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A Heartwarming Reunion Too Sweet Not to Share

This story is too heartwarming not to share.  

I was going to say that this post isn’t homeschool-related but when I shared that sentiment on Instagram, one of you said this: 

“It kind of is! 🙌🏾👏🏾Homeschool is a lifestyle. Your mom is an extension of what you are building. 🥳🎈🎉 We love seeing all aspects of your well-rounded homeschool life! 🤗💕😘” 

So, with that encouragement, here I am sharing my story with those of you who don’t follow me on Instagram.  

A Quick Backstory

I celebrated a birthday not too long ago and it was one I’ll always remember. For the past five years, I’d been really missing my mother, who lives a thousand miles away in Rhode Island. I’ve been a Georgia resident for fifteen years and my family always made an effort to travel to Rhode Island at least once a year. However, a combination of the pandemic, schedule conflicts, and illness kept us apart for longer than we expected. My husband and I had planned to take a Rhode Island trip in 2020, but that was before we knew the entire world would shut down.  

Last month, my mother secretly contacted my husband to announce she was able to travel and wanted to plan what would be a very special surprise for me on my birthday. Everyone was in on this surprise. My husband and father-in-law started making little repairs around the house that I’ve been wanting to tackle for a while. My sister and mother-in-law graciously helped clean our home and made it guest-ready for what I thought would be my grandmother-in-law coming to stay with us. Secretly, though, I just knew they were throwing me a surprise party.

Preparing for the BIG Surprise

That day before my birthday, my husband invited me on a leisurely stroll around the neighborhood, which wasn’t out of the ordinary. A walk around our neighborhood equates to about 1.5 miles and we always walk around at least twice. After completing one lap, my husband said he needed to use the restroom. As we neared the house, I felt someone’s presence. The presence of someone close to me. I knew someone special was in the house, and it was not my grandmother-in-law, although she is very special to me. No. I suspected that “special someone” to be my mother. I could sense her. Feel her. Smell her. But I didn’t want to get my hopes up if my premonition was wrong.  

You see, I’d just had a dream the night before that I was hugging my mother and crying tears of joy. The thing is, my mother and I were planning to reunite sometime during the summer, so I figured the dream was in relation to that. However, as we neared the door, the feeling that something was about to happen only grew stronger. My mother’s presence grew more intense. It was as if the wind was being knocked out of me. I just knew my mother was going to answer the door, so I braced myself.

The Heartwarming Reunion

I motioned to enter the house but the door was locked, which was odd. It seemed my in-laws locked us out of our own house! I rang the bell and the door opened. I noticed my husband standing unusually close behind me (I later discovered he was preparing for me to pass out). My sister-in-law stood in the doorway and apologized for locking the door. Nobody yelled “surprise” and only my in-laws and children were inside from my viewpoint. So, my premonition was wrong. Or so I thought. It was at that moment that I forced a smile to mask all the feelings of disappointment that brewed inside.

But then something happened. I stepped completely inside the formal living room and looked to my right. It was only then that I saw this beautiful petite woman smiling back at me. It was my mom! I was in shock. You can watch the video of the reunion here or click the play button later in this post.

“Someone told me you were missing your mother,” she said softly.  

Me and my mom sharing fresh peach ice cream during her stay.

All I could do was grab my mom and not let her go. We hugged and cried for about three minutes straight. It felt like a dream. It was so surreal that the day I’d been praying for was finally here.  Not too long before this day, I was crying to my husband about missing my mom, but little did I know I would see her soon—that God had something already in the works. The same day I was crying, my mother had already booked her flight to Georgia. That is a word in and of itself. The day I was finally able to wrap my arms around my mom was the day my anxieties were replaced with joy, and I could feel five years of stress lifting off my face. 

A Video of Our Renunion (Tissues Needed!)

How My Mom Planted the Seed for Homeschooling

My mom is part of the reason I homeschool. Not only is she super supportive of our homeschooling journey, but she is also a great example of parenting. Growing up, my mom always kept the lines of communication open. I could talk to her about anything. My mom also enjoyed spending time with me. We took many enriching adventures. One of my fondest memories is of her taking me to the library with her. She was an avid reader and inspired me to love reading just by watching her. We’d spend hours in the library just reading books.  

My dear mom also heavily invested in my education, being sure to volunteer for field trips, join the PTA, and made sure that I stayed on top of my homework. She had a great relationship with my teachers, who helped me to excel and enroll in gifted classes. My mom registered me for college scholarships in elementary school, which later paid a good portion of my college tuition.  

Me and my mom having a fun impromptu photoshoot at the mall.

Even though I was an A student most of my academic career, it wasn’t the end all be all for my mom. She loved me even when I underperformed and ensured me that it didn’t change her view of me. In fact, the year I had a tough quarter in school, my mother hugged me and fed me positive words of affirmation after I reluctantly handed her the worst report card I ever received. It was then that I learned that grades and test scores didn’t define me; that they didn’t determine my intelligence level. This revelation inspired me to later enrolled in a high school that did not focus on test scores and grades, but on community service and life skills.  

I wanted my children to have the same support, love, and encouragement that my mom gave me. I wanted them to thrive in a healthy learning environment as I did. I wanted them to love learning. But I couldn’t negate the fact that times had changed since I was a kid, and that school was no longer what it used to be. You can read more about that here. Unfortunately, I live in a teaching-to-the-test state and I knew that in order to protect my children’s natural inquisitiveness and love for learning, I had to educate them at home.

The mall had this amazing mural so we decided to put it to use!

How We Celebrated My Birthday

In closing, my mom was here with me for ten days. I feel so blessed that God cared enough about me to answer my prayers. Many nights, he’d comfort me and assure me that I’d see my mother soon. That day has finally come! I am also overwhelmed by how much my husband and in-laws displayed their love for me to make all of this happen.  

We celebrated my birthday worshipping at church with our closest friends who later joined us for a nice dinner at my favorite steakhouse. The evening ended with our party of thirteen doing a Happy Birthday dance train at the restaurant. The joy was so contagious that a few strangers even joined in. I felt so loved and I wanted to share this joy with all of you. I hope this story made you smile. Be sure to check out my Instagram reels to see more of what we did while my mom visited. You can also follow me there for day-in-the-life story updates.

My mom joined us and our friends for a fun strawberry-picking adventure.

Stay tuned for more blog posts coming your way.  

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