Wednesday, January 22, 2014

*Sigh* back to routine. . .

I didn't want to go to school today.  Don't get me wrong, I love school.  My classes are interesting and I love learning.  In some ways, being alone in my car for 30 minutes twice a day is phenomenal. So weird to have time to think without interruption.  Wonderful weird.

We had a great weekend at my mom's: very low-key, lots of cousin time for most of the kids.  For whatever reason, I am much more willing to let my mom and my sister "take care" of me than I am with anyone else in my life.  Most of the time when we're there, my mom makes the kids breakfast at least once while I sleep in (and on a lot of visits she does that more than once).  Some or all of my kids usually end up at my sisters' house at some point, for hours or even over night.  Its probably a good thing I don't live a little bit closer, it would be far too easy to let myself get spoiled, with the only people I really allow to spoil me.  I guess the youngest child in me comes out a bit.

Yesterday, everybody else was supposed to be back to school, but Keilana only lasted through orchestra (which is before school) before coming home sick.  Not super sick, just a little hot, a little tired, a little headachy--just sick enough to want to lay down and watch movies all day.  So all my girls were home with me all day yesterday.  I found myself wishing for years when all the days were like that.

And then I had to get the little girls ready and dropped off this morning and head to school.  And I am glad to be here.  I do feel like its the right thing to be doing right now.  But those years I got to spend at home with my kids every day, focused only on them and the tasks that needed doing to keep our home running smoothly?  They were good years.  They were what I've always wanted, and I feel like I can watch them slipping away from me.  I'm not gone a lot.  School, at this point, requires me to be away from home less than 20 hours a week.  But to make things a little easier on me and Doug and babysitters, Kylie is in Head Start this year.  And unlike last semester, when we both went to school in the afternoon, now I take off in the mornings and my little girl leaves for school sometime while I'm gone and then gets home late, late into the afternoon.  I hate that.  Keira is the only one at home during the afternoon, and I love my time with my baby.  Since she is the youngest of 4, she's never had me to herself much and she loves it and so do I.  But next year, she'll probably do part-day Head Start as my hours in school increase a bit.  Then another year of it, and by the time my remaining course work is online, she'll be in full-day Kindergarten.  Why full-day?  Why do you need my 5-year-old for 7 or 8 hours of the 12-14 she's awake?

And then I'll be working.  Hopefully only part time most years--a couple of shifts a week if I can make it work--but just one more thing getting in the way of the very short years I have with all these little people in my house.  I feel at peace with the decisions we've made as a family this year.  I know a lot of them will likely be necessary in the coming years to keep our little family afloat.  And I'm OK with that.  But sometimes I wish the the world were different, that life could be only what I want to be.  Most of us can't live out our ideal, because in addition to our own limitations, life just doesn't cater to what we want--in fact, the world is built less and less all the time around the things we believe are important.  Well, around the only things that we believe really matter in the long run.   We've been able to come amazingly close to living that ideal the last decade.  It has taken sacrifices, but usually they were sacrifices that we made happily because what we gained was so much more important to us than anything we gave up or went without.

We believe that we will know and love our children throughout eternity.  This life is not the only time we have with them.  But it is the only time in all eternity that we will know them as children.  In the endless, eternal rounds, it is only in these 18 brief earth-years that we enjoy them as little ones.  Its not that I want to keep them little--I love them little, and I love them a little bigger, and more than anything I love watching them grow and discover and learn--its that I just don't want to miss any more than I have to of these terribly short years between welcoming them into our home, and sending them out into the world.

Maybe when I'm through school we really do need to homeschool.

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