Thursday, November 21, 2013

bitten

Dare I say I have been bitten by the homeschooling bug?  I have been devouring Pinterest information, books, quotes about homeschooling all week!  It all makes perfect sense to me...it really does.  It just feels right, like something I'm being drawn to do. 

Let me back up and tell you why.  Jacob struggles a bit at school.  He has some special education classes, he has been returned to mainstream classes, but the SE teacher comes into class with him.  We held him back a year when we moved to Georgia two years ago and it was a good thing.  But he's in 3rd grade this year...one of the toughest years in elementary school I think, and he's not happy.  Or maybe I'm not happy.  I see him failing his tests, so they retest him with the teacher and he then passes...but I question whether he has truly learned anything.  I'm starting to understand and see how this "putting everyone in a box" and the conformity of it all is just, well...I don't know...stupid.  Maybe he's not ready to learn that yet.  Why does he have to know all his multiplication facts by next year?  When he doesn't get it and I get frustrated he gets angry and upset.  Sure, I have to learn to respond better and be more encouraging....but is all this anxiety worth it? Is the anxiety of getting homework done with 3 kids every single night worth it?  Are they going to use any of what they are learning in the real world? 

I'm scared.  Scared I won't be able to teach all of them, but it seems with a lot of the research I've been doing, my job would be more of a facilitator.  I feel like Jacob would welcome the idea, Emma and Sam I'm not so sure about. Mostly for Sam because he would no longer ride the bus and that is his favorite part of it all!  I see Sam getting into trouble for well, just being a kid and not conforming to their rules.   So he wanted to go to the library and get a book.  He should be allowed to.  There is no freedom in school.  And I worry about the social side of it, both ways really.  I worry what they are subjected to at school.  I so don't want children who are so hell bent on fitting in.  As much as I am neurotic about organization, I love the idea of independent thinking and creative expression.  Lol, those two definitely don't go hand in hand!

So I'm on the search now for a homeschooling group or co-op here in Statesboro. That would satisfy the social side for me....to be linked in with a like minded group of people.  I'm looking for a mentor, someone to talk to that can encourage this mama to do what just feels right in her heart. After all, these little ones aren't going to be little for so long and every chance I get, I want to be there and watch them blossom.

sue

Thursday, November 14, 2013

water

Winter has reared it's cold head here in the past few days, dropping our temperatures from the 70-80's down into the 40's in a matter of hours. Late Monday night I was able to soak in a nice hot bath (much awaited for as our bathroom is finally completed!).  The water was warm , the room filled with the scent of lavender....and then it dawned on me.  This would be a perfect time to give Lucas his first real bath.  A soak in the tubby kind of bath.  See, I had only been sponge bathing him as I found I absolutely hated the infant tub I purchased for him.  Plus, he's just so little and it only takes a moment to clean him right up. 

So with Amos Lee wafting through the air via Pandora on my cell phone, a little chubby baby was gingerly handed down into his mother's arms and into the warm inviting water.  He cried at first and I worried the water was still to warm, but I held him and ever gently swayed him in the water, he relaxed completely in my arms.  He floated like that for a while, every so often smiling up at me.  I bathed him off so gently and poured handful of warm water over his little body and hair.  He was so sweet, chubby and warm.  His expression so filled with adoration.  He just melts my heart and all the anxiety of the day just washed away. 

sue

Saturday, November 9, 2013

present

I sat and watched his sweet little face, nestled against my breast...safe and satisfied and my heart overflowed with love for this little boy.

I used to not cherish and stop and enjoy the everyday moments of  my children.  I'd grown to just speed through the day, trying to get everything accomplished that I felt needed to be done.  Then along came Lucas, the last of 6 babies and that all changed.  My heart breaks when I realize the enormity of him.  He is the last, the last chance I have of reveling in all the normal baby love I had taken for granted.  It won't be repeated.  And that gives me a sense of overwhelming sadness, but there is something else.  Gratitude.  Thankfulness that I have learned to slow down, stop and appreciate, stop and watch and listen, but most of all enjoy. 

I realize too, that all these other little monkeys running around here won't be here forever.  They will grow up and become adults, not be so needy, and noisy and well, all the things little kids do to drive you mad.  I want them to remember a childhood filled with love and fun and the presence of their parents.  I don't want them to think their mother had an extra electronic appendage attached to her hand (lol, cell phones drive me crazy!!) I want to focus not on the outside world, but this one little special, sweet, messy world that I call mine. 

You see, you can't create that dream childhood you have in your head for your children being so preoccupied with all those other obligations you think you must attend to.  Phones, schedules, work, cleaning.  Yes, it all has to be done, taken care of, but not at the loss to our children.  I often found that when I did have free time, I didn't spend it playing with my children.  I spent it trying to keep them from messing up the house I had just cleaned.  Kids are kids, they are messy and I had to get over it. 

I admit I post pictures all the time on FB and I take tons of everyday pictures of my kids.  Our family is far from us, so its a way to connect our everyday with them.  To let them see their grandkids.  We often live our lives via these social sites..."look at me", "look at what I am doing with my kids today".....it shouldn't be about keeping up with the Jones' or proving to anyone that you are a great parent because you took your kids here there and everywhere.  Focus on the moment.  Forget the pictures.  Forget sharing.  Relish in the time with you kids.  Listen to them. 

For me, it's all about being PRESENT for my children.  I'm not better than a cardboard cutout standing in the kitchen if I'm only present to them physically.  I have to connect with them on all levels, physical, emotional, and mental.  Then maybe that dream childhood I have for them just may come true.

sue