Thursday, July 26, 2012

Answered prayers

Jonz started school this week.

This entire homeschool-to-public-school adventure has been filled with guidance, tender mercies, small miracles, and confirmation.

We have been led to a path we weren't even really considering, to a specific school, and to a specific teacher.  The right way just set itself in front of us with large signs that read, "this way!"  Though I admit...I'm not the best sign reader;)  The only hiccup came in selecting a track assignment.  Bret and I discussed and looked at the calendar and picked what we thought was best.  Later though, it became clear to me that that wasn't the place for Jonzy.  After stewing over it for a couple weeks, I submitted a track change request and wouldn't you know it- they were able to make the change for us.

The whole process from homeschool to track change happened in fairly steady fashion from the beginning of April up until the middle of June.

Then, all there was to do was get him outfitted and wait for school to actually start.

As the weeks went on and school got closer, I started to question whether this was really what we were supposed to do.  Perhaps I'd misunderstood the promptings...I got help over these weeks: reminders of all that happened on the path to getting him into school, peace when I asked-yet again-if we were on the right path, etc.  But Doubt and I are old pals and I have a hard time shutting him up.  And then Jonz started to show his doubts too.  Excitement gave way to, "Mommy, I can't go to school because I'll miss you all day."  Or, "...because I won't make any friends," or, "...because I want to watch a movie," etc. etc.  Mostly I understood this was just him being nervous and once he received more explanation and got used to this routine that he'd be fine.  But Doubt snuck in thoughts of, "maaaaaaaybe we're not supposed to do this..."

And so I prayed. 

The few times that despair threatened to take over at the prospect of sending my sweet and innocent boy out into the world with all its wolves, I prayed for peace and more confirmation that he was supposed to be going to school and that he would be protected (physically and spiritually).  For the most part, that peace has stayed with me since April.  It was just the times like after a family home evening lesson about pornography that doubt started to gain strength over the peace and extra prayer was needed to bring it back.

Despite all the inspirations and events that led up to the first day of school, I knew I needed something more in the week preceding. 

You know me- I cry.  Strike that.  I blubber.  It's my physical response to emotion, hormones, and seemingly random things as well.

I did not want to be a sobbing mess.  I knew it would not be good for Jonz.  He needed to see a confident and happy mom as he stepped off into the great unknown.  And as I pondered this fear of scaring my son with my tears a thought occured to me.  Two birds, one stone.

I started praying for something very specific.  I prayed that I would be blessed with peace and strength on that first day of school.  And that that would not only be felt, but also be manifested in a lack of tears.  As someone who cries even when at peace, I knew that if I was able to make it through this situation without tears (even though all physical and emotional factors were combined against me) that it would only be because of divine intervention. 

And so I asked that He please intervene and confirm to me that we were doing precisely what we are supposed to by blessing me with peace and the strength to not cry.

I'm here to tell you, He answered that prayer and then some...and then some more.

Not only did I not cry at all about this since that first prayer- I didn't cry when I hugged my firstborn good-bye that morning. I didn't cry when I saw how nervous and flustered Jonz was trying to figure out whether to follow the line of kids or stay with his teacher (I caught his eye and gave him a smile and thumbs up.  Then he seemed to remember that we'd talked about asking his teacher what to do if he ever didn't understand what was going on because he walked right up to her and got directions.). I didn't cry when I found after being in the office that the school was outside for an assembly and I was blessed to see my boy dancing to the music while in line and realized God gave me the opportunity to see that Jonz was just fine and already comfortable in this new situation.  I didn't cry when I drove away from the school. I didn't cry when Al suddenly realized what was going on and said, "Mom!  Jonzy's not in our car!" I didn't cry when I fleetingly lamented twice during the day that he wasn't under my watchful care but some strangers' instead. I didn't cry!

Seriously, folks!  I didn't cry all day long.  Me!  The crier.  Lindsey did not shed a single tear.  No constricted throat, no puffy eyes, no blotchy face, nooooooo tears.

I wish I could express to you how amazing this actually is.  But honestly, I don't think anyone but me can truly comprehend how incredible of a feat this is.  Perhaps those close to me understand, but even they don't know how often I battle the salty discharge.  And even beyond the lack of tears, I felt right all day.  This is right.  Jonz is on the path that will suit him best.  Right, peace, right.  Even my nagging headaches and back pain were gone all day!  For our family, for now: This. Is. Right.

And as I see this post has gotten interminably long, I'll end it for you.

I'm thankful for all the guidance and blessings received as my family travels this new road.  I am thankful for answered prayers. I'm thankful for a Father in heaven who answered my prayers in such a bountiful, clear, and intensely personal way.  I'm thankful He is ever patient with my weakness.  I'm thankful for a strong, good, and courageous seven year old that I am blessed to call my son. 

What are you thankful for today?

Thursday, July 19, 2012

It's Thursday

Here we are at Thursday.

Thursday in the midst of a loooooooooong week.

Or better yet, Thursday in the midst of a very short week of very loooooooong days.

It's a good week.  Lots of lovely things have happened this week.  I'm enjoying it. 

But today: today this week is catching up with me.  I. Am. Tired.

And that is reflected in what I am grateful for today.

Hot afternoons with boys easily persuaded to crash on the couch with a movie while I collapse for a bit.
Air conditioning.
Ceiling fans.
Planned early dinners and early bedtimes.
And lots and lots of ice water.

What are you thankful for today?

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Mixed emotions

My ten year high school reunion is happening next week. 

I have never planned on going.  Even when I graduated, I figured it wouldn't be high on my priority list to ever make the effort of attending a reunion.  Now that the first one is actually here, there are many reasons I'm not going:
  • I don't live in the same state anymore. 
  • I have three children and travelling with or without them is way too complicated to undertake for anything less than visiting family/weddings/funerals/etc.
  • I'd rather spend money on doing something fun with my family here instead of getting over there.
  • What I've chosen to