Sunday, March 20, 2016
I undertook the monumental task of sorting clothes last weekend. I didn't think it was going to be as monumental as it was, but apparently I kind of threw things around in boxes willy nilly last year, and this year I paid the price. I boxed up the size 18 months and the size 4 years, and every one of their long sleeves and pants.
And tomorrow it's a high of 68 and a low of 48.
Guess I jumped the gun. March is like that.
And most of all, just tired.
I feel kind of old. My neck hurts most of the time from sleeping in strange positions.
But when I stop to look at him for even 5 seconds, I just totally melt. His tantrums are adorable. I love when he twists his face up and says: "no!" Especially because he usually cracks up laughing almost immediately after. He's my sweet little tow-headed baby.
Aquaman is trying to convince me to buy him a snake. He said "Mom, I just need someone to talk to, you know? And you won't buy me a dog?"
Does he know the right thing to say to a mother, or what? So I told him, we're not getting a snake any time soon, but let's go to the store and pretend we are, and pick out one and where it will live.
I didn't feel that gross about it.
But after about 10 minutes of being surrounded by snake cages I was totally grossed out. I can't. Not yet.
We made pancakes. I told Greystoke to say "Pancakes!" and he gave me this look...."No!" Oh, couldn't you just kiss those cheeks?
Aquaman was almost the exact same age that Greystoke is when we moved in.
It's so interesting to see how each child approaches life differently, still with the same zest, but at a different angle.
What an intricate and amazing creator we have.
Soccer, where he barely went after the ball and played patty cake on the field with his team mate the whole time. I think he says it just to say it. Just because it feels good to be contrary. Just because he's The Dude in all his 5 year old glory.
Greystoke is a totally different audience than The Dude was back when Aquaman was playing tball. I had to hold The Dude back from charging the field at every game. Greystoke, true to form, just watches the game. He's a visual learner, the first of his kind in our family, and I marvel that his hands are not always everywhere like theirs were.
He sat in the dirt and built tracks. Often, he didn't realize his team had left the field until they started batting. I love these memories.
This time of year is always so hard. It's so much work for him, and it's so lonely for me.
I've grown up since then. I know that I, and my boys, are not unloved just because my husband's job and now jobs require him to work the weekends in the spring.
And as I was sitting on the grass there in my one tank top that is not all stained up and my favorite pair of shorts and feeling slightly awkward but mostly just fine, one of the other mothers came up to me and said "we were just talking about how calm you always are. You've got these 3 boys, and you're doing it alone, and you look so happy and calm."
But it's spring break, and I'm glad for that. Aquaman got his report card last week. He is below grade level for neat handwriting and correct punctuation and capitals and doing his personal best, and his teacher said he still feels that he is not trying, but I can tell you something else. He's not anxious anymore. He's not crying. He's not exploding the moment he comes home. He is turning in his writing and he is doing the best he can emotionally and physically do, and I am happy with how things are going. For the first time in his school career I did not check the box requesting a conference because I don't see the point in rehashing our differences. One more grading period and then it will be summer and next year we can start again.
In the meantime, he is loving the gifted program. He has reunited with his best friend from kindergarten who is also in the class. They actually play like regular kids on the playground. I can't tell you how it feels to watch him giggling and being lighthearted and not fighting with another child on the playground. To see them sitting close to each other and his not feeling invaded. There are many complicated days ahead for us I am sure, but things are better right now, and for that I am very thankful.
Isaiah 41: 9-10
Right where he wants me to be.
And not afraid.
Posted by Joy at Sunday, March 20, 2016
Wednesday, March 9, 2016
For the past several years, there has also been competition prep to make things even crazier.
Boys are so weird and gross.
My sister K came to visit. It went too fast like it always does, but we soaked it up while we could.
The Dude turned 5 years old last Friday. A whole handful.
Spring break is only 2 weeks away.
Summer camp schedules are starting to come out.
A couple of nights ago, as he lay in bed contemplating all of this, Aquaman said: "Mom? My teacher is a really good teacher. And he is a really nice person. He was just not the best teacher for me."
I have struggled a lot the past couple of months because many of my Christian friends whose parenting I admire home school their kids. And I wish I could too. There is a new hybrid Christian homeschool on beachside that has 2 days of private school and 3 days of homeschool of which they give you the curriculum, and I would love to do something like that.
But what it comes down to is, today at least, and all we have is today, it is just not possible.
This is a new stage of parenting and of letting go for me. When Aquaman was a baby I struggled a lot with having to work, even part time. I felt that the ideal was to be home with him. Slowly time healed that wound. I have seen how God has provided for us with grandparents to care for our children, and part time family centered jobs with great schedules and that I have felt like I could really make an impact with. He is more than provided us with everything that we need.
It is my nature to fight through every angle. One of my nursing school references wrote: "J leaves no stone un turned."
I like to turn the stones over. I like to look at every angle. I am highly idealistic. I am willing to make great sacrifices for those ideals. But sometimes I have to set the stones down, sigh, and admit that this is not the Garden. Life is not always ideal. And my thoughts are so much smaller than His thoughts.
And so I trust that where I cannot go, God will go with him. He will go ahead of him. And He will use these less than ideal conditions to accomplish His will in Aquaman's life.
Aquaman will always be a quirky boy. He will always be different. That's ok.
I love him. I love all my crazy boys. I love the impulsivity, I love that they don't want to be controlled. What a holy and wonderful word is no! They will need to use it in so many important ways in the future.
In all its take-off-your-diaper-and-poop-on-the-floor, and scowl and hold your ground, or else go totally rag doll limp and screech like someone is killing you glory. 2.
He loved seeing Aunt "Tatie" and "Bart". He loves his Papa, and puts Papa down for a nap while he quietly slips out of the room because he already thinks he's getting too big for such a thing as naps.
He had such a great birthday.
Aquaman was almost as excited as The Dude. He woke him up and dragged him out of bed at 5:10 am. I heard the ruckus and was sure someone was sick or having a nightmare or something. When I made it down the stairs and saw them both up, I told them to go back to bed. The Dude said "so THAT'S why I am so tired." and fell cheerfully back asleep. But Aquaman lay in his bed "thinking" and staring out the window until the sun rose.
He has never been excited about books like his other 2 brothers, but his current obsession is wild jungle animals, and at the library last week he found a chapter book about Cheetahs and practically has it memorized.
He wants to go to zoo camp this summer.
On Saturday he had his first t-ball game and it went so much better than soccer!
But I didn't have to drag The Dude. He practically dragged me.
Life is hard, there are so many unknowns around the bend. There are so many struggles all around us, so much pain, so much sin, including in my own heart.
But lately I have been falling asleep reading Ecclesiastes and thanking God for the beauty today. For the joy in the labor of it. For the feeling of a soft bed after a long day. For the laughter of my children. The hugs. The hope.
Meaningless, Meaningless. Everything is not meaningless.
Because He lives. Because He makes the sun set every single day in its pinks and oranges, but sometimes we are so wrapped up in our own little selves that we don't stop to notice it.
Because He has set eternity in our hearts, even as he washes the dirt off our feet.
Posted by Joy at Wednesday, March 09, 2016