Thursday, August 23, 2012

A New Chapter

Well, today was it....LB's first day of school.  She started 2nd grade after 3 years of homeschooling.  It's been a hard transition for me.  Honestly, it makes me feel really powerless that she's in school all day with other adults controlling when she's allowed to eat, use the bathroom, talk, have allergy medication, and all number of things.  In many ways, I feel like it's failing at homeschooling that she's in traditional school this year.  Having these feelings, I feel almost guilty when friends and fellow parishioners welcome us with smiles to the school year.  Everyone has been exceptionally welcoming and those that we know through church or other activities have celebrated the beginning of LB's school why can't I?

LB asked me if I could hardly wait for school to start.  I told her, no, and asked why would she ask that?  She cited the line from a holiday song, "parents can hardly wait for school to start again".  I told her that I didn't feel that way; that I hoped she had a wonderful time at school, but that I would really miss not spending my days with her.  It got me thinking about our last few years of homeschooling and what I envision for our family in the future.  Truth is, LB going to school isn't the worst thing that could happen.  I think she'll gain some skills that are only gained from being in large groups of people.  She will learn that some people will not be nice and will try to take advantage of you.  She will learn that some people will go out of their way to be kind to a new friend.  Hopefully she will learn to tell the difference.  She will learn how to operate within structure.  She will learn how to play by the rules of a game she doesn't control.   

It's only been one 1/2 day, so I guess I'll have to reserve judgement.  I've told dh that I've paid tuition through November we'll see :P  Mostly, I'm just trying not to cry that she's going to be gone everyday.  I'm wondering if other moms have felt this way when their kiddos went to school.  My biggest fear is really regretting some day that I didn't give her all of me when she was growing up.  For now, I'll put on a smile.....and share with everyone how very cute she looks in a uniform :)

Some pictures from our day and the last bit of summer:

A sister moment

No paparazzi!!!

Sweet snuggles

Gymnastics summer camp

New shoes for school!

"Mom, why did you wake me up?"

2nd grade!

"Stand nice for a picture for Grandma"

"Let's take one to send Daddy"

Lining up with friends

Continuing the day's signature move

Headed in for school

"Where did Sissy go?"

"Mom, it's too sunny to stand in front of the school!"
By the way, LB's verdict after a 1/2 day is that she likes regular school better than homeschool, so it really is just me!  We'll see how she feels after a few weeks :)

Friday, August 10, 2012

The Gratitude Experiment

It was harder than I thought to practice a month of gratitude.  I still find myself cranky or asking God for things I don't really need rather than being grateful for the things I have, but thinking about gratitude this month has really focused me on what I do have:

1.  A good husband
2.  Healthy children
3.  A home
4.  2 operational vehicles
5.  Lots of extra creature comforts
6.  Plenty to eat
7.  Friends to laugh (and cry) with
8.  Dreams for the future
9.  A great, flexible work-from-home job
10. Amazing parents, siblings and extended family

But as I've been thinking about focusing on gratitude rather than petitions, I've thought about how petitions are such a central part of leaning on God in hard times and good times.  It's not the petitions that have been my problem, it's the whining-please-make-everything-work-out-without-any-hiccups nature of my petitions. 

When my husband was laid off in 2011, a friend gave me a great verse:

Jeremiah 29:11-For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

And what a beautiful future it is.  A new baby, a new job for my husband and enough love to go around.  Thank you God for Your plans.