Good Friday and Easter Sunday are perhaps the most significant days of the church calendar, and yet, in a real sense, we live our lives on Saturday, the day in between. Philip Yancey

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Grandparents, Yoo-hoo, Homework and Tonsils

As a child I spent a week by myself at Moms and Pops’ house each summer. It was a highlight of the year. Morning and evening I’d walk hand in hand with my grandmother the block from home to their family department store to play in the clothing racks and sit around learning how to crochet. A neighbor would drive down the main street with a pickup truck full of watermelon so Pops would buy one and cut it up in the back room, complete with dentures made from the rind. I washed it down with a Yoo-hoo picked up across the street and “put on my grandfather’s tab”. The cashier knew who I belonged to without elaboration. One year that little store had good looking kiwi for sale. My exuberance was expressed and Moms and Pops put their green thumbs to kiwi growing for the next couple decades.

My parents live in big town FL rather than small town MS but the tradition has continued. The next generation of kids spends time in the summer with the doting family sans parents. The drive is too far for individual trips but two by two was the decision for this year. Sophie and Caleb took off first so they could come back in time for public school to start. Amelia and Si traded off for the second two weeks, complete with some homeschooling materials for one and a training potty for the other.

That’s right folks, this shifting down to a family of four lasted a whole month. After a year of feeling like a shell it was amazing to suddenly human again: focused, efficient, pleasant and actually able to consider others. The clarity was a double edged sword. Need I say that bad family habits get deep rooted in a year’s time? One child in particular had quite the behavioral scam going on which all of the sudden didn’t work anymore while I was mothering just two. Oops, onto you sweetheart and the bar has just been raised.

Jason welcomed me back, which was the turning point in our revival. And I got to add on the layers of fall demands one at a time, kinda. Two kids up and off to school each morning. The dreaded seasonal clothes swap started while they were there and I was home ALONE. Packed lunches. Times tables. Clean Uniforms. Then we added homeschooling back in. Oh and yes the potty training. I haven’t added the gym into the fall mix yet as I’m nursing a badly twisted ankle of about six weeks, seriously still sore and swollen.

Then Veritas started for Amelia and she LOVES it by the way, especially the assignments that involve poster board or watercolors. I get giddy over how so many subjects reinforce the other, history lesson is expounded on through literature, artist study and even Sunday’s sermon. I always struggled with the big picture in school. The only part I find myself resisting is Grammer. So Math teacher husband has been helping out there. ;o)

Just as we got rolling Amelia had her tonsil and adenoid removal. The recovery is predicted to take two weeks, which is Friday. She’s definitely on her way there but this has rocked her world. She’s begging for a nap by lunchtime every day and is just now becoming more interested in food than pain meds. Hopefully she’ll be able to return to her full Veritas day by Thurs.

School is kicking Sophie’s tail already. A free “Skill Builder Spelling” app (check it out) has helped some with one of the challenging subjects, far greater impact than calling out words was having. It’s looking like a high maintenance year on that front but only one C on her first report card, better than we expected from this former all A student. When asked what's behind the change her answer "Mama, I just don't care anymore." Once again I have no response. Any afternoon activities leave Caleb crying through supper out of exhaustion but both are all raves about their neighborhood school days. Their placement was a great decision.

And that’s the top layer of the story. In the next post I’ll peel back a little deeper.

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