Just Grin and Bear It

Just Grin and Bear It

It Could Be Fun!

Yesterday I had to host my child’s first homeschooling science club meeting. It wasn’t something that I particularly wanted to do because I’m a shy person—especially around groups of people, let alone individuals I don’t know—and I get very nervous.

I get so nervous, in fact, that I sometimes even stutter. So you can imagine how my hands were sweating before meeting these 22 different families with their multiple kids. I had volunteered to get this one started (our homeschool group had a high school science club started, so we wanted one for the younger children) but I had hoped that other parents would take leadership roles as well, which didn’t really happen.

I almost talked my husband into going. I didn’t really have time to go in the first place, being behind at work from a sick kiddo earlier in the week, but I knew he might get confused about the activities I had planned. So I grinned and bore it, and you know what? It was pretty good. Sure, there was the first-meeting awkwardness that you expect, but there were also only six families present due to the storms—and all of the kids seemed to have a good time.

I made them a science scavenger hunt/icebreaker game to play along with a balloon rocket race and a small experiment to do at home. One mother even e-mailed me to tell me that her daughter had had such a great time that she was looking forward to our next meeting already! Oh boy.

But you know what? I think it’ll be great. I am already thinking of activities to do. And this experience reminded me that sometimes you just have to grin and bear it, and it may end up being one of your best memories. Everything in my life really worth doing—from traveling and protesting to teaching abroad to having a child—was extremely uncomfortable, scary, and sometimes (usually, even) vomit-inducing! Maybe that bit of nervousness is the sign that this will be something worth doing after all.

And maybe we could all take a page from SARK’s book. SARK recommends not psyching yourself up (or down) and saying that you’ll have a good time or a bad time in the first place, but to simply tell yourself that you are going to have “a time.” Whether it’s good or bad is up to you—and you won’t be able to tell until it’s over anyway, so why label it?