The Homeschool Mom: an honest rambling on a social life


The following is a bit of a non-creative ramble, but my head is swimming with thoughts and aches and the overwhelming successes of being a Christian homeschool mom.

***

When I decided to homeschool Isaac, it surprised me as much as anything ever has.

Homeschooling can feel like your house turns into a boat. You turn in your Intent to Homeschool, and then they shove you out into the ocean.

Many days I do feel shoved-off in a boat or ship-wrecked on an island, but I know that our small lives right now are simple for a beautiful reason, and it isn’t to be turned inward to make ourselves feel holier than the rest of ’em. We don’t homeschool because we’re afraid the world will teach our children the words to Katy Perry songs.

I’m actually just as likely to walk around singing, “Baby, you’re a firework” as any kindergartener is.

I homeschool because I want our family to be together. I want to be my childrens’ teacher. I want to hold fast with them, to grow in faith with them, and to lead them into their maturity. I believe that I am best suited for that job. I also believe it will be a year-to-year and child-to-child decision for us.

But there are some things about it that I don’t want to admit. They do as we do, so they reveal every ounce of my anxiety, my stubbornness, my lack of discipline, and my rebellion against authority. I’m forced to suffer or either correct myself before they can be taught.

They do as we do, so they also take cues from us in social settings.

That is the problem. Our social settings have reduced considerably. Friends whose children went on to public school are in sight and in mind. As a homeschool mom, I tend to be out-of-sight and then so are my children. We just don’t get out much! I’m learning that I must make room in my schedule and thinking for other moms and children, who are all mostly out of sight from my little apartment.

I’m learning that in this phase of life, having deep, meaningful friendships takes true intentionality and time. It doesn’t just happen anymore. I’m sure, too, this can be true for those of you with public school kids.

My desire for my children to play with others does not supercede how wonderful it is to cuddle on the couch with a pile of books or to tell my children daily about the Scarlet Thread that runs through the Bible.  I do think the time any child spends with his parents will greatly influence the way he treats others.

What’s your take? We can have a respectable conversation here, can’t we? What about the social aspect of homeschooling? What honest social negatives and positives have you experienced in home education and public education? Why is it even important?

PS: Published comments are respectful comments to all involved parties.
amberhaines
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30 Comments

Kelly @ Love Well
Reply February 14, 2011

We don't homeschool (our oldest two are currently in a private school), but I still relate to what you've described. Do you think it could be a stage-of-life thing as much as a schooling-choice thing? (Or maybe it's because we've combined frequent moves with parenting young children?)

All I know is, I have to be super intentional these days to nourish friendships. We don't have relationships that are already deeply rooted in our lives. (See: Frequent moves.) We are still in the spring stage of relationship-building. And since our children are young and require SO MUCH of us, we find it difficult to do anything outside of our ship. (I don't feel like a land-dweller.)

    Amber
    Reply February 14, 2011

    Kelly, I think you're right, that it's just our phase of life, really. Maybe homeschooling makes it a little easier to feel disconnected because I'm not running across friends as I go about our routine. A move has to be so difficult in that realm!

kendal
Reply February 14, 2011

i said in my last comment that our church is probably 70% homeschool families. those kids have some deep friendships through church. and around here, there are groups for homeschoolers - the parents share the load by offering classes in their expertise - it's like a co-op. and they do field trips together. they seem okay socially to me....most of the parents i talk with are homeschooling for the same reason you are - they feel lead by god, inadequate, but happy being together.

    Amber
    Reply February 14, 2011

    kendal, this is the direction we're moving in as well, and I'm very grateful. I'm clumsily finding my way into this new realm. It's like the motherhood version of going from being the big kid in middle school to being freshman in high school.

Danelle
Reply February 14, 2011

Hi Amber,
Quick question and I am sorry to be posting it on a comment page. . I could comment a bit about homeschooling too. .but I have a question. . I am trying to submit a piece of writing to INCOURAGE. . what does it need to be written as? I have it as a word processor document that I am trying to attach and it won't take. . . please help if you have a second. I don't know what they want me to type it in as on my computer. Thanks so much! Couldn't find your email link. . .

    Amber
    Reply February 14, 2011

    Danelle, I wish I knew. Have you tried DMing Lisa-Jo or Holly?

Airs
Reply February 14, 2011

Total ramble comment for you...

