We've Reached the End of the Alphabet Path

Alphabet_pictures_044Late in the summer of 2007, I was rather melancholy. Michael had left for college. I had a baby approaching a first birthday and lots of other birthdays looming on the horizon. In my thoughts and prayers, I wanted the mama who started a home education adventure with Michael to sit down with the mama who just left her first child at college and was wondering how to muster the enthusiasm to offer the same adventure to her very young children. I wanted the experienced mama to benefit from the enthusiastic, idealistic mama. Mostly, though, I wanted to capture the joy for my children and to commit again to being a good mama.

Through the end of August and most of September, I mused aloud in this space. I was pretty much misunderstood and for the first time in my life, I comprehended the limitations of words. It was a very lonely time. Lonely times are good, though. They provide clarity like no other time can.

During that time, there was a dear friend who was hearing what I was writing and understanding it perfectly. She knew what I was trying to convey here and she knew what I was holding close to my heart.Privately, we shared ideas and theories with a joy that comes so rarely in a lifetime. While people parsed words and bandied about arguments, we began to dream a story. Just when the chatter around us reached its loudest cacophony, Katherine retreated quietly to create something beautiful.

Katherine took very best I ever dreamed for my children and made it so much more beautiful. She understood that what I wanted was an intentional education, rich in faith and literature and beauty and creativity. She wove it all into a beautiful package and surprised me with it one morning.

"I stayed up all night creating this blog," she said. "I think I got right. You can do what good teachers do. You can show, instead of tell."

And so it was that I was formally introduced to Michael and Mrs. Applebee. The story, the art, the books--it was all like we had imagined it would be in those long conversations together. Only it was so much better.

DSC_1039 After the first few installments, I began to write the stories, to weave the magic of it all, happy again to be creating a beautiful education for my children. And then, my daughter began to collaborate, writing stories to delight her little sisters. Time went on and we were blessed with other contributors.Kindred spirits caught the vision and help to convey it.Good mamas who were caught up in the enthusiasm of great education. Serendipity became more than just the Alphabet Path. And over time, The Alphabet Path story grew and grew and grew until Cindy designed a website so that we could find our places easily.

Today, we find ourselves at the end of The Alphabet Path. Our characters--now a part of our family culture-- have reached the end of their adventure. Every single contributor on Serendipity has had or will have a new baby this school year. We've only just begun. God has smiled on us and blessed us with precious new souls to share His truth and beauty. This journey is and always has been about those children. Just as she did with Mrs. Applebee, Emily has created the art for our final story. And Mary Beth has woven all the characters into a final story. Michael and Mrs. Applebee are having a grand parade and party. It's a celebration. A celebration of so many things, really. I'm struck by the implications of the artist and the author. Katherine's daughter drew the picture; my daughter wrote the story. These precious girls, more than anyone else, understand the gift of The Alphabet Path. They understand the treasure of a rich education in truth and beauty. Because of them, it's easy to look with joy towards the future of our real life path. Because of them, I have a good idea where this all leads and I am giddy with anticipation for what is yet to come.

(Psst, Katherine moved her blog back to Typepad. It's really pretty. You can see it here.)