Brains and bodies are funny sometimes, and they don't always agree.
Insomniacs know this very, very well. Birthing mothers, too. I bet marathon runners and survivalists and people with severe illness are familiar with the brain-body disagreement, also. It's weird: your brain is utterly convinced of something, and yet, your body proceeds seemingly unaware of the nervous system's instructions. And vice versa: sometimes the body knows something indubitably but cannot, through various chemical and mechanical signals, sway the brain to recognize the reality.
Woody woke up last night to get a drink of water at 4 in the morning. He couldn't fall back asleep. As he lay there, under warm quilts, trying to relax, trying to be still, I recognized a familiar stubborn wakefulness. I get insomnia from time to time, mostly in short bouts of two or three nights, every few months. But this has never happened to him. I bet he would have laid there for an hour or so doing his best not to be a disturbance in the bed where Fox slept soundly and I laid with my eyes closed. And on other days, I might have asked of him to do just that. But last night, I did open my eyes. I remembered something. Six years ago today, November 28, also a Monday at around the same time of the morning, I went into labor with this very child. The labor would be long; he wouldn't be born until Tuesday night. But, that morning back in 2005, I woke up Daddy Honey, thrilled, anxious, and got ready to do the work of birthing my boy.
When I turned and looked at Woody, he turned to look at me. He was smiling. I asked him if he wanted to go watch TV with me. He did.
We watched a quiet hour of cartoons, first G.I. Joe and then Transformers, both the versions I watched with my little sister Kate on Saturday mornings when we were growing up in the '80s. He loved them. He remembered over a year ago back in Tallahassee having caught the last ten minutes of G.I. Joe on TV, and told me he had been wanting to see it again ever since.
At 5 a.m. or maybe 5:30, I told him I was ready to go back to bed. I went. He stayed up another ten or fifteen minutes, they turned off the TV and followed.
This morning, I feel not entirely unlike I did in those first few days after his birth: tired, but happy.
My son Woody turned six in November of 2011. That would have been the kindergarten year for most kids, 180 days that mark the beginning of the school career. But Woody did his learning in the big, wide, beautiful world, without school being a part of it.
I'm Teresa Honey, and I kept this blog to document this time in my son's life, to share pictures and stories with far-away friends and relatives, and to add ours to the many stories of families living rich, engaging, loving lives with learning happening all the time and in many forms, totally inseparable from every other part of being human.
Here you'll find 180 or so learning moments recorded from August, 2011 to April, 2012 in the life of a 5-turned-6-year-old radically unschooled kid.