Homeschooling can be like being out in that ocean, but at the same time, when they were in school we were so busy with school things that we never had the time or energy left over to get together with people or just hang out. Because we were all split up all week, weekends were for family things because we all desperately needed the reconnect time.

For the aspect of us just "getting out", not related to relationship building necessarily, but being out and about in the world - we do have to be intentional about that, but again, we did before. The only out and about was to and from school. It is a product of having little ones I think, this time is so much about learning how to just be. We obviously have way more time to be out and about now that we have each day together.

I've noticed that my kids are much happier finding that friend or two and that's enough - they don't need a gaggle of bffs and at the same time can be comfortable in a larger group of rather unknown kids (like at church for example) which is a rather new development. I've noticed our heavy "training" if you want to call it that, on just plain how to treat other humans, has greatly influenced their social skills - they just know how to treat people.

Also, maybe this is just us, but they really are each others' best friends. So when kids come over that we've met somewhere, they all play all together. It feels sortof village living. The ages don't break off and go do their own thing, everyone finds something to do together.

Other "social" things we noticed from when they were in school compared to now being at home...their attitudes are different. We started to have a big problem with them taking on other bad attitudes from the class, sarcastic tones, a spirit of discontent I guess. This is just our experience, but when the majority of the day was spent *not* with me or my husband, and instead with what I guess is the normal cross section of kids at school - they came home different people. And I had great difficulty sortof deprogramming them from that.

I think the risk of isolation is probably increased if you are a homeschool mom, but for me personally I was never into PTA or getting involved in all the activities at school. It just wasn't me. So I don't feel more isolated than the normal isolation a mom with young ones would feel - and both homeschool or not I have had to be intentional about seeking out relationships (even tho I'm not there yet, for other personal reasons unrelated).

When we took this leap my biggest "thing" was sacrificing all that time with the kids in school and only one home. It was a nice break and dedicated time to the little one was very good for him. In the end I thought that I'd go crazy having them all home all day, because the weekends and holidays were pure heck trying to get everyone to get along and just be happy. I dreaded it and felt like it was me giving up "so much" by agreeing to have them home 24/7. However, what I've noticed is that now since this is our way, I don't feel like "Oh God they're home all day". We're used to it. I do get date nights and now and then have bloggy travel that helps, but since I have special needs kids I know they're best with this arrangement because I see them totally thriving. Whatever cons there are to this arrangement, there are always solutions. There's always a way to make me feel less isolated or to get them social interactions or etc etc etc. It doesn't mean sending them to school, it just means getting creative. I sortof think this is how parenting is though. As the needs pop up, you fill them, you solve them.

As an aside, I have been reading some great sites w/moms of older homeschooling kids, and there are all kinds of things for the older ones to get involved in. Even co-ops and such that are pretty sweet.

(just for reference, my kids were in school for 2 yrs, homeschooled a yr, back in school in a new city/home for a month, and now back to homeschool. we've been able to see very well the differences btwn being at school and at home - but it doesn't always work for everyone.)

(sorry for the novel!)

    Amber
    Reply February 14, 2011

    OH Airs,

    There is no way for me to tell you how I love thee. I love this comment. I'm such a newbie at it all.

    I do have very meaningful relationships that have remained and deepened. Those are the friendships that also feed my children both socially and spiritually. They have "uncles and aunts" and spiritual cousins as well. It's that family relationship we have within the body of Christ that is working here. I'm appreciating God's design in this more than ever.

    I'm so grateful God put you in my life.

Airs
Reply February 14, 2011

Oh Amb, I know. It's hard when friends move on just because of not having one thing in common any more... I think this has more to do with the lasting potential than the x factor that caused it (i.e. the x factor in this case being homeschooling). Does that make sense? It's sortof like the true heart long term friends don't stop seeking you out just because it's no longer convenient. Not saying that definitely happend here, but maybe it did? You just grew apart, but maybe that was going to happen no matter what?

Danelle
Reply February 14, 2011

I have no idea what a DM is? Don't laugh. I'm a pencil and paper kind of girl. LOL! I appreciate your fast reply. As soon as I figure out how to send this story I can tell you my take on homeschooling. I've been doing it now for four years. . two boys. .they are 8 & 7. I totally get what you are talking about here. . . :) Thanks!

