Pride has an identity crisis.
Pride can be a vice or a virtue.
No one will fault you for being proud of your kids.
But if you turn that pride inward? If you grew up going to church you will hear Bible verses ringing in your ears:
Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall. Proverbs 16:18
I’ve been thinking about pride.
I’m proud of my vehicles. I like them clean and shiny. It’s hereditary. We never had new cars growing up but what we did have always looked new.
Our RV doesn’t look new. She’s actually in great shape with just a spot of rust.
The problem is her paint. She was stored outside in Florida, under a tree. Add to that known paint issues with white 90’s-era vans and she looks like a rolling case of automotive eczema.
We are restoring her. We spent days buffing the good spots on her paint. I’ve been repainting other bits and pieces. Eventually she’ll look good again.
I find myself telling that story (great shape, just bad paint - but we’re fixing her up) to everyone.
I’m scared you’ll base your opinion of me on how our RV looks.
As homeschoolers we are proud of our kids. And we often take pride in them.
It’s not easy to homeschool. Your family questions you. Society questions you.
Random internet trolls question you.
Who are you to do the work of education professionals?
You know that point in every superhero movie where it looks like the villain will win?
Homeschooling can feel like that. And we want our kids to be the superhero who finally finds enough strength in their powers to overcome the villain.
We’ve invested so much in our kids. We’d like them to “come back from behind” with results that we can take back to naysayers and throw in their face as proof of our homeschool success.
A full-ride scholarship. The next killer app. A new business.
We’re scared that you will base your opinion of us on how our kids do on their own.
Harrison - our oldest - has been on his own for a little over a year and a half. He works on a factory production line in a local furniture company.
Miranda just started a 3rd shift job at the same company. From our campground it’s a 3-mile bike ride through a sleepy small town.
Both of them.
Did we fail?
Harrison has good friends. He’s involved in the music ministries at several local churches. He’s planning a months-long mission trip this fall. His employer is making sure his job will be there for him afterwards.
Miranda rode up at 7AM with a smile on her face. After getting beat up at a couple of our WWOOFing stays she’s getting positive feedback from this job. She’s learning it quickly and already keeping up with the pace on a couple stations.
As I write this, the song Simple Man by Lynyrd Skynyrd is playing. The song is a mother speaking to her son. She says:
All that I want for you my son, Is to be satisfied.
Satisfaction. And Mom doesn’t want it from her son. She wants it for her son.
Mom knows it’s not about her.
She’s learned to set aside her pride.
What you think of me is your choice. It may be based on my writing, my vehicles, my kids, or any other of a 100 factors.
But it’s not about me. And it’s not about your opinion of me.
I’m learning to set aside my pride.
And accept what God has blessed us with. And accept who He has made in me. And my wife. And my kids.
That’s what it’s about.