Friday, May 24, 2013

Almost Famous

A look back at a blog that has been sitting in my draft box for a couple months:

At dinner the other night, my s-i-l mentioned she reads my blog and always keeps an extra eye out for mention of herself....because it's kinda like being famous.  Flattering, but I don't think my readership has grown QUITE that much recently :)  She also mentioned she doesn't have a code name......maybe we should open that up for further review.  If we give all my sibs and their spouses and kids a code, I'm going to need a spreadsheet.

When LB was about 7 months old, my brother returned from Iraq as a contractor and his family moved to TX for a job transfer.  Now, I had worked full-time until LB was born and my s-i-l had been a stay-at-home mom for two years previous to LB's arrival, so I had been eagerly waiting for us to be SAHMs together....and then they moved.

LB turns 8 in July, so I've been waiting 7 YEARS for this, but they FINALLY moved home.  My current work as an instructional designer allows me to stay home most of the time, but I do work occasionally.  This week, for example, I'm training Monday/Tuesday - my first training experience.  I have a wonderful neighbor who has helped me with SP in the past, but I found out I was training on Sunday and needed to be there at 7am Monday morning.....kinda last minute!  My s-i-l stepped in to help me with the kids, getting LB to and from school and spending the day with SP (yay for SB's daycare taking her last minute Monday!).

I've had so many friends help me with the kids over the years, but there's something so reassuring leaving your kids with someone who is not only a mom of more experience than myself, but family.  It's like being able to bi-locate.  I have as much (or more) confidence in her ability to handle the situation as I would.  It also reminds me how much SP has grown.  In January, she spent a couple days with my neighbor and she was mostly drinking bottles with a little food.  Yesterday, she'd only had about a bottle between the b-milk and water-apple juice because she was so into the "real" food.  SP is growing up so fast.  I'm so blessed to be able to spend my time with her, and even more blessed to have great friends and family to support me in my career.   As I drove to work today, I kept thinking how blessed I am.  Then my favorite song came on the radio right as I was pulling up to the training facility...."if I had no voice, if I had no tongue, I would dance for You like the rising sun". 

School Days - a look back

So, going through the blog - I found a post that I'd left as a draft and never posted from January it is:

The first semester is winding down.  LB has enjoyed herself quite a bit.  As I reflect from the halfway point though, I still miss our family time, our relaxed mornings and watching her learn.  There was something magical about being the one who taught her to read and watching it happen.  Just amazing.

Of course, as many parents and the entire nation has, I've been hearing the details of the tragedy in CT.  Even when I try avoiding news sources, it seems to permeate any means of connection I have to the outside world.  In some ways, I realize we can't ignore such a tragedy, so I send my prayers and trust that God's grace will see them through.  But I just can't listen to it anymore.  Since SP was born, I've noticed my emotions live much closer to the surface.  She cracked some layer of solemnity I didn't realize I'd draped across myself.  I haven't tried suppressing this new-found heightened emotional state because I think of it as part gift.  I tend to cry much more easily, but I find joy more readily as well.

Most of the time, I don't notice the heightened sensitivity, but all of a sudden it will sneak up on me.  The other day, hubby tossed a piece of cereal that SB had been walking around with in her hand into my cereal bowl while I was eating.  Now, I've been known to eat off a plate, or let someone eat off my plate (I had been picking pieces that weren't touching the milk yet out of my bowl to give SB), but I've been trying very hard to be careful about germs lately and was not letting anything cross-contaminate, so the hand-squished piece of cereal chucked into my bowl was really too much for me.  I had to stop and compose myself so I wouldn't cry, then I poured out the 2/3 of my bowl that was left and didn't eat anything else for breakfast......see, more sensitive than usual (although I'll stand by it that that was a gross thing for hubby to do!).

Living in this heightened emotional state can be exhausting, but I think in the long run, it may be good for me.  Learning to live more comfortably in my emotions is good practice.  I tend to get wound up about things more easily too and have had to practice de-escalating my emotions.  It's kind of like all the filters and self-control I've gained since childhood have been stripped away and I'm starting over :P

So, in my greater state of awareness, I'm also missing LB quite a bit.  She's a cool kid and I enjoy being around her.  Maybe not everyone wants to spend their day with a 7 y/o, but I do, she's my 7 y/o.  I want to be there to talk about the random facts she's learning and discuss new ideas.  It's like watching her mind take new steps.  As SP learns to roll, babble and crawl, I feel like I don't want to miss the equivalent milestones in a 2nd grade life.  As I watched the morning news and folded the 4 baskets of laundry I HAD to fold today before they overtook the living room - someone said that teachers really raise our children; they spend all day with them, caring for them and teaching them.  I love LB's teacher and school is the right choice for so many families, but that statement is stuck in my craw.  If LB goes to school next year, it'll be because I've reconciled that thought....because in the end, I think it's right.  Now that LB is in school, I spend about 5 hours awake in the same house as her.  This includes the time I'm making dinner, she's doing homework, and we're both getting ready for the day or bed.  Her teacher spends 6-7 hours with her, focused on the class the whole time. 

*an update to this - we've decided home IS best for next year.  With exceptional gratitude to her wonderful 2nd grade teacher, I can't wait to take that role back on for 3rd grade :)