Monday, September 14, 2015

Day 832

 Sunday night

 Well, I see by my Facebook feed that I missed Grandparents' Day once again.  I can never seem to remember that holiday.  Maybe because it wasn't one I grew up with.  I'm not sure when the card makers decided that was an actual day.  Sorry, Mom and Dad!  You really are appreciated and quite important to my crew - even if you didn't get a card that says so!

Tomorrow marks the two week point of the school year.  They asked parents to not drop into the classrooms until after that point.  I don't really have any plans to do that, anyway.  It will also be the first late start Monday.  The school district is still trying to figure out what they want to do.  Since Ben started school 5 years ago, they've had early outs, no school at all on Mondays during the winter months, and now they're trying two hour late starts on Mondays.  Wonder what it will be next year?  But at least I won't have to get up quite so early tomorrow.  Neither will the kids.

We are all struggling with fatigue, I believe.  I know I am.  Mine is further compounded by the fact that it's allergy season and in order to function at all I have to take sleep-inducing allergy drugs pretty much around the clock.  Don't tell me about the wonders of Zyrtec.  I can only take that in the beginning of the hayfever season.  The further we get into it, the less effective it becomes.  And while it is marketed as "non-drowsy," it is not.  I know.

I've just been so weary, though, and I think it's probably deeper than having to get up early and rush the kids to a 7 am bus pick-up.  It's emotional.

I'm still struggling with the whole not-homeschooling thing.  People have been very encouraging to me about this and I am appreciative of that.  But, I feel like a failure.  I feel like I should be able to continue to do what I've done for so long.  I know the kids are not getting as good of an education and I know they are being exposed to things that are wrong.

I want to do it all!  I want the kids to have the best of me and to turn out wonderfully and to never encounter bullies or classroom boredom or all kind of other stuff. 

But I can't.  It just isn't in me anymore.

The kids are so tired.  I am seeing behaviors in Lizzie I haven't had to deal with for quite awhile.  I'm still playing around with their bedtimes.  But I hate having to put them to bed so early at night because they are gone for  9 hours a day.  That's 9 hours I don't get to influence their little lives. And then if they go to bed by 8 so they can get the sleep they need, that gives me exactly 4 hours a day to shape their characters and the course of their entire lives.

No pressure.

It's also 9 hours I get a break.  I'm not doubting the value of that, either.

Sam was very bothered the other day when he had to take a quiz and the question had to do with when dinosaurs roamed the earth.  He told me he knew the right answer was, "6000 years" but the quiz only allowed him to choose one of four wrong answers, all of which involved billions of years.  It about killed his little conscience to have to put down the answer the teacher wanted to hear.

I hate that.

However, it's real life, unless you are able to live a pretty isolated existence.  You have to pick your battles with the world.

He also seemed to struggle for a few days with math, which is Common Core and not what he is used to.  It seems to be coming along better.  After all, numbers are numbers.  Common Core is just a different way of teaching them and he's figuring it out.

Lizzie reports that everything is fine at school.  When I ask her if she is making friends, she says that she is.  But she's struggling.  I am appreciative that the school gives the kids 3 recesses a day - over an hour of outside play.  But she is losing some of that time because she says she has to stay inside and finish her writing.  I haven't heard anything from the teacher yet so I don't think it's a real huge problem yet.  I also know Lizzie and I know she doesn't like to spend any time on things she is not interested in.  Handwriting has never been something that excites her and when I homeschooled her, her writing was barely legible because she was in a hurry to get it done.

I was talking to my pastor's wife this weekend and she commented that it always took her kids about 6 weeks to get back into the groove of school after summer vacation.  So, maybe it's just going to take more time.  It's only been 2 weeks.

Ellie, on the other hand, is loving everything about preschool!  Every day she comes home with stories.  Last Thursday one of her classmates had a diarrhea accident and she talked about that all the way home. 

Of course.

There is a little girl in the class named, "Awna" which is kind of unusual.  But it sounds a lot like "Ana" from "Frozen."  Ellie has that twisted up in her mind to the point that she nows refers to this little girls as, "Elsa."

And Ben, of course, has slipped right back into the groove of high school although he is fretting more and more about next year and already missing the school, I think.  I told him he's going to miss out on today's enjoyment if he constantly borrows trouble from tomorrow.  I should probably remind myself of that more often, too, huh?

Last week the classes had their elections and Ben's senior classmates decided they wanted Ben to have a position.  So they created one for him - "officer at large."  This is primarily honorary, but when they have their meetings Ben will attend and fill in for anyone missing.  He was so tickled and I about cried over the kindness of those fellow teenagers.

Ben was telling me about it (I had to text his teacher to get clarification) and he said, matter-of-factly, "It's just because I'm so popular, Mom."  That made me smile.
The other night at church Ellie approached a 60+ year old friend of mine and asked her about her cold sore on her lip.  My friend replied, "Oh, it's just a little sore I get sometimes."  Ellie replied, sympathetically, "Because you're old?"  It's a good thing my friend has a sense of humor!
Monday Morning
Ok, so I might actually like this late start Monday thing.  All of us snagged extra sleep this morning.  I didn't feed the kids breakfast because they were actually awake enough in able to manage to do it themselves.  And there was even time for them to get a start on their after-school chores before the bus arrived.