Shannon
Reply February 14, 2011

I was actually going to do a short series on why we are in the public schools because I have so many friends who homeschool and/or use private schools! It's always made me a little sad within this family, this Body that the conversations about schooling, mothering, etc. can't be more encouraging and helpful. Do we just have so much a stake because it's about kids and that brings out our insecurities? Or is it our tendancy toward legalism? Seems every view can become dogma instead of sisters just coming alongside each other as we work through these hard decisions for our families. Amber, I think your humility and open heart made that a little more possible here - all of the comments seemed genuine and not really attacking one view... as I have seen on some sites. I think I AM rambling now but that's what I appreciated most about your post. THAT, and it gave me a window into one of the challenges of homeschooling so that I can be more sensitive to my friends who do it! Thanks for your ramble...

    Amber
    Reply February 14, 2011

    No, seriously, Shannon - thank YOU.

Kelly Sauer
Reply February 14, 2011

Amber, I was in and out of schools growing up - public, private, homeschool - and I hated public school (got in trouble for talking about God at EIGHT YEARS OLD - would you believe it?), liked private school, and sailed through homeschool.

The early school structure I gained in school really served me while I was homeschooled - there was already a system in place for me to produce work. But the in and out, the umpty-dozen moves we made throughout my childhood, I never really made any friends. Now I'm walking into a career I didn't quite plan on having, and I'm actually being faced with the choice as to whether I will homeschool or not. At this point, I don't have time to do it, and I'm thinking something is going to have to go if I do want to school my kids at home. While I can't really picture doing anything else, I'm trying to be open to possibilities.

On the other hand, my oldest is quite the social butterfly, and she would THRIVE with other children in an organized setting, so I'm seriously considering what it might mean to let her go to school. (I'd earn my parents' disapproval for sure, but I've got that already anyway...)

I'm already pretty isolated where I am, so homeschooling wouldn't really change that for me at all. I don't have friends who would leave me behind if I was homeschooling - in fact, a lot of my friends would probably look cross-eyed at me if I SENT my kids to school! Sending your kids to public school is the equivalent of neglect in my circles!

But if I started sending my kids to school, there would be a whole new range of activities in which I would need to be involved, and I don't know if I could handle more busy on top of what I've got already. This is really such an individual decision, and I'm just grateful that mine is only three, that I don't have to consider it too hard for another couple of years yet.

I totally get what y'all are saying about phase of life. I've been wondering that myself. This is the time when it's pretty much just us and God, isn't it?

Donna
Reply February 14, 2011

I feel as much isolation being a mom with kids in a private school who works outside of the home at a job that helps pay the bills. Time is a precious and rare commodity for me and I would much rather spend any spare time I have outside of my office with my husband and kids than with other women in shallow meaningless conversation about shoes and hair. I have a bestie and she is the best bff in the world. Low maintenance and yet out relationship with each other is so full of our relationships individually with Christ. It's one of the best, most healthy friendships I've ever had.
I just want to say that I appreciate reading your heart about it as homeschooling is something that I've always said I'd never do that now I think I'd love. Never say never, right?

Amy
Reply February 14, 2011

Just want to say that I very much enjoyed your post - and the comments...

I homeschooled my oldest for Kindergarten... it was so fun. Then I started college and didn't have time, so off he went to public. Now he is about to enter middle school and for various reasons we are seriously looking into homeschooling him again (although my daughter, quite the social butterfly, is excelling in 1st grade at public - we will leave her in public as long as it is working for her.) My son's request was that if we homeschooled, he would want to be involved in some group activities, classes or sports and get involved with a homeschooling co-op... I think that's quite a reasonable request.

Anyway, many of the homeschooled children I have watched grow up over the years have come along well - even better socialized maybe than the kids who spent all day only interacting with peers. Homeschooled kids have more experience in real-world interactions with people - adults included. So here's hoping that being different doesn't mean being worse-off. ;)

Danielle
Reply February 14, 2011

I think it's some ways a phase of life thing and homeschooling might just emphasis it right now.

