Okay, He didn’t put it that way exactly.
But Homer does encourage his readers that the seemingly impossible task is doable.
Doesn’t homeschooling seem impossible some days? I’m supposed to, what? I have to teach them everything they need to know to be a successful, content, joyful adult? For me, teaching writing, literature, philosophy, languages, logic, and the humanities in general is super-duper exciting, but chemistry? My pride shrinks into the hole in the wall like a teensy-weensy mouse hiding from the nimble hunter’s instinct of the hungry house cat. Physics? Ha! That was one test in college I actually failed (maybe because I wasn’t learning it classically?). No, these subjects are things I’d like to learn for myself, but am not yet ready to teach.
“Impossible” is a fitting adjective until I remember that they’re teensy-weensy children, and I get to start with them at the ground floor. That means gravity. I can teach gravity.
Homer puts it more eloquently than “teensy-weensy.” The Greeks in their clanging armor, with the mighty Odysseus at the head, pressed in on the Trojans. Odysseus had just seen his friend, Aias, fall. He filled with a rage that ran through his arm, powering his spear into Democoön’s temple, killing him instantly. As the armor-covered body crashed to the ground, even the famous Hector stepped back.
Hector was the Trojans’ champion, their strongest fighter. Mighty, fierce, and unstoppable in battle. Yet this scene made him back away in fear.
This is why Apollo enters the scene, frustratingly screaming at the Trojans. He has the benefit of having a god’s-eye view. He can’t understand why the Trojans are so afraid. These Greeks are just people, for goodness’ sake! They’re made of flesh and bones, just like the terrified Trojans! Half a second ago, the Trojan Antiphos had stuck Greek Aias through with his spear, but they all seemed to forget that in the face of mighty Odysseus’ revenge.
Such fickle Trojans.
Apollo bellows at the Trojans angrily, ” ‘On Trojans, on! do not give way to Achaians! Their flesh is not stone or iron–volley away, and your points will cut their skins!’ ”
On homeschooling mama, on! Do not give way to the fears, doubts, and insecurities! Your children can learn from you. Even if you don’t yet know chemistry or physics, you’re smart enough to find the right resources and learn along with them. Volley away! Keep plugging away, day after day, and your work will sink into your children: they will grow in wisdom and virtue.
This task is never impossible.