More School

Today, my youngest daughter starts high school. Time flies, sure, but it seems so long ago she first started school, a tiny girl. She was homeschooled until third grade, on our 100 acres, where I worked at home in our maple sugaring business, and at certain times in the year worked incredibly hard. It was a kind of life that, in retrospect I suppose, made some kind of sense to the adults.

When she was seven, she wanted to go to school. So, I sent her. Since then, she’s pretty much always loved school. Last night, I noticed she had packed so many bags, she appeared to be making a semi-move to the high school, approximately an 11-minute walk from our door.

Like anyone else, I’ve made a zillion — no, a zillion and a half — mistakes as a parent, some just downright terrible. But one thing I did realize at a certain point with my older daughter was that this is her life, and if I wanted her to live her own life with authority and imbued with her own female empowerment, I had to realize her life is different than mine. My own adult ideas, 90% or so of them, might as well go by the wayside.  Although I’m not in any way about to vacate the parenting scene, isn’t work out your own philosophy inevitably where the raising children scenario leads?

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Derby, Vermont

By Brett Ann Stanciu

Brett Ann Stanciu lives with her two daughters in Hardwick, Vermont. Her creative nonfiction book, Unstitched: My Journey to Understand Opioid Addiction and How People and Communities Can Heal, will be published by Steerforth Press in September 2021. Her novel about rural life in Vermont, Hidden View, was published in 2015.

4 comments

  1. Hardest lesson ever. And yet, one of the most liberating. Penny is, at this very moment, dropping off Fin for a four-month wilderness semester far away from here. It’s a whole new paradigm

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