[I posted this over at my education blog...and think it is fitting here too, so I'm re-posting.]
Life is a blur as of late...
Spring has sprung and everyone is restless, longing to drink in the sunshine. My kids grow bigger; and along with their increase in size comes an increase in appetites, a wider disaster radius post-playtime and continued development of independent thinking - consequently: more frequent arguments both with each other and myself. My husband has been diligently studying, excelling in all his classes; I am so proud!
L., my youngest, has started walking and is quickly graduating from that mundane skill to more exciting techniques for mobility...such as climbing. [Really, who wants to walk when you could just climb stuff, right?]
A few days ago I caught her sitting in the middle of the living room talking to herself, "No. Nooo. No. No Ma. No Mom. No. Mom. No no. Noooo." She was practicing telling me no. My heart was filled with delight at her sweet voice, pride for her working so intently to enunciate her words correctly...and slight trepidation as I considered the implications of her resolve to clearly communicate her defiance.
My oldest daughter is learning important and difficult lessons about the ugliness of lies. Meanwhile, her father and I are being tested in matters of patience and grace. She is also rapidly learning to read and write. She enjoys writing letters and often I find random letters on her schoolwork or art pages. Occasionally, her random letters happen to form words, much to her older brother's astonishment and delight. He is very impressed by her "skill" and they celebrate her accomplishment together with cheering, laughter and expressions of recognition: "Great job!" "Wow...you wrote ________!" "You are such a great speller!" This warms my spirit. I love to see my children loving and encouraging one another.
I am considering what to do for my son's education in the fall. Boarding school has been an attractive thought from time to time. New, unpleasant and frustrating phrases have been surfacing during our conversations lately; "It's not FAIR!" "I wish I had a different mom!" "Why do I have to...?!" I really dislike the attitude I see him developing and find myself praying often for an extra measure of love and grace to respond to it. While this new "big kid" personality dampens my excitement about home-educating in the coming school year, it also deepens my resolve to guide him, to instruct him, teach and correct him so that issues of character, discipline and integrity may be swiftly addressed and corrected, deterring poor attitude from developing into bad habits and unpleasant personality in later years.
I am just taking it all in. At moments, reminding myself to pause to breathe or to resist the temptation to react. Other times, digging deep to find motivation to tackle the dishes and laundry, or to mom-up and confront the arguing coming from the kids' room [instead of hiding in the pantry with a bar of chocolate pretending not to hear it]. Occasionally, ignoring those tasks that seem so pressing and important, but will still be there tomorrow and just holding my baby a little longer while she sleeps, or sitting on the floor playing dolls, or pulling out a messy art project to do TOGETHER or attacking my children with kisses and tickles while they still enjoy it - I know it will not last forever.
This season is full of unique joys and difficulties...and so will be the next. This is a sweet sort of whirlwind to be caught up in.