My kids are 3.5 and 6 months and I intend on homschooling them at this point. But I still feel like you right now. With a baby, we tend to stay home more in this season for naps and such. It takes MUCH intention to get out and hang with other moms and kids. Partly because a lot of other kids their age have older siblings who are either in school already or are being homeschooled so mornings are used for those activities. My kids take naps still in the afternoon, so it can be really hard to make the connection. But it's worth the mayhem! :)

From a different perspective, I was also homeschooled for 12 years before going to a 4 year college and getting a double major. I think as you move into the older grades/age ranges you will find it easier to get out of your house boat. :) As your kids' interests broaden and grow, no doubt there will be more co-ops, field trips, community drama, debate teams, and piano lessons to make you long for the at home days! :) When I was in upper elementary grades and high school we were home less and gone more!

Anyway, definitely feel what you're feelin' these days myself!

Jessica Y
Reply February 14, 2011

My response is in the same "rambling" spirit... IHaving done both homeschool and public school I have noticed this. It is a choice. If I send my kids to school, my "intentional-ness" has to be on quality family and kid time. My kids are gone all day essentially 7-8 hours and when they get home, the race is on. The battle while they are in school is the battle for time with them. When my kids were home, it was different...we had the all the family time in the world :) My battle then, was to maintain a "social life" ...and really if I am honest it was about me..not them... they were content with their siblings and time with neighbors in the afternoon. I also felt that at their age, that was enough. It was more a battle for me. My friends were in carpool, bible study and then having lunch. Make any sense. Either way....

RuthintheDesert
Reply February 14, 2011

When it comes to social skills, we like to say that we want our children to gain skills from people who already have them. :) I am not convinced that spending hours every day with one's peers encourages one to develop better manners, godly conversations, or humble and pleasant attitudes.

Our kids are at church three or four times a week--they get tons of interaction with kids and adults there. I love the way homeschool allows a more natural socialization--interactions with people of all ages rather than just those so very close to one's own age. I think that is a better preparation for life. I don't know any adults who spend their days surrouded by peers within a year of their own age.

As a homeschool graduate myself, homeschooling was a natural and obvious choice.

RuthintheDesert
Reply February 14, 2011

I love the way homeschooling allows me to rearrange my schedule. I don't have to think about picking a child up at a certain time! This allows me to go to a morning Bible study (where my kids help younger children) or take a morning off for a manicure.

LoraLynn
Reply February 14, 2011

Arianne is right, your kids become each other's best friends. (with a little help from you.) We brain wash them from birth, "Your brother is your best friend..." But I think homeschooling binds us together as a family more. As far as mommy relationships and friends, see if there's a homeschool support group in your area or a co-op. It's sad to say, but homeschooling does seem to be that line in the sand that some relationships can't quite survive. Not because you weren't friends, but because suddenly your days are so different. This is also just a season. A lot of homeschool moms of older kids are rarely home, taking them from one co-op to another. But this is the season you are investing in being still, soaking up the minutes, and character training. Online friends are a huge resource to us techy homeschool moms. Hugs to you, my friend. Wish you lived closer, I'd drag you along with me to support group meetings!

emily freeman
Reply February 15, 2011

My twins are in public school in first grade. In a way, it feels private-ish because it's a smaller magnet school for the arts, so they learn violin and do drama and dance and all the wonderful things I love and never did in school. But I still struggle with the things you share here. I always assumed once my kids started school that there would be more time to connect with people, but that hasn't been the case. I keep waiting for it, and I'm starting to see how intentional I still have to be with people. Maybe more?

@KellySauer - I so get the "I'm walking into a career I didn't plan on having" Me. Too. It's becoming part of the plan now, but I definitely wasn't imagining this way back when I was pregnant that first time. It changes the ballgame a little. I'm thankful that my friends don't see public school as neglect (!!) b/c that would certainly make our lives difficult. It sure takes daily Jesus trust, this whole parenting, schooling, mothering, loving thing.

@Amber - thanks for this post. I like listening to your honest about homeschooling and life.

    Amber
    Reply February 15, 2011

    I have two great comments that my blog will not approve. Grrrrr.

    One is from waymorehomesmade:

    I feel as much isolation being a mom with kids in a private school who works outside of the home at a job that helps pay the bills. Time is a precious and rare commodity for me and I would much rather spend any spare time I have outside of my office with my husband and kids than with other women in shallow meaningless conversation about shoes and hair. I have a bestie and she is the best bff in the world. Low maintenance and yet out relationship with each other is so full of our relationships individually with Christ. It’s one of the best, most healthy friendships I’ve ever had.
    I just want to say that I appreciate reading your heart about it as homeschooling is something that I’ve always said I’d never do that now I think I’d love. Never say never, right?

