Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Today, Monday, June 16th

Today was a good day.
It was the first day of summer break. Okay, my kids and I discussed that and I don't know if we came to a consensus or not. Does summer break start on the weekend after school gets out for summer or the Monday after school gets out? Today was the Monday after school ended for summer break.

Ironically, I started the day by visiting two elementary schools. I needed to pick up records and books at both schools.

After that, I took my three youngest kids to a movie. We saw "How to Train Your Dragon 2." I accidentally picked the time for the 3D movie. The kids didn't mind. It was super cute. I didn't like the part where a favorite character died but besides that, it was really good.

Side note, when I told my 6 year old daughter that I didn't like the death part she said something to this effect: It's okay. When someone dies you are really sad at first but then you get used to it. Like with Logan.
It was startling that she put that all together.

After the movie, we started home. On a whim, I asked if the kids would like to go to the local hand's-on museum: The Discovery Museum. We have a year membership. Naturally, they said yes. So, we played there for about 2 1/2 hours. It was spontaneous and I loved it. I don't give myself the freedom to change plans near enough.

The evening consisted of a quick dinner, play time, and a little (just a small bit of pruning and sweeping) yard work.

I finished my day late. I couldn't resist watching 24. I should have been reading a book but I opted for a recording of the show- the only show I watch, aside from college football which hasn't started and doesn't count as a 'show'. The only problem with it is that I need to relax after it... which is probably why I am recounting my day right now.

It was a good day.

My oldest and my husband are backpacking in the Lassen Volcanic National Park. This is my oldest son's big 13th birthday celebration. I am anxious to know about the trip. They don't have cell phone coverage. As hard as that is for me, I imagine it is just perfect for a backpacking trip.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Embracing Milesstones

My youngest had a Kindergarten celebration this week. She was - well, is- the cutest thing ever.
I felt more emotional during the musical performance and slide show than I was when she started Kindergarten. Start Kindergarten? How exciting!  Finish Kindergarten? Oh my. And they sang "Happy Trails to You" which hit my heart strings. I am going to miss her school. I really am.

Tonight I realized that I've reached another milestone. I don't really appreciate it. I don't like it at all to be honest. And, I recognize it is only the beginning. There was a time when I thought that if I made it to the end of the day and the kids were in bed, I had made it. I could relax. The preschool days were so exhausting, ya know? Ha! I am not dealing with the middle school days happily. Now when I "make it" to the end of the day, the end of the day isn't over. This week, my middle schooler is working on final projects and studying for final exams. Wait until he is finally in bed for my relax before bed time? It's insane. I am already not getting enough sleep. This is a serious adjustment that I am not making. I have not adjusted. In all fairness, I used to do the same exact thing- waiting until the last night for projects. I realize it and it drives me crazy... oh shoot, I guess I better get used to it. 

I should have snuck in the other room and took picture of him typing away at the computer for his final report for Social Studies. Oh-so-cute!

Okay, really. Kindergarten is adorable. Middle school is tough. But I still adore him. It's just different. I marvel at how he is growing. I am amazed at how he eats. His body is changing. He has a little extra hair above his upper lip. He does. Oh my gosh, he does.

I find the juxtaposition of my Kindergartener and middle schooler fascinating and bit frightening. Oh so cliché, where does the time go?

I can't help but smile.

I smile at the memory of my 6 year old daughter covering up in bed, telling me "You are the best mom ever. You are the best mom in the whole entire universe." She was so incredibly sweet. She beamed with her precious smile and love in her eyes.

I smile at the memory of my 13 year old son cracking himself up by purposely putting in this erroneous fact for me to catch when I proof-read his paper: "All in all the Revolutionary War was a great conquest, led by the first President George W. Bush." He was so remarkably funny. He laughed so hard, proud of his joke.

Monday, June 09, 2014

Movin' On

Today my husband was a little over 2, 800 miles away looking at houses. It was both surreal and extremely real. We are moving in less than 4 weeks. I am not sure that I am ready. Well, no, I am not ready. I am sure of that.

Today my third son asked me how long we would live in Florida. I readily and honestly answered, I'm not sure. He doesn't care. He likes to move, he says. My oldest often wants to know the same thing but it is because he hopes not to live in Florida for long.

My third son prayed tonight that we would get the house that we want but if we didn't get it, we'd get a house that we like even better.

The house I currently live in was owned by a lady for 25+ years. She had a really hard time moving. She recently sold the house (and the new owner is renting to us until the summer) and she had the hardest time letting go. I can honestly say that I don't understand having an attachment to a house.

We should find out tomorrow if we get the house "we want."
I have only seen this house online and in pictures my husband has sent me. It occurred to me tonight that some people (wives in particular)  would never be willing to move this way.

This move will be an adventure. All moves are.

There are things that I am looking forward to and things that I am really, really going to miss.
And so it begins again. We're movin' on. There are regrets. There are triumphs. This place that we are leaving is going to be hard to leave.

I guess these are some random thoughts about our impending move.

Sunday, June 08, 2014

It's not easy being nice

It's 10:30 at night and my neighbor is outside with her kids and her dog. The dog keeps barking. That's pretty normal. What's unusual is me paying attention to the noise of her talking to her kids. It's 10:30 and she is outside with her kids. They aren't quiet. What's more, they aren't in bed.
Our kids have school tomorrow.
I'm struck with the realization, which I have had in the past, that her kids live much, much different lives than mine. Their environment is different.
One of her kids in particular is an extreme source of frustration to one of my kids. Eight times out of ten he is just mean to my son. Earlier tonight was one of those times. My son came inside in tears. The kid just couldn't be much more verbally abusive. And yet, those few times he is nice, they play and have the best time together. This son of mine is extremely social. So, he wants to be friends with the boy next door. The boy is either nice and fun or extremely mean. My son is nice to a fault. I think that and then I wonder- what the heck does that mean? Nice to a fault? Sadly, it isn't great to be the nice kid. It is great to be the tough kid or the cool kid but not the nice kid.

I was trying to comfort him tonight and I told him to imagine this boy getting picked on. I told him, I thought he would throw his hands up and walk away. I was telling my son that it is okay to walk away. But, he said, no- this kid wouldn't do that. He would be mean right back.
My son can't do that. So, the other kids call him a baby.

I hurt for him. I also realize that I went through this with my older son. So far, I am seeing a pattern. My kids are too nice.
I'm not even sure what to think about that. In this day, it's a not good thing to be a rule following, nice kid. It means you are an easy target.

 My kids have been in bed for a long time. They aren't getting chastised in the backyard by me at 10:45 at night.

I am not better than my neighbor. I am just different than my neighbor. I was trying to tell my son it is okay to be different (kinder) than other kids. It just won't always be easy.

Sometimes I feel unprepared. I don't have the answers to encourage his hurting heart. I wonder if honesty is enough. I just talk to him from my heart and hope that he senses I am being real with him. I encourage him, rub his back, hug him, and wipe away his tears.

I cannot stop the pain that he feels.
I cannot stop the inconsiderate person.
Intervening wouldn't' do anything. It would probably ruin a relationship.
I just wait and try to keep a pleasant attitude. It would be much, much easier to go off and say what I really think.
Sometimes people are so self-involved, they don't realize the impact they have.
It is true for these kids. It is true for adults.