the ongoing hole in my heart

Last night together before heading back to college ūüė¶

One might think that after having 4 kids, and sending most of them to school every fall, year after year….. I would be numb to the pain of “the first day back”.

Maybe this year feels worse than usual because last summer I didn’t know what it was going to be like without the oldest at home during the school year. This summer, I enjoyed her at home (most of the time…), but I also knew what was coming when summer vacation ended.

And it can’t be avoided… so I loved having her home, but dreaded her going back-for my own selfish reasons.

Adding to my pain, we have the 3 year old starting preschool tomorrow.

She’s ready! She’s soooooooo ready. But I am finding myself really depressed this week, as the days creep by. I squeezed her and kissed her so hard this morning that she faked an injury to get me to stop.

 

Will her school understand the importance of chocolate cake to her academic success???

 

I know I’ll be at work while she’s at school, but knowing she’s not safe in our little nest while I’m gone is stressing me out. Interacting with her teacher and other kids all day, going potty, eating lunch and snack, napping, playing, learning….. all these things will happen. She will be bossy, she will be bossed back. She will possibly be unhappy at some point.

Hyperventilating.

The 15 year is taller every morning. He’s back in high school, no longer a freshman. Lets me hug him at home, I don’t know about in public……

And the 6 year old started first grade today, away from the “baby wing” of the school, and upstairs with the big kids. He wore loafers today for gods sake…..and he loved it. He told me after school that he wants to live in first grade.

And so we are back in the school year, and all that goes with it.

Dammit, they keep growing up.

 

 

 

 

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Starting back, but I’m not ready.

Image result for back to school blues

It’s coming….. end of summer, and Back to School. A time I mourn before it gets here, and mourn harder when it comes.

People think I’m weird for being sad to send my plethora of children back to school, but I hate it. For selfish reasons like not having to pack lunches all summer,¬†or forcing children out of bed before seven in the morning each day. I hate how the clock starts ticking as soon as I make the drop off at school, and I have to make sure I get through my work day efficiently enough to make it back to school for pick up on time.

Everything feels like a rush, and too many things have to be jammed in the day.

Don’t get¬† me started on the fights about homework and dinner, and last minute stops to buy things needed right NOW for school the next day.

Cold weather, darkness, rain, ice, snow…… follow up to round out the crapfest that is the school year.

Hmmmmm. I might be a little pessimistic right now.

I think probably I’m moody because I’m dropping the oldest off at college again on Saturday. Tomorrow is my last day to spend with her, and part of it will be spent doing last minute shopping for things like pens, pencils, book bags, and water glasses to replace what I keep breaking. Not especially memorable, but necessary. Then she leaves, with only a messy room, and the shirts she steals from me as a reminder…..

And the youngest. Oh my god, how did I think she was ready for preschool??!¬† She starts in 6 days, and I feel the squeeze starting in my chest. I know she’s smart, and social, and so far seems to have no sign of separation anxiety from me…. but she’s never actually been away from the house, without me, for a whole day. I want to pull her out, forget it, we aren’t ready.

I’m not ready.

 

It’s almost over

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School, the school year, making lunches, early bed times, dropping off and picking up.

It’s almost over….two more days left of activities, not even real school.

Kindergarten graduation, face painting, celebrating…..here we come.

Then, staying up late, walks for ice cream, swimming and T-ball. The splash pad, lazy mornings, as time keeps creeping by….

Soon enough, we’re ignoring the school supplies, the racks of polo shirts and khaki pants, but still stocking up on lunch baggies and juice boxes.

Because it’s almost over again.

 

 

Reiki in the face

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So my oldest is really stressing….spending the majority of her days in the library, studying for finals. Chemistry is not fun. This is a class most of us walk away from and never look back.

She really, really wants to walk away.

Called me tonight, just DONE with studying. I think she’s reached the point that it’s actually harmful for her to continue. We talked briefly, she’s tired and worried. She’s always been a worrier, kind of like me. If my assumption is correct, she is probably balancing her future on this test tomorrow, and has reached the conclusion that failure will surely have her living under a bridge.

Oh… she won’t live under a bridge. I know it, somewhere inside, she knows it. But of course I want to give her that extra motivation, that little spark she needs right now to believe in herself.

In the past, when she used to get a tummy ache, or something similar… I made up this little thing where I’d “pull out the pain”. Kind of swirl my hand around and pretend I was grabbing the offending pain and throw it away….. it made her feel better, at least¬† mentally.

Then we had the “dream magic”… during the bad dream phase. I made up a little rhyme, “Bibbity, Bobbity, Boo…. only good dreams to come through”… during this time I’m swirling my hand in a pattern around her head, then finish with a “Bippity… Bobbity… BOO!” with each word I’m reenacting a TV evangelist as they shake the demon out of the poor saps head…. she loved it!¬† In fact, the 5 year old swears by the “dream magic” these days…and makes sure I give him a good dose each night.

These things worked at that age for her…. but right now it’s a little harder to find a way to boost her confidence, calm her down, yet lift her up.

So, I told her I was going to try my hand at my own version of¬†Reiki, with absolutely no training. I’m just going to blast her with a boatload of positive energy. Right in the face. I’m gathering it up, a big ball of positivity, swirling happy thoughts and also any random tips on calculating PH out there in the cosmos…. and I’m just throwing handfuls of it at her. And there it goes, glittering and shining all over her. Oh… it’s making her sneeze, that’s so cute.

Feel like throwing some good luck energy out there??¬† Just focus on my 18 year old, she’s the one freaking out right now in Columbus, awaiting her test around 11am tomorrow. Just gather up some positive thoughts, chemistry facts, and virtual chocolate… and shower her with it.

