How Has This Changed Us . . . part Four of What to Do When DCFS Comes Knocking
How has this Changed Us?
"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience." - C.S. Lewis
Thankfully, I don’t suffer from chronic doubt as a parent or homeschool mother, so I have not changed how I parent or homeschool as a result of this report. This was difficult to do in some ways, especially early on when I knew that the reporter was still scrutinizing our family, but I still resisted doing things differently. That is not to say I don’t think about how my decisions will be perceived by others. When my children go outside and get dirty and then we go to the grocery store, I wonder what someone might think of my dirty children who just had a blast playing soccer in our muddy yard. Or after they have played house in our front yard, complete with mud pies and acorn soup, and I have cleaned them up, but their fingernails still have traces of mud under them, will someone think, perhaps they should be investigated by family services? Aside from these fears, I am still generally the same mother I was then, except I spend a lot more time in front of the computer. Now that I’m finished writing this, I hope that changes.
Most of the change in me is in my hesitancy in relationships. I’m not as open or vulnerable as I used to be. I don’t like being so reserved but feeling this way has taught me why protecting freedom in America is so important even on an emotional level. I had a difficult time knowing if I should share with people because the story was so long and complicated and most people don’t have the patience or the interest to listen to someone they are just getting to know. So I wrote this not just for myself, but for those of you who would like to know what happened. I will be happy to never have to tell the story again.
The only major change in activities is that we are no longer enrolled in that dance studio. We live in the same house, have the same extracurricular teachers, attend the same homeschool co-op with the same teachers, have a new dance studio where my son also dances and have enjoyed several new activities since.
I teach a memory period class in which the students learn geography, review Latin and history, memorize presidents, songs, and are introduced to other random information I bring in that day (What country suffered damage from a hurricane this weekend?). When we were learning the national anthem, one of the students asked with mild exasperation, “What is so great about America anyway? Why is it America this and America that!” I wanted to say America is a free country but . . . well . . . what does that even mean?
What does it mean to you?