Monday, August 20, 2007

Big Doings Around Here Today...

The boy child is in 6th grade science class at "real school" as I write this.
The girl child is watching "High School Musical 2" - psyching herself up for ninth grade as I write this. The breadwinner is out slaughtering the pig and preparing to bring home the bacon - as it were. The breadbaker (that's me) is not preparing to bake bread, but she did bake butterscotch squares to celebrate the boy child's first day at school.

And now I will stop using this ridiculous 3rd person voice... Also, by way of clarification: Not being a typical frontier/pioneer/make my family's clothes/grow all our own food-type of homeschooler, I have never baked bread - unless banana bread counts. Pepperidge Farm Hearty Slices 12-Grain bread is just fine for us.

Was Daniel nervous about his first day of school? Let me put it this way... He set his clock for 5:45 this morning and leaped out of bed as soon as it sounded. By the time I got up at 6 am, he was dressed; his bed was made; and he was wondering what to do for the next hour and twenty minutes before we had to leave.

Was Mom nervous about his first day of school? As Steve put his arms around all of us and prayed before we headed out the door (as a whole family!) to take Daniel to school, I cried silent tears of sadness and joy for Daniel and for all of us.

It felt like in that moment, in the kitchen, with my arm clinging to the strong shoulders of my son, I remembered: I have given the last 14+ years of my life (if I include the months of pregnancy - and I DEFINITELY include those months), all my blood, sweat, and buckets of tears to these two amazing children that I adore. I have worn Dry Erase markers, mechanical pencils, and Sharpie pens to the nib, worked through textbooks and workbooks with them, read aloud and discussed hundreds of books with them, and spoken to them in English, Spanish and some broken Italian. We have spent countless hours reading the Bible together, praying for ourselves, our sponsor children, and our friends and family members near and far. We have journaled, taken pictures, drawn pictures, discussed the Civil War, the Iraq War, and the tennis war between Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer. We have traveled the streets of Charlotte, London, Madrid, and San Francisco together. We have sung, danced, laughed, cried, written letters, emails, postcards, and five-paragraph essays. We have played ping-pong, tennis, basketball, baseball, softball, Uno, Hit the Deck, Scrabble, Scattergories, and hide-and-seek. The crazy thing is that, as I stood there this morning, all I wished for was 14 more years as a fearsome threesome to do more of the same. Then I opened my eyes and managed to release my selfishness in the instant that I saw the excitement on his face: He was ready to go.

Less than half an hour later, I watched my son plow into a gaggle of giggling 6th graders, open his locker, load his stuff into his backpack, wave the three of us away with that "I will kill you with my bare hands if you kiss me in public" look on his face, and sprint down the hallway to homeroom. He didn't look back - not even once. Clearly he was ready for "real school" in so many ways. I know he's thought of me a few times today, as I've thought of, prayed for, and missed him desperately. He is gonna do great, I know it.

So will Kristiana - as a ninth-grader here at home with me.

And someday I will be able to write about today, about Daniel's transition into junior high school and Kristiana's transition into high school without tears. Someday... I hope so anyway.

Yup, big doings around here today.
And all is well.
All is well.
All manner of things shall be well.

PS> I promise to add a photo of him in his first-day outfit and brand new backpack very soon.


jmgb said...

You're going to do great too:)

Feel it, pray it, live it all the way through...

Lisa said...

This, THIS, is the stuff life is made of. Thank you for sharing these dear, tender moments with us. Our hearts are with you for your sadness and with Daniel for his bravery and excitement.

I admire you - for in a world of tragedy, loss, violence, selfishness, corporate greed, and screwed up values, you have given your ALL to raising your children, investing so much in them and cultivating their rich personalities in such a precious way. It shows in your powerful words - and I'm sure even more so to the people who are blessed to know your family in person.


GailNHB said...

Thank you, Lisa and jmgb, for your words of support. Yes, these are dear and tender moments. And I plan to live them fully, daily, hour by hour. Tears and all.

I must admit that it made me feel a little better when he came home, full of stories about his teachers and classmates and gym and lunch ... and then he said it was boring and he didn't like it at all. On the outside, I consoled him, telling him that it would get better, that the first day is always a little slow. But on the inside, I cheered! He missed me and our homeschool too!!!

Thanks again for all your support, Gail