      Amber
      Reply February 15, 2011

      Another comment that won't publish is from In a Mirror Dimly:

      I was actually going to do a short series on why we are in the public schools because I have so many friends who homeschool and/or use private schools! It’s always made me a little sad within this family, this Body that the conversations about schooling, mothering, etc. can’t be more encouraging and helpful. Do we just have so much a stake because it’s about kids and that brings out our insecurities? Or is it our tendancy toward legalism? Seems every view can become dogma instead of sisters just coming alongside each other as we work through these hard decisions for our families. Amber, I think your humility and open heart made that a little more possible here – all of the comments seemed genuine and not really attacking one view… as I have seen on some sites. I think I AM rambling now but that’s what I appreciated most about your post. THAT, and it gave me a window into one of the challenges of homeschooling so that I can be more sensitive to my friends who do it! Thanks for your ramble…

V. Higgins
Reply February 15, 2011

I'm not a momma so I can't speak from that perspective but I was homeschooled all the way through the end of high school (then went on to a 4 year degree). I don't know what my mom did when my sister and I were little (kindergarten-early grades) but I know by 4th grade or so we were involved in a co-op where we met up with other kids and learned different subjects from different parents. By middle school we were in a homeschool sports group, I was involved in the city summer swim program and by high school we were both involved in debate or drama classes. My senior year I did some of my 'courses' via the local community college (which did double duty for credit towards my high school diploma and my GE courses for my bachelor's).
I don't know what kind of resources your local community has for homeschool kids, is there a state home school convention? That might be a good place to start to find out what all is available to you. They're usually held in the summer months, in Arizona the group is AFFHE (Arizona Families for Home Education).
I think you are so brave for opening yourself up about this on your blog, I know homeschooling can be a divisive topic (if my husband and I ever send our kids to a public school, all hell is going to break lose with my parents and sister, even though I totally believe in each-year, each-kid). I hope you find some support and don't worry about socializing with your boys, just being together with their siblings and playing with the neighborhood kids in the afternoon will provide a lot of socialization, as they get older more opportunities will open up to socializing with all age ranges.

V. Higgins
Reply February 15, 2011

Oh, and another place to do something out of the house - the local library. That was one of my favorite things to do when I was little, they had book-character bingo, all kinds of reading times and mini-classes, I'm sure Mom enjoyed the time where she knew my sister and I were looked after and learning something so she could just sit still and breathe. :-P

Amber
Reply February 15, 2011

I keep wanting to respond with comments, but I actually think I'll respond with a post.

Soon! Thank y'all for making me feel like a person.

Jo@Mylestones
Reply February 15, 2011

So I am late piping in, but I just have to ditto what Kelly and Emily and all those lovely people in the boxes above said. This stage where my oldest is school-aged (gasp!) and my youngest is embarking on preschool.....it is much less conducive to regular "connection" with other moms/children/families unless I am super intentional about it. It's amplified by the fact that, like Kelly, we've moved recently.
My first grader is in public school for now, but knowing we're likely to move every 3 years or so, I know homeschooling is in our future for at least a few of the years. We're going to take it year by year and child by child.
You've written before how it all comes back to the heart, and it does, even in this. Especially in this.

p.s. Your Katy Perry comment cracked me up. I just adore you.

Caroline@carolinecollie
Reply February 15, 2011

I am thankful to be reading this conversation! Social skills have always been part of the concern for me as I've considered homeschooling and I loved the comment that you need to hang out with people who have social skills in order to gain them!

My first impression was that homeschooled kids struggled socially, but honestly, the more adults I've come to know who were homeschooled as kids, the more impressed I've been with results. That being said, I've recently gotten to know a couple of kids in my neighbourhood who are homeschooled and seem "concerningly" out in left field ... I don't want to list out the reasons why I say this, so trust me. But the more I learn about these kids parents, the more I recognise that homeschooling has very little to do with their poor social skills or inappropriate behaviour toward adults. Perhaps they might have a greater tendency to model their parents because they are a much stronger influence in their lives, but I can't help but think they'd pretty much be this way anyway.

I think it might take an honest look in the mirror -- the type of self-reflection you mentioned above, Amber, to say "Am I who I want my kids to model?" before taking the leap.

