All summer Juniper asked about going to first grade. We talked a lot and decided that it would work well for her to go to public school one day a week and attend music, art, and phys. ed. classes. She was really excited. When I mentioned that she may not know any of the kids she said, "But mom, I'll make friends. That's what school is for right?" Um, pretty much. Then, we found out she'd be in class with several kids she knows from art camp, and one really good friend. She was thrilled. We toured the school, picked out clothes the night before, and packed her new lunch bags. On her fist Friday she was ready to go. She hung on my hand for just a minute, then gave me a hug and said good bye. I had no concerns that she wouldn't be fine. Junebug is one social kid and I knew she'd have a blast. But, I was wrong. At pick up I learned that she had cried on and off all morning. For the next week she talked about how nervous she was to go back to school, and as the next Friday approached she said she wasn't going.
And, despite spending an hour at school yesterday morning at drop off time (a long, trying hour with tears, and pleading all around) an exhausted Mama, and three kiddos climbed into the car and headed home.
I know I could have left her crying with her teacher and hit the road. I know that, as the teacher assured me, "it will be easier if you just go". I know that really she would have been fine at the end of the day. But even though I knew that it was still hard. It was hard to see my Junebug so unreasonably (at least to my eyes) sad at the prospect of joining her friends for a day of music, art, and phys. ed. It was hard to allow her to give up after trying school just once, hard for me to stifle the feeling that she should "finish what she started". It was hardest to ignore the well meaning adults who kept assuring me, "she'll be alright after you leave". As an ex-teacher, I knew they were right, in some respects-- but as a parent it just felt wrong. I guess I feel that walking away from someone you love, and leaving them crying and reaching for you as you drive down the road, is just not a kind thing to do. I couldn't do it when my babies were infants, and it still feels wrong to do it now. I like to teach kindness. I like to model kindness. I feel really fortunate to be in a situation where I could choose to bring my child home, and honor her wish to not go to school. I know that if my situation was different that I may not have had the freedom to walk away from school and bring my daughter home. But I do, so I did.
We're all still sitting with this situation, not quite sure where we'll go from here. I don't like the idea of giving up without really trying, and teaching the lesson that its OK to start something and not finish. But, I'm also not OK with going against your instincts and doing something that feels terribly wrong. Clearly this feels wrong to our girl, and making her stay somewhere she doesn't want to be feels wrong to me. As a family we'll try our best to figure out what feels right to all of us.
* Kale has always been ball crazy. Now he's got a new ball and he's loving it up. There's not a day that goes by without a snuggle for the ball, or a trip in the car with the ball, and he's all about showing off his tricks. His newest? Juggling soccer style with his knees. Pretty darn funny and cute as all get out!
* Still loving the couch, and how it makes a great play table too.
* We picked some elderberries from the side of the road, plucked them, and froze them. We'll make elderberry syrup with honey for immune support in small batches throughout the winter.
* I've switched from muffins to "muffins pretending to be cake". It bakes a little longer, but the pan is way easier to clean, and really who doesn't like cake for breakfast? I went for the camera to snap a photo of the cake, and came back to find the excavator here. These days there are trucks around most everywhere.
* I can't believe how big he's getting.
* Wylie's playing soccer three times a week--which is really too much for most 8 yr. olds, and definitely too much for most moms. But, its all there is, so we're making the most of it. Aside from the over scheduling, I love soccer. I played for years in school so its really fun to see the game again. Its got me feeling like I want to play. He's in a 1st-3rd grade league which means the kids are all different sizes and abilities. Its a pretty funny thing to watch.
* I love cereal, especially warm cereal or oatmeal, so breakfast without wheat or oats can sometimes be a difficult thing for me. But, I've discovered that quinoa or brown rice (or a mixture of the two) makes a really great warm breakfast. Hopefully I've remembered to save some from dinner the night before, then I reheat it and do it up with chopped almonds, frozen blueberries, a bit of milk or cream, and some maple syrup. Yum.
* Wylie used his birthday money to buy a rocket kit. Its taken us a while to assemble the thing (sanding, gluing, painting) but we finally finished. The first launch was a dud, but it worked great the next three tries. The parachute failed to open once, but the rocket was good as new after just minor repairs.
Wylie was super excited to launch it the first few times, but has since become more hesitant, and tentative about pushing the launch button. The other day while walking up to the field for a launch he said, "I'm not like most people. Most people are scared to try something when its new. I'm more scared after I know what's going to happen." I thought that was pretty insightful of him. He is exactly like that--always anxious (sometime too much so) to find out what will happen, then when he knows, he has a tendency to over-think the situation until he's built it up to be something to be feared. I love that he's able to recognize his learning style at such an early age. Sometimes I'm really worried about this kid, and then he says things like that and I realize he's going to be just fine.
* Lots of green beans going in the freezer, and maybe some dilly beans next week.
* September is like this: swimming and fishing one day, wool sweaters the next. I love it.