Today is/was my mother’s birthday.

…The woman who started it all, she taught me everything that I know about being a mom. Some things I learned because she modeled them, some things I learned because I was reacting to her choices. She was a creature of the 60s and 70s, a feminist who (once whe was done breastfeeding me and then assisting in my montessori preschool) believed that she should work really really hard outside of the home. I was a latch key kid for years, but she also volunteered at the school, and was open and kind and was willing to negotiate for everything. She thought everything about me was awesome, even when I came home with a shaved head and a tattoo. She also really thought my parenting style was wonderful, even all the ways that it differed from hers. She was a champion of my unschooling, though she was a committed school teacher. She dreamed for a while of quitting and coming to ‘help’ me unschool her grandchildren, she just couldn’t make the leap.

The last 20 years of her life she taught the gifted program at various schools around her county. The students adored her and at her memorial service in February I got the chance to meet a lot of them. Many of them thought of her as a second mom and they’re a testament to the fact that she had more than enough love for kids. She is still missed greatly by me, my children, my brother, and my father, as well as all the other wonderful lives she touched and made that much greater.


My mother LOVED this comic. I think it was her favorite of all time. She was a school teacher, and though she knew that I was an unschooler, she still held a belief that I must have a curriculum somewhere. I think this comic met that desire for her, but also clued her in to what she actually did know, that curriculum is about sometimes splashing in the bubbles. She printed this out and used to take it to school with her, I think, If I’m not mistaken that at least one of her former students is a fan now.

I certainly miss her, and today, August 11, is the six month anniversary of her death. Love you mom!