Saturday, September 14, 2013

Navigating


I'm tired.


Significantly less tired than I would be if JT hadn't skipped his Master's swim practice and taken the boys to the beach so that I could sleep in until a marvelous 8:15 this morning. He has saved my life so many times these past few weeks. I think this has been the best part of the boys getting older. They all badly want Daddy time, and even before a long summer day ahead at the beach, Daddy loves boy time- at the beach.


It suddenly feels like being a working mom is going to be ok.
There are aspects of JT's relationship with the boys that would never be if it wasn't that I worked.
And, though I did take the day off my small 2nd job this week, now that I am pretty much working 4 days a week, and now that Aquaman is thriving in school 5 days a week, some of my perspectives have shifted.

In some ways, it makes me all the more aware that these times with The Dude, and someday with our Grand Finale, will go all too quickly. To be sure, Aquaman still needs his mom as much as ever. But he needs me in a different way. And for 6.5 hours a day 5 days a week, I don't feel guilty about not being there any more.

When I dropped Aquaman off this week on my days off, I did feel little pangs of guilt. He looked so small walking into that classroom. But he knew right what to do. And he didn't want my help. When I offered to open his water for him so he could have a small sip before class started, he practically shooed me out of the door.

I once had small fantasies about home schooling. But now I can see that even if I didn't have to work, that would never have been the right choice for Aquaman. He is so sensitive to my teaching, and so receptive to a teacher's teaching.

There must be something about the age of 5, and an explosion of learning. He is almost obsessed with practicing his writing skills. He is asking for swim lessons, with "a teacher" (i.e. not me or JT from whom he feels too much pressure). This boy whom I thought would always struggle in school because he was an active preschooler who was only interested in playing with trucks and never colored for longer than 15 seconds...is thriving.

I can see where socially, this will be a harder year for him, being the youngest in his class. He does not have much social confidence with his peers, which isn't surprising, given JT and I are neither exactly gregarious personalities. He loves teachers and adults, but has a bit of an Elijah complex.

"I don't like playing with any of the other kids, because they don't listen to the teacher", he informed me, with his nose in the air. I told him there must be SOME kids who listen like he does. He was skeptical.

But perhaps it will just take him a while to get into the groove. He's been interested in a boy named Ryan ever since his first day. In the beginning, he wasn't very sure, because "Ryan was an unusual name" (This coming from a child whose name was ranked like 170 in 2008, and what was Ryan...10?)
Then, he thought that Ryan didn't get moved into his new class...
But it turned out he was just wearing a different shirt so he didn't recognize him.

And this extra time with The Dude, has been practically priceless.
I feel guilty after dropping Aquaman off for like 10 seconds in the morning...until I realize he would have only gotten about 10 minutes worth of attention in that 6.5 hours because I'd be so busy putting The Dude in time out and cleaning the house.

The Dude is struggling with a severe case of separation anxiety currently. Every time we get in the car, he says "but I want to stay with Mama!" Convinced I am taking him back to the babysitter's house.
Don't know how long it will take to get over that, but I do know, I've been holding him a lot. And realizing that this time...it goes really really fast. His night waking has started up again badly, probably a result of the anxiety, combined with his making huge strides in potty training.

He is finally really getting it. Accidents are now few and far between, and he wakes up in the middle of the night, wearing a diaper, but crying that he has to pee. I think we're going to be done with diapers. I just hope we start sleeping again soon.


I don't have much time for Pinterest anymore, except for making dinner, because that still has to happen.
But our recipes are as uncomplicated as possible. Our play time is much more unstructured. And on the weekends, we get out of the house as much as possible so that I can enjoy my boys without facing all the unfinished house work.


Sometimes, I don't know how I'm going to do it. Sometimes, it all seems like so much.
But then I look over at my husband, our team captain, who seems so unrattled, and so understanding, and so supportive, and I realize it's way more than ok. We're going to do this, together. And from the outside it might not look really pretty, and other people might not approve of it all the time, but from the inside, it feels so beautiful, and so right.

"In real life, keeping our eyes on God rarely-okay, never-means watching for a biplane with a message in the sky. More often it means steering a boat in the dusk with only some buoys and a vague map. But even to the chronically uncertain like me, God offers a kind of gut-level assurance. Enough light in the dark to navigate by, a way out from the shoals where we've foundered- when we're watching and listening and paying attention. So you and I, we've got to keep our eyes on the only One who can tell us when to lower the anchor and when to hoist all the sails and when we need to quit being so scared of the storm."
-Joy Jordan Lake- Working Families

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