I went to Ladies Retreat this weekend.  It had been several years since my last time there.  I did not realize how much I needed that time away until I was there.  The speaker was a college professor from Summit University (formerly Baptist Bible College in PA).  She coached basketball for 20 years and kind of loped up to the podium.  I wasn't sure if I was going to get much out of her at all.

She spoke on holiness.  But the way she did it made it seem, suddenly, accessible.  And then, partway through the first session I looked at her left hand and realized she wasn't wearing a wedding ring.  That filled me with immense gladness, which kind of surprised me.  But I reasoned it out later that this single, middle aged lady up on stage was radiant with the goodness of God and a close walk with him...and she didn't have a husband. 

Kathy and I were both shocked when we ran into each other that first day.  We had just been together 2 weeks earlier but  apparently, it never occurred to either one of us to ask the other if they were planning to attend this year!  I had a chance to talk with her pastor's wife who approached me and told me their entire Sioux City church has been praying for me since Paul's death.  She seemed to know all about my kids and said, "Thank you...for doing what you are."  I'm not quite sure what she meant - maybe, thank you for not falling apart?  For doing what needs to be done?  Not sure.

I was going to go to an optional session on Sat. morning but my friend, Jenny, and I got into an intense, sweet conversation in the basement of Jensen instead.  I think that was more beneficial.

Arien and her sister rode with us because they were working the retreat.  When Kathy found  out Arien was there, she told me she had to meet this girl who has stolen Will's heart.  I introduced them and we talked for a little bit on Saturday.  As Kathy and I walked away, she said, "She was homeschooled, right?"  I affirmed that and she said, "Yeah, I could kind of tell.  She just seemed so comfortable talking with me."  I told her I'll try to snag her an invite to the wedding.  Not an announcement...just looking ahead to Someday!

Marcia and I listened to the end of the Hawkeye game on our way home.  She is a huge Iowa Hawkeye football fan.  It was an exciting game and she was whooping it up in the van.  We were just trying to get past Ames before the game ended and we'd encounter all the game traffic.  We made it.

Jonathan had spent Friday and Saturday at my house so he could help David watch Sam and Ellie (Lizzie ended up spending the weekend with my friend, Deb).  So, Arien and her sister followed me out to my house to retrieve him.
I fed them supper and they saw I had a sink full of dirty dishes and before I knew it, those two girls had done them up, wiped down my counters, and swept the floor.  Will got home from work during the time and I'm sure he was happy to see who was in the kitchen!  But they didn't leave until after 10 - which was totally fine.  And I got to wake up to a clean kitchen, which was wonderful.

Monday aft.
I'm not getting much done today.  I did take David to a new chiropractor, which is going to cost me.  It's very hard to find any chiropractic care with his state health insurance.  He's been complaining of neck and back pain for months now so I figured I had better get it checked out.  I wanted to go somewhere other than just a bone cracker, like I see.  I had heard good things about this particular chiropractic dr. in Altoona, so I took him.  This lady was very thorough and asked all kinds of questions and even did xrays.   She thinks David's stress levels have definitely been a contributing factor, but announced that he does have scoliosis, which alarmed me.  However, it's not severe and she thinks she can take care of it through chiropractic care.  She said if the curvature was worse, she'd definitely send us to a regular dr, though.  She also said his rapid growth that occurred between his 14th and 15th birthdays could have messed with his spine as well.  His range of motion is not what it should be and she said he's just not moving like a normal 16 year old.

She needs some time to analyze all the data and xrays she took today and then we go see her in a week to discuss a treatment plan.  I'm hoping it's not too involved, given the insurance situation.  However, I want to see him healthy, as well.
Well, I think that's all I know.

Arien called me today while I was driving home, bubbling over with excitement that she just landed a full-time job.  It sounds like an ideal situation and I am thrilled for her.  It just seems like God is opening up doors left and right for Will and her - doors that will eventually merge into one, I presume.

Ok, so THAT is all I know.  Tomorrow I have to get ready for a city council meeting, Wed, I have to take David back to the chiropractor for an adjustment and then I have to write an article for an on-line publication that is due by Sunday.  Thursday I am devoting to writing the RBP article that's been hanging over my head for weeks and is due in early Oct.  Still don't know what I'm going to write for either article yet!

I'll be back...sometime.


What I have learned in two years of widowhood:
• God is good - so, so good
• I am loved far more than I ever knew
• I have amazing, resilient children (I am reaping what Paul sowed into their lives)
• Darkness eventually gives way to light
• Strength and wisdom are mine for the asking
• I don't have to have all the answers
• God delights in carefully and tenderly mending torn-apart hearts
Psalm 73:26: My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
ow with a certain amount of anticipation, although there are still moments when I am sick at heart to think that that future will never again include him, other than the quick glimpses I sometimes see in my sons. As much as hope is beginning to seep back into our lives, I am also accepting that, for the rest of our lives, we will be among the walking wounded, forever hurt and altered by Paul's early death. As sad as that sounds, it really isn't, though. Even scarred, life is still pretty beautiful.
What I have learned in two years of widowhood:
• God is good - so, so good
• I am loved far more than I ever knew
• I have amazing, resilient children (I am reaping what Paul sowed into their lives)
• Darkness eventually gives way to light
• Strength and wisdom are mine for the asking
• I don't have to have all the answers
• God delights in carefully and tenderly mending torn-apart hearts
Psalm 73:26: My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

No comments:

Post a Comment