Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Day 617

February 11, 2015

Day 617


Tuesday Night


I'll start this tonight but as soon as the Littles get their ice cream eaten I'm putting them to bed and then sticking myself in the tub.  This day is over!  It hasn't been a bad day by any means but I'm just ready to go to bed.


I'm listening to my computer play "Uptown Funk" right now.  It's a very annoying song.  Ben got talked into being part of a Special Olympics dance presentation in Iowa City in mid-March.  Today was their first practice.  Oh, boy...I came in about a half hour before they were done and I have some serious reservations.  Not about the music or the dancing.  It's fine.  The routine is a mix between "Uptown Funk" and "Shake it Off."  I knew the latter, but had never heard of the former, which is why I youtubed it just now.  There are maybe 10  kids on the team.  Maybe not quite that many.  Ben and another boy are the only males.   Poor kid has his mother's coordination.  This is why I've never done well in PE class and why I've never been able to follow a single exercise video.  I can't move my body and listen to instructions at the same time.  Poor Ben couldn't keep up and was facing the back when he should have been facing the front and was moving his left leg when he was supposed to be moving his right arm.


I finally told his coach, "Um, I don't think this is going to work."  But she assured me that Ben was doing great and it was all about having fun, anyway.  And besides, this is only the first practice.  Uh, huh.  We'll see, I guess.


Sunday was Ben's first basketball game.  He did about as well at that as he did dancing. was his first game.  He really got into guarding his opponents.  Only, Ben was quite a bit taller than all of them.  And his idea of guarding was to face them, extend his arms all the way up, and then curve his wrists toward the opponents.  He looked a lot like Frankenstein.  I think a couple ran crying off the court.  Not really, but he was pretty scary looking!  And Ben's lack of coordination was evident here, as well.  Frequently, the girls on his team would stop their play and physically go move Ben to where he was supposed to be. That had to be so frustrating for them.  But, Ben enjoyed playing.  And I remember the first time he competed in other events.  He didn't do so well.  But he's improved and has a wall full of medals to show it.  His basketball game will get better.  And maybe his dancing will, too!


After the game Sunday we went over to his coach's house for pizza.  I know that they attend church, but I think it's a Catholic one.  And I don't know about the other families that were there.  But anyway, they asked Ben to pray for the food, which I thought was pretty interesting and nice.  Ben prayed a nice prayer, ending with, "And thank you for loving us."  Everyone seemed to appreciate that line.  He has evidently developed a testimony.  Makes my  heart pleased.


Oh, a Lizzie funny at the game:  We were in the bathroom and they had a modern, wavy "trough" sink instead of individual units.  Each station has a motion sensor, too.  Lizzie was so impressed by this and exclaimed, "For the first time in my life, I feel so alive!"  Oh, brother...


Last night David banged his back on the tub faucet while bathing and later, asked me to put a band-aid where he caught the faucet.  He's always been such a modest kid.  From the time he was a preschooler he has always insisted on dressing in a locked room.  When he goes swimming he almost always wears a t-shirt with his trunks.  So I haven't  ever seen a whole lot of his back.  I was very surprised when I went to put the band-aid on and discovered that this kid has stretch marks all over his back!  He almost looks scarred there's so many of them.  I'm guessing it happened this last year when he shot up about 7 inches in a little over a year's time.  His skin just couldn't keep up with the growth!  Will, who has no problem baring his back to the world, has a few stretch marks around his hips, but nothing like what David has. 


Speaking of Will...he's on Pinterest now, which makes me smile. But he's not pinning recipes and home decorating ideas like I do!  I guess I was the one who actually piqued his interest because I showed him plans on there for some L shaped bookshelves he agreed to build for me this spring.  The other day he created an account and spent several hours scouring the pages.  He has decided to move back home for next year's schooling and he was interested in finding "small room furniture."  He wants to create this ideal living/study space upstairs in his very tiny bedroom.  So far, the idea that has most captured his interest is the idea of building a platform on which furniture can be set and then a mattress is essentially put inside a giant "drawer" that slides under the platform when not in use. I have no doubt he could easily build something like that.


Yesterday I called the school to find out if there is a time that I can bring Sam and Lizzie down to visit some classrooms in anticipation of enrolling them next school year.  Somebody's supposed to be getting back to me on that but I haven't received a phone call yet.  It was funny - when I called I gave my name and the receptionist said, "Oh, you're Ben's mom!"  How would she know that?  Ben has only ever attended school across the street at the middle and high school buildings.  Apparently, his fame has spread across the street, though!


While I was on the phone I asked about the preschool.  My thinking has been that it might not be a bad idea to have Ellie attend a couple  mornings or afternoons a week.  I have no doubt she'd love it, she might learn that people other than Mom think obedience is pretty important, too, and she'd quickly learn that biting is not a preferred method of conflict resolution. would give me a break.  The thought of having my house quiet for some good chunks of the day gives me such a warm, fuzzy feeling in my heart.


They ended up transferring me down to the preschool and I talked with the director.  I don't know what to do now.  Here's the thing: preschool happens 4 days a week, from 8-3:30.  There is not an option to enroll for only part of that time.  It's all or nothing.  They're supposed to be sending me some paperwork and I've been urged to return it right away because there is a waiting list for enrollment.


I hate the thought of Ellie being gone that long.  I really do.  Well, when she's being her most evil, the thought is kind of appealing, but from a philosophical standpoint, I hate it.  My heart hates it, too.  If I put her on the bus that means that Tuesday through Friday, she would be out of the home from 7:10 every morning until 4 in the afternoon.  I mean, that's what what it will be a year and a half from now when she starts kindergarten.  But it seems so awful to consider it now, when she will be just four at the start of the school year.


But then, if Sam and Lizzie are gone, would she be bored silly all year long?  On the other hand, she might be delightful.  Generally speaking, on a one-to-one basis, each of the girls is a genuinely pleasant person.  It's when the three kids are together that they seem to feed off each other's energy and drain mine.  I think Ellie would love attending preschool.  But then, children love a lot of things that are not necessarily the best thing for them.


I've already lost a year of Ellie's life (since she was 11 months when I got her).  Do I want to give up another one when there's no real need for it?  But if she doesn't attend preschool, will she be "behind" when she goes to kindergarten, either socially or academically?  Although, I remember being counseled to put Will in preschool when he was her age for that very reason.  I didn't and it didn't take long to figure out that he was pretty advanced in his kindergarten class the next year, even with zero preschool experience. 


Why are they so insistent on a full day/full week program?  Is it that government is so anxious to get their hands on our children?  Or is it simply to accommodate the working parents?


It's a lot to think about.  I'm praying for peace and I don't have it yet.


One thing I have thought of is to check into some other preschools in the area.  I don't want to drive very far for this.  Pleasantville does have one other one I found on Google.  I may drive by it just to see its location and if that's ok maybe I'll give them a call.


Or maybe I'll just keep my girl home for the last year I'm able to have her all to myself.  As my friend, Debbie, commented to me yesterday, Ellie still needs a lot of "taming" and maybe she needs another year at home for that to happen.


Before I foist her onto the unsuspecting public.




And then there are mornings like I've experienced today, when Ellie has been so terrible that I'm thinking 4 days of all-day preschool really isn't enough.  Is there any place that offers it 7 days a week?


I did drive by the address of the other preschool I found on Google this morning.  It's at a Methodist church, which is fine.  But I am suspicious Google is not all that up to date.  There was no sign advertising the preschool out front and when I called the number I was connected to an answering machine at the church - not the preschool.  I left a message but  I am suspicious that the preschool is no longer in existence.


There is one other preschool in Carlisle, which is the same distance away as Pleasantville.  I have no idea what they offer, but I feel an absolute surety in my soul I am not to go with them.  I actually dialed their number a little bit ago and found myself hoping they would not answer and was relieved when they didn't.  I wonder why?  I can only assume God does not want Ellie there.



Ok, on to other stuff...


I had to run some errands yesterday (not to Walmart, thankfully).  I had a great coupon for Penneys.  I was hoping to find something springy I could take to Florida next month.  But I couldn't find a single thing I liked.  I used to love that store and got most of my clothes from them.  But not anymore.  Maybe they've reduced their quality of clothes  Maybe I'm getting older and pickier.  Maybe it's because everything is now a throwback to the mid-late 80s...


Seriously, it is.  And I hate it.  That's when I was in high school.  I'm seeing all the same clothes I wore then recycled onto the racks now - garish colors, baggy tops, dropped shoulder seams.  Blech...


I also had to pick up an anniversary card yesterday.  I found that at Target.  I was dismayed while looking for the card to discover that Target now sells anniversary cards for same sex couples.  It's been years since I was in a Hallmark store, so maybe this is old news and Target is just now getting on board with celebrating sodomy.  What a world we live in...

Saturday I am going to a 50th anniversary party for a couple at our church.  I'm not crazy about the idea of going, especially on Valentine's Day, and especially just days before what would have been my own anniversary.  But...I like this couple.  And, it's not about me.  I have to keep telling myself that.


I am reminded of something a friend told me about awhile ago.  Her sister-in-law used to be married a long time ago and during that time she gave birth prematurely to a baby that died. Sometime later she divorced and today she's in her 50s, and single and childless.  But since the baby's death, she has refused to ever hold a baby, including her own nieces and nephews.


I don't want to be like that.  I know the motivation is not one of begrudging others.  I'm sure this lady wasn't upset that others were having babies and hers had died.  I am certainly not bothered that other couples get to live out their lives together when Paul and I did not.  But what  it is is not letting my loss define my relationships with others.  It's easy to want to stay away from weddings and anniversary celebrations as a way to protect my own heart.  But, while understandable, it's kind of selfish.  It's saying that my loss is of greater import  than others' joy.


And all this makes me sound like kind of selfless saint, which I am not.  I hurt.  I feel jealous.  I wish that I still had what I used to have. I question God.   This month of the year is not easy for me and may never be.


Actually, I've been kind of surprised.  I expected to have another December in February.  I really thought I'd be emotionally flattened by now.  Valentine's Day is in 3 days and what would have been our 22nd wedding anniversary comes 6 days after that.  When Paul was alive, that was great.  This time of year sermons and readings and radio clips are all about married love.  Everyone is thinking about it and we always found it more meaningful because of February being our anniversary month.  Our anniversary was always the highlight of the year for us, eclipsing even birthdays.  I'm glad we made such a big deal out of it.  But, I never dreamed about how difficult all that would make the month of February once Paul was dead.  Not that I planned on him dying after only 20 years of marriage.  That was supposed to happen later, like when we were in our late nineties.


But, regardless, I'm honestly not doing too badly.  Yet, anyway.  I don't feel particularly depressed, although I can feel the specter of sadness hovering a bit closer than what it was in January.  Maybe it's because I have plans for both those days.  Or, maybe it's just another sign that my heart is healing.  I'm cognizant of what's coming but it's not destroying me.


So, Saturday I will go to this anniversary party and give them a card and wish them many more years of wedded bliss.  I'll eat cake and wait around for a decent amount of time before escaping.


I know it won't be easy.  But, as Marcia counseled me awhile ago, you keep doing the hard things, anyway.  And, eventually, you find that, after awhile, they really aren't so hard anymore.


One foot in front of the other.





No comments:

Post a Comment