 

 

Homework is painful for everyone

This is a big fat lie.

This is a big fat lie. Or they are drugged.

A lesson in 5  year old comprehension.

Believe it or not, Sammy has homework in Kindergarten. Things have sure changed since I was in school…..

Tonight he had to read 3 paragraphs, and then follow the very specific directions afterwards to test his comprehension.

First story was about a kid who likes going to the park. That was the first sentence, “I like going to the park.” This was followed by the things that he could do (swing and slide), and the things he had trouble doing (monkey bars). He asked his parents to take him to the park…..they are taking him on Saturday.

I know this, because it’s burned into my brain. I will never forget that he likes the park, and the slide, and the swing, and the monkey bars. I know he is going on Saturday. I will carry that knowledge with me forever.

Sammy stumbles through the paragraph. He is only 5…. I still have to help with some words. Invariably, by the time he is finished, much of what he has read is lost. I guess that’s the point of this exercise, to help with retention and comprehension.

First question to answer after the reading: “Where does the boy like to go?”

Sammy ponders….. “The playground!”

No. There is no playground. Now that you know the question, start reading again and see if you can find the answer.

Guys. He literally read that paragraph 3 times. And came up with 3 different answers… none of which were “the park”.

And this is how I know for sure, without a doubt…. I was not cut out for teaching.

I would not give him the answer…. but I was dying, at first inside…but my suffering did spill out for everyone to see. It went on, we had to circle things with a red crayon, underline with a blue crayon, box things with a purple crayon. So many steps, so difficult for me to hold back from just TELLING him what to do.

We got through it. I really think we both need points for this one.

reality.

reality.

Pee Nazi’s

from the book: Potty, by Leslie Patricelli

from the book: Potty, by Leslie Patricelli

Usually when I ask Sammy about school, he isn’t very forthcoming with his answers. Probably because my questions are boring and predictable.

What did you do today? Nothing. Did you have fun today? Yes. Did you learn anything new today? No.

When I’m not badgering him, he will sometimes just open up on his own and tell me all sorts of interesting things.

Like how his teachers might be Pee Nazi’s.

It started with him talking about nap time at school. He takes his naps seriously, and was complaining about some of the other kids who wanted to talk and play instead of napping, ruining the quiet time for everyone else. As he went on, he also brought up how rude one little girl is, for always wanting to use the potty at nap time. The teachers want her to wait until they all get up, so the girl cries.

This got my attention. If there is one thing I can’t stand, it’s not letting kids pee. I’ve blogged about¬†this before.

I immediately speak up for the little girl. “Sammy, if she needs to pee, they should let her pee.”

He looks at me. Obviously he knows better.

“Mom, they want us to pee after nap. I pee after nap. If I have to pee before nap, I just hold it. We need to practice holding it.”

We go back and forth. Me explaining that sometimes you NEED to pee, and it doesn’t matter if you’re napping, or eating lunch, or playing. I’m trying to reassure him, that if he is in that situation, it’s OK to pee!

He thinks I’m stupid.

The way he responds to me… he’s being patient because he has come to the conclusion that poor mom just doesn’t get it.

We don’t pee the same way you did back in the day…… now we HOLD it. duh.

How do I complain about something that he seems to have no problem with?

“Um, yes…. my son apparently has no trouble waiting until after naptime to pee, even if he actually has to pee while he is laying there on his little cot….in fact, he seems to think I’m a little slow for not understanding that nap time is not PEE time…but can you please let that poor little girl pee??”

I still try to explain to him that no matter how impressive his bladder control might be….. sometimes you just need to go. Like now. And if he ever, EVER needs to pee, and he is told no….. he is still allowed to go, and mommy will talk to the teachers.

I’m pretty sure he doesn’t believe me, because he is well and truly brainwashed by the pee Nazi’s.

Love Day

love1

Valentine’s day is coming up. The day to express our depth of sentiment with chocolate hearts, roses, pretty pink fluffy things.

I asked at Sammy’s school if he could pass out his valentine’s tomorrow, and was told the school doesn’t celebrate holidays, so the teacher had to ask first.

I thought about it all during the day yesterday, what if they say he can’t?? I already promised we would get valentine’s for his friends, we debated on writing just his name on the back vs writing the name of the friend and then also his name.¬†What kind of candy or treat will¬†we choose?¬†Both of us giddy to have something fun to prepare for sharing with the class.

I remember Valentine’s day in school. We prepared an old shoe box with colored paper, heart cut outs, glitter and tape, turning it into a container to hold our cards. We all got up and passed out our cards and candy to our friends, then walked home eating goodies from school.

I remember the drama¬†when one well intentioned boy wrote “I love you” on all of his cards, probably under direction of his mother…..and the class erupted in giggles and shrieks. Some of us were secretly pleased to have a real admirer, before we realized everyone got the same message.

No more valentine’s in school?

I felt bad for Sammy, and wondered how I’m going to break it to him?? I want him to have that experience, that bit of fun and feeling special. Already planning on what we can do instead of class valentine’s if he really isn’t allowed. And why are we seriously not allowed to celebrate anything anymore??

I hate that some people get offended about everything, causing schools to stop celebrating at all.

Chill out people. Go have some Dove chocolate.

All for naught…. I was later emailed that he is allowed to bring valentines.

I will save up my pre-formulated arguments for another time. Instead, we are headed to the drugstore after school today, to debate the finer points of sponge bob over teenage mutant ninja turtles and their respective messages of love.