While pondering my 7 day vacation to Hawaii, and also pondering my plan to fill out an application to Montessori School for Little J, I had to pause and consider what my free time really means to me at this stage of my life.  What do I hope to learn, and how do I want to feel from this day forward?

I had created a loosely-timed itinerary of each activity I wanted to do while on the island of Oahu.  Only one little island, and so much to see!  Truly.  People will tell you, ‘Bah! Maui is so much better.  Kauai is the most beautiful.’  We decided to stick with Oahu, and I found loads of things to try.  All I had to do was scour the internet for about an hour a day.  In no time, thanks to Tripadvisor.com and Yelp.com, I had entries on my excel spreadsheet to see or attempt or taste, for a full week.  The husband and I hit the ground running every morning before 8:00am.

There’s a strong memory in my brain of my mother apologizing to me once, when I was an adult, out of college.  She apologized that we never went on big trips when I was a kid.  It wasn’t that we didn’t have the money.  It was more that we were so packed into dance classes or theater rehearsal commitments throughout my childhood.  The farthest places we visited were usually our grandparents houses.  Now, I insisted that I never felt my life was lacking, not one bit.  I hoped this appeased her.  I feel very lucky to have such fun-loving parents.  Both of my parents love to try new things.

So here’s where the education part comes in.  Isn’t it so important to teach our children about the world in as many ways as possible?  What if, I asked myself, I was one of those parents who unschooled and possibly took her children to the farthest places possible?  What if I introduced them to other cultures instead of video games?  Wouldn’t that be grand?  Clearly, Little J’s parents love to jump in the ocean and swim with sea turtles.  We love to go to historical museums.  We like to hike.  I still want him to learn to read and spell and do algebra.  He is most definitely going to go to school (and let’s hope public schools suffice for at least half a dozen years.)  But, I confess that I lurk BIG TIME on some homeschool moms’ blogs.  I read posts about the vagabonding life of Rolf Potts.  Then, I ask myself why staying in Northern California, being a dancer or a theater artist was so gosh-darn necessary, really, that I missed the chance to go river rafting or to see Paris when I was 12?

I guess the answer is that was what I was doing then.  I was happy to do it.  And now, I am interested in lots and lots of other things, too.