I really appreciate you saying you feel you're best suited for the job of educating your kids. I feel the same way, but feel almost prideful -- or perhaps feel like I'm disrespecting my Mom who taught in public school for 30 years -- when I admit it.

Thanks for starting this conversation!

Kristen@Moms Sharpening Moms
Reply February 15, 2011

Love the conversation here, Amber! I love your heart, too. How blessed your babies are to have you!

I am a Mama who has done it all...public, private, charter and homeschooling. Right now our kids are attending a school similar (I think) to one Emily described above. We love it and it works for us...right now! A different season may bring a different choice. It's such a personal thing, and the choice we make depends on variables unique to our family and God's call for our family. I heard Ari ask before why would someone presume to know what God wants for someone else's life? Or another family's life? So true. We can't pridefully assume that what's best for us is God's design for everyone.

As someone who has homeschooled before-and NOT very well-I give you a big standing ovation for the job you're doing. It is a high calling! Homeschooling Mamas are my heroes!

And on the social front...my kids have always been playmates to a few close friends or neighbors who often don't go to their school. So, other than a few birthday parties from classmates, their socializing is often done with kids away from their school.

Erika
Reply February 20, 2011

Dear Amber,

Hi! My name is Erika, I'm a newbie follower who's a little late to the scene of this conversation . . . ☺

I love the "social" question when it pertains to homeschooling. I remember, as a young schooled-at-home girl, hearing this inquiry roll off the tongues of many a concerned family member and friend - more frequently and with greater fervor, even, then the question, "Will they get a good education being home-schooled?” Hmm . . .

This is my first year homeschooling our three young lads, and again this question has surfaced to intersect with my radar . . . Last night, I was sharing company over coffee with a friend I hadn’t seen in quite some time. She was noticeably surprised to learn that I was teaching our boys at home. Do you know what her first question was? “What about your boys’ social life?” One can’t help but think when this question hits hard again and again, “Has it become a reality that it is more important to know how to relate in public society then it is to know how to be a family?” But, I don’t think that’s always the heart of the question. Nor, is it always about throwing people for loops by breaking through norms.

I wondered and asked again and again if the “social” question was rooted in something deeper. What is the origin of thought that provokes it? For me, having an understanding of possibly what something is fixated in, helps me deliver my own reflections on why we choose the variety of paths we walk as a familial fellowship.

It seems to me, that inherently in our humanity is woven a knowing that life is about and for relationship, whether we identify with this verbally or it just sits in our gut, I think we are informed by design. We know that relationships – maybe more then anything - is what it means to be human on a very foundational and fundamental level. The “social” question - with this thought in mind - as it’s communicated to the homeschooling parent could just as easily be said like this, “If your kids don’t go where every other kid goes, how are they going to be human?”

It’s a fair question. Can it only be answered through each individual world-view on relationship and what is most important to each family? Does it just come down to a matter of preference and personal values and what your unique family “voice” is designed to be, knowing that the collective expressions lend a stretched awareness to the creativity of who God is? My pride would say that I have discovered a better way, but I am learning not to listen to its’ persuasive voice.

We homeschool because we want to be together, to express family as it beats in our hearts. We homeschool because we will never get these young-child years back, but our boys, if needed, have their whole lives to play catch-up socially. We homeschool because we have so much to inspire to our kids, but had too little time when they were gone all day, everyday. We homeschool because I woke up one spring morning with a desire to teach my kids burning in my belly and I did not put it there. We homeschool because I don’t want to look back in twenty years with a regretful heart and think, “Man, I wish I had taken that time to be with them”. We homeschool because we believe that we are best qualified to equip our lads with the tools they will need to navigate a variety of relationship challenges now and in the future. We homeschool because I still need "raising" and our kids are a portal to the ugliness inside my soul. The list goes on and on in selfish and un-selfish reasons.

Having said that, we consider ourselves blessed to live actively and intentionally with a village of exquisite people and their children, so I don’t see much of a difference in the relational qualities of our boys; even though ours are the only homeschooled kids, it doesn’t seem to have had any negative affect on their young friendships.

On a personal note, what I know of who you are - as exquisitely communicated for your readers - resonates profoundly with my heart. There are small and large details of our lives that parallel uncannily and it makes me want to share stories over hot beverages of choice. :)

Love,
Erika

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