everyday homeschooling blog


Feb 14, 2013

The Unannounced Guest

MaryAnn Gaver

   This story happened on an ordinary spring day during our second year of homeschooling.  The only thing I changed is the name -- the name of the man who came knocking at our door...

    The boys and I looked out the sliding kitchen door to a tender April afternoon as we took the last bites of our turkey sandwiches.  After cleaning up their crumbs, each eight-year-old tucked the kitchen chairs back into place, and raced upstairs to brush their teeth without any reminders.  I knew that they were anxious to hear me continue reading Sunken Treasure by Gail Gibbons. 

     The dishwasher hummed quietly in the background as I took a deep breath and sank backward into the family room couch.  It felt great to sit down.  I reflected on the steady clip of that particular morning.  Music; done.  Math; done.  Lunch; done.

     Snuggling on the family room couch, we settled in to read.  I was sandwiched in the middle -- one twin pressed against each shoulder.  I began to read at the place we left off yesterday.  "Wind rips at the Atocha's sails.  Spray washes across the deck.  The 265 people aboard the ship are terrified.  Suddenly, a huge wave lifts the ship and throws it against a reef."  

     Just then we heard a loud knock on the door.  I wondered who it could be in the middle of the day.  As I opened the door, I recognized Java, a man who lived on the street behind us. 

     "Hi, Java,"  I tried to be friendly, but at the same time instinctively stepped outside on the front side walk instead of inviting him in.  

     "Don't ever let your kids into my yard again or I'm calling the police," he blurted out.  

      "What in the world is all of this about?" I asked.  But Java looked so angry that I left him standing on the front step and ran inside to call my husband Jay.  Thankfully, Jay's office is in town, so he left right away to come home. 

      Phone in hand, I went back outside to ask Java to explain to me what was going on.

      At that moment, I silently considered how the whole neighborhood knew that Java didn't like people coming into his yard, especially on his carpet-like grass.  I recalled a conversation we had at the back fence last summer, and how he shared his negative feelings about homeschoolers. 

     I stood there to hear an explanation from Java and wondered when the twins could have possibly been in his yard.  I glanced toward the driveway and waited to see when Jay would come riding in on his white horse car to save me from this unfriendly encounter.  

     ... How will my front- door scenario turn out?  Will it wreck the day or end amiably?  I'll let you know the rest of the story tomorrow...

     Until then, stay faithful in teaching!