This has nothing to do with homeschooling and everything to do with it.
Eleanor is getting ready to drop her doll, Sarah, off with friends to care for while we are away. (We decided that we wouldn't want to leave Sarah on a train, or in a hotel room. Also, Sarah can be a little high-maintenance and I didn't want to deal with her. But Eleanor doesn't have to know that part.)
So it's a little bit of a sad time for her. Today we went to the grocery store and oh, the sweet looks she got from the old ladies as she walked through the store, holding Sarah in her blanket, just like a good new Mama. Then she decided Sarah should ride in the cart, so she spread out the blanket and gently sat Sarah in the seat, then strapped her in safely. (Actually, I had to remind her not to put the strap around her neck, but rather under her arms. No chokeholds, please.)
I was thinking about the way our culture encourages girls to grow up so fast, with sophisticated clothing to wear and icky Bratz dolls to play with. Then I realized I'm happy to have her assume the role of Mama to her baby doll. That's growing up too. But it's a world of difference, isn't it?