Friday, August 30, 2013

Third and Fourth, Y'all

Oh yes, the school year has begun.

Henry is now in 4th at a different school from Svea, who is in 3rd.  They ride the same bus, though.

The bus ride is an ongoing compromise in our home. Some days they love the ride, other days they complain for hours.
Henry is clear the he does NOT want to ride the bus.

On the first day, Corinne and I made fresh cookies and lemonade and took them up to the bus stop to greet the big kids.
While waiting with the stroller and the goodies, my cell phone rang and it was Henry's school letting me know that Henry had missed the bus.

I was so shocked and sad for him - I immediately worried that he had gotten overwhelmed in the newness of the school and routine, etc.
So he had to wait in the counselor's office until I could get Svea off the bus, load the girls in the car and drive to the school to get him.
I was irritated, but mostly worried about Henry and not wanting him to feel embarrassed or overwhelmed.

As I pulled out of my driveway, my neighbors - who had just gotten their kids off the same bus - looked at me confused. I shrugged and said, "Henry missed the bus."
Elijah, the dad, raised both fists in the air and said in his glorious Kenyan accent, "Be gracious!"

I got to the school and Henry loped to the car and crawled in. I asked, "Henry, what happened?"
He looked at me stone faced and said, "I TOLD you I didn't want to ride the bus."

Oh. My. Heavens.

I think Henry should write Elijah a Thank You Note.  And I let Brian mediate when he got home.

THE SAME WEEK, a spider moved into the space between my car's side mirror and the rounded holder of the mirror.
It built a glorious web every morning from the mirror to my car door.

If I drove while it was on the web, it would cling tightly and move slowly toward the mirror, eventually sneaking behind it to safety.
Once I got up to 45 mph and it still hung on.

This clinging spider got me thinking about how tightly I cling.
 In both hands I clench my need for order and schedules, cooperation from the kids, nice drivers in between me and my destination, etc.
I really could let go a little.
I admire that spider's grasp, but I don't want to be that clenched.

Henry is still riding the bus and has a better attitude as of late.
I am learning to let go of some things.
We'll make it through this school year yet.

Dolphins or Tap Shoes?

Before Corinne was born in 2010, Svea spent the pregnancy honing her helping skills.
When Corinne actually arrived, Svea ignored the entire situation for 2 weeks.

Tilt your head to the right and look at this picture.  This sums it up well:

The boys were amazed and in love, I was post partum, and Svea was in denial.
The week Corinne was born, Svea would come to the hospital and crawl in the bed with me and read to me. She taught herself to read that week.  A whole new world opened for her. And she was searching for her place...especially with this new baby in the way.

After exactly fourteen days, she noticed the new baby and fell in love with the rest of us.  Again, tilt your head to the right:

Since that very obvious escape into books and out of reality, we have watched how Svea responds to other stressful situations in her life. She's eight; the stresses are relative, of course.

This summer she decided she wanted to learn how to tap dance. 

After shuffling (ha ha) our schedules around, both Svea and Corinne ended up in a dance class on Tuesday nights. 
Corinne is now convinced that the entire world is her stage, and the mirrors and tap shoes will only allow more people to enjoy her never-ending performance.

Svea...did not enjoy tap dancing. It was not what she thought it would be.

She cried after the first class, and we spent a week analyzing and overanalyzing all of our personal parenting issues, and decided that she should give it one more try. 
Also, I had already paid for the class.

She went back, but the hour before the class started, she became wildly interested in the world of dolphins.
She started a research project, complete with a bright blue pen with fake feathers on the end, and took the project with her to dance.

Due to time constraints, she only got this far:

But a familiar pattern emerged...and if a tap class stresses her to the point of escaping to the dolphins...she probably should have some time to read and write about dolphins without the tears in the dance studio.

So we will return the shoes, give great thanks, let Corinne tap, and Svea glide through the waves of her imagination, coming up every now and then for a breath of fresh air.

We love you, Svea.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

City Mice, Country Mice

Some of our dear friends who live in cities came down for a visit in the "country."

It was hot at the farm (holding baby goats is hard work), so we had to cool off with some sword fighting in the sprinkler.  Good times.

Thanks for coming down, y'all!!

Friday, August 09, 2013

Big Dreams

Each kid had a dream today.

Henry: mad guitar skills.

Svea: curly hair.

Corinne: stardom. Dude, where is my stage???

Conquering the Closet

I have a condition. 
And this condition serves me well when I look into my mom's closet that holds her clay/ceramic materials and it looks like this:

And I get to turn it into this:

Labels and all!  Plus we vacuumed!  And threw away the trash!  Imagine!

I love love love to organize...

Monday, August 05, 2013

Sunset Namaste, Y'all

After 108 sun salutations at Railroad Park, there was a beautiful rainbow to close our practice.  Namaste, indeed.

Sunday, August 04, 2013

Your Summer Guilt Trip

In two weeks, public school begins for many people.

So there is a clear message to parents of children whose summer routines look different from school routines.
Some parents work at home, from the home, outside the home, around the home, for money, for nothing, for peanuts, for hugs, for the neighbor's tomatoes.
Some kids go to school at home, away from home, or sleep away from home.
We are all different.
And at this point in the summer, we parental units need to start feeling a little guilty.

By now, we, us, have stopped responding to, "Mom, watch this!"
We also have become numb to, "Mom, look!!"  Especially while said Mom is driving.

You should feel guilty, you so-called Mom.

You should also feel bad about the fact that when your child(ren) calls out, "Mom?!?!" that your first response - before even knowing the request or compliment - is,
"No!  But thanks for choosing me!"

If you have more than one child in the home at any given moment, whether or not s/he is related to you, if you get irritated at all with the fact that all comments, suggestions, questions must occur simultaneously, then you should seriously feel bad about yourself.

And the space between questions?  The space when the actual answer to the question emerges? Summer proves this space doesn't exist.
If this bothers you at all, you are probably a bad parent.

There is no room between the following questions/comments:
"Where are we going? What are we doing? Why? When? Why is this so boring? I am so bored. This day is already ruined."
Bad parent.

If you have a child over the age of 5 months, then s/he is probably asking you:
"When can I have my own phone? iPad? Kindle? Laptop? Desktop? iPod Touch? iPod? Samsung thing? Kindle Fire? Facebook account?"
"When are we going to get there?"
"Do we have anything to eat?"
"Why is this so boring?"
"Can we go buy something?"

If these questions annoy you at all, again, feel bad about yourself.

Summer is not eternal. Seasons come, cycles continue. This is a phase. Your guilt, exhaustion, fatigue, love and persistence will fade then glow then leave you in the fetal position.

But you can do it.

Only two more weeks until the season changes.

If you are discouraged, come on over to my house with your little ones and we'll squirt them with the hose in the driveway while we feel guilty about our lack of energy.

Seriously, y'all, feel guilty. It'll be okay.