"Shhhh...they'll hear you..." says one neighbor.
"I cannot believe they yanked those poor kids out of school to home school them." replies another.
I continue walking as if I hadn't heard a thing even though my heart is pounding and I feel the pressure in my head mount. From the next aisle over in the commissary (military term for grocery store) I'm picking up stuff for tacos, because it's my seven year old son's turn to make dinner and his specialty is tacos...and I can hear them still talking only this time louder and I feel my husband's hand rubbing my lower back as if to give me support...and I decide I've had enough. I walk away from my family and back over to the soup aisle and I stand there behind them until my presence causes them to stir and turn.
"The next time you want to talk about my poor children being yanked out of public school where the educational goals are low, bullies are tolerated, and child rearing tactics are left to the school to determine for you what is appropriate...do it some place where my children won't hear it. I never discuss you, your poor choices, or your ...ahem...habits in front of your family and friends." I stand there calmly for a few seconds while I soak in their faces wide with disbelief and I nod my head, turn on my heel and walk away.
Three aisles over...while I was pondering a roast for dinner a woman approached me and said, "Hi, my name is A. I'm a home school parent too...and I just wanted to say thank you for standing up for your children. It's often hard to make the decision and face the pressure and ridicule..but you are the definition of grace under fire." A then hugged me and handed me her card...and disappeared into the mists of the commissary shoppers laden with coats, hats, and shopping carts.
I realized then, that the true adventure of home schooling my children had began.