M was talking to me the other day about the sleep he gets in his eyes, after having brought it up a few times before. This time he asked me if I remove my sleep every morning. After answering that I do, I thought about how big the things that I no longer think about are to kids like M, whose life experience is so much less than mine.
I also thought back to how fearful I was, as a child, of the many things I didn’t understand concerning myself, my relationships, and the world-at-large – all of which felt like universes unto themselves. That fear was compounded by the atmosphere of fearfulness created by the adults in my life, as well as my own high sensitivity, which led to more anxiety and a limited ability to reason situations out or to understand outcomes. I also learned early on to be distrustful, and so was apprehensive about asking someone older for help; I ended up dealing with most of my frightening experiences alone.
Because of all of these factors, I grew not just around fear but also into it. And so when M asked me about the sleep in his eyes, I saw again how big life is for little people, and remembered how passionate I have always been about helping them to understand the world so that they can fear it far less than I did when I was small. Most importantly, I want to keep them from feeling that they have to face their fears alone.
I’m very glad for reminders like this of what motivates me to unschool, especially because there are still moments when I’m standing in fear, wondering what is “wrong” with me, why I am so weird and unconventional in my thinking.
But here again is my life’s purpose.