was concerned by his fascination with Stephen King type stories and images (Gee, can't imagine where he inherited that from . . . ). I learned about this because standing in this circle was my oldest son who had just helped her run a very successful VBS program. He repeated this to me because he found it amusing. I was not amused (I now know what my mother used to mean when she described herself as mad enough to"spit spiders"). So I haven't had a great deal to say to her since. I've not been rude, I've just kept my distance when we've run into one another.
This evening she delivered several small, veiled criticisms in the middle of otherwise pleasant statements. "I know you're really busy with your program and all, driving everywhere and working long hours, but I wanted you to know your kids could come to this if you had time . . . " and "Oh! I thought your husband did all the homeschooling so you could work. I guess I misunderstood . . ." Clearly my son wouldn't be interested in such dark things if I was home more.
She is from that same community of people who I just don't discuss writing with. In part because most don't understand (or think it's a waste of time or that I'm giving myself airs). I also don't mention that I write because I don't want to tell this community what I write. I'm not ashamed or embarrassed, I just don't want to hear about it--directly or indirectly. Just mentioning that I like science fiction is enough to raise several sets of heathen-seeking hackles.
I must confess though, that there's a morbid part of me that is dying to experience the response. Will they form a circle and pray for my soul too? Will I be overcome by a sudden urge to throw out my computer? Take up knitting? Learn to play the piano?
Burn all my books?