The Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Homeschooling...
At the grocery store, my three-year-old struck up a conversation with a gentleman who was looking at mangoes. He seemed to be evaluating the mangoes for quite some time, so she asked him if he needed help picking out a good mango. They proceeded to have a conversation about mangoes: how to test for ripeness; that you can eat the mango skin and how good it is for you; that organic mangoes are better than "ones with poison on them" - the three-year-old teaching the 40-something-year-old. Alia then made recipe suggestions, "Auntie Jen makes black bean and mango and avocado all together and it tastes really good! Or you can just slice them with the mango slicer and eat them, but don't put too many in a bowl because you can't stop eating mango 'cause I ate a whole mango without sharing."
The gentleman then asked me how she got so smart. Before I could answer, Alia interjected, "Excuse me. It's because I eat lots of foods that are good for my body and my brain and I'm homeschooled and I like skellas and skeletons." As usually happens, he then asked me the standard homeschooling questions: "Do you really homeschool? People still do that? Is it legal? They have to take the standardized tests, right? How to you evaluate their progress? What about college?" And then there it was - THE question: "But what about socialization?"
My response? "Well, she's only three, so she has a lot of work to do on her social skills, but I don't think she's doing too bad of a job, is she?"
Before he could get the pensive look off his face and respond, Alia asked if we could go see the lobsters. I said yes and turned to say goodbye to the gentleman and Alia said, "It was nice talking with you! I'm Alia ... I'm sorry, I didn't get your name...?"
Fumbling for words, John managed to introduce himself before saying goodbye and getting back to his shopping. Alia had an equally nice chat with the lobsters, and the lady with the naturally flavored seltzer water samples, and the elderly woman in the motorized scooter whose day was apparently made by Alia's comment, "Your wheels are even cooler than my Mama's!"
Socialization? I don't think that's a problem... Alia drinking half of my pumpkin latte while we were shopping - now there's a problem!