Hook, Catch and Release

Posted in Monthly at 10:20 am by Pasha

By Pasha Krise

Several years ago, I gathered up worms and gear to hook like-minded families onto a pole of optimism in a joint effort to create a new, unique educational opportunity for our children.

I caught a few. Those few caught a few more. We built “a school.”

Fast forward life from a kindergartener who no longer scribbles his name or writes numbers backwards. He is now a full-fledged boy of eight who stays up far beyond bedtime, engulfed in novels. Math is a point of joy, he is always craving the next way to learn, the next concept to master.

Smart and capable, he is. Easy to teach and flexible, he is not.

Here we are now, navigating a new playing field, as we have grown away from the school and are releasing it to be caught again by new families, new kindergarteners and youngsters who are not quite ready for the rigor of life. It is a hook, catch and release journey that has taught our family crucial life lessons; not just about education and learning, but about values and who we want to be.

More-so, it has taught me boundaries, hurt, joy, fear and tenacity. The journey has been paved by long stretches of ease in what we are doing, letting our kids learning unfold naturally, marred by potholes of anxiety, insecurity, and worry. As the past stretches farther behind us, I see clearly now that I should have taken the turn lane a year ago when it all started to become nothing like what I had envisioned for my family, and everything I did not.

I opened the doors to our little school four falls ago. This fall we will not return. This is what we need after travelling the same insanity-inducing, painful road for months too long.

For the sake of my release, and my soul, I am trying to let my heart heal without dwelling on the pain the journey caused. My tongue is tied up in a neat little bow so I cannot spit hate on the people behind the sting.

Instead, I am concentrating on being Compassionate, Kind, Loving and Merciful to the people surrounding me. Many families will stay at the school that we built, they will find the unschooling and flexible path there that works for their families. Long after I have released the negative energy of being voted off the board and then learning that the model I wanted for the school, would cease to exist, that hurt will be a distant memory.

I will put our family values and my children’s learning and education path first. I will march forward with my older children’s kindergarten years but a collection of sweet memories.

As I release the people, places, and things that bring negativity into my daily thoughts and actions, I will take in all the complicated positivity that my life continues to be.

I maintain that change is the hardest thing to make, but it is most-often the best thing we could imagine. Change will open opportunities, create growth within each of us, launch us into scary newness, it will make us who we are supposed to be.

My thoughts turn towards all the times that change turned me into the person I was always supposed to become. Between making the belly butterfly-inducing move to New York, taking a chance on a newspaper job, a move across seas, life as a wife and as a mother, This school. It has been a spectacular rollercoaster. Those changes have all changed me on a fundamental level, spurred my growth as a human, as a woman, as me.

As I embark on this new place and we find our footing along this slippery path, I pray for clarity, resilience, hope and security when the day-to-day will be challenging for my little people. I pray for strength and belief in the face of fear and trepidation.

Faith first and always, the old Hook, Catch and Release.