The title is a description of my old life...but these days I ramble on about widowhood, homeschooling, single parenting, adoption, special-needs parenting, & living a life I never planned for or expected - a life that God, thankfully, continues to strengthen & equip me for daily...
Wednesday, February 11, 2015
February 11, 2015
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 10kids 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
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.But...it 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 myheart 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.And...it 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
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
Before I foist her onto the unsuspecting
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 butI 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
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
clothesMaybe 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
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
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
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 whatit 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.