We've officially been unschooling and (doing our best to) parent peacefully for 2 years now. How did I mark the occasion? By making a total ass of myself.
We were scheduled to head out to visit some family when we walked out to the garage and found one of the car's tires completely flat. As luck would have it, I'd just loaded the trunk up with all sorts of junk to take to the resale shop. Full. And now I had to unpack it all to get to the jack and spare tire. So I was unloading the trunk, feeling stressed out, when Josh (9y) saw a VCR he thought was his. It wasn't. We had words. I told him to either be helpful or get out of the garage, in not so nice a way. He stormed inside to his room yelling, "I'm not going!", slamming doors, and I yelled back, "Good!"
Super mature, right?
I quickly realized I needed to be the bigger person and go apologize, so to his room I went. Apparently I had not given myself enough time to calm down because there was more yelling, legos thrown at the wall, screams of "you can't control me!" and threats of being locked inside the bedroom for all eternity. We were quite angry with each other.
Finally I got myself under control. Josh asked what I would really do if he never came out of his room ever again. I told him I would miss him every moment.
"But you said you'd be happy a minute ago."
I told him I had said things I didn't mean because I was angry. He noted that he had thrown his favorite lego set and broken it because he was angry. We talked about how we both had done things we didn't mean to out of anger, and how we both can work on expressing our feelings in a healthier way. It ended up being a really good conversation.
So the point of my sharing this story is to say (yet again) no matter how long you've been doing something, you're still going to make mistakes. Even if other people find you to be an inspiration, you'll never be perfect. Life always has a new lesson to teach. Everyone has a personal battle to be fought. In moments when you feel yourself slipping, you can stop yourself. When you slip even farther, you can still recover. When times get hard, refocusing on relationships helps me pull it together. Every relationship has its strains, but if at the end of the day your child feels truly loved, you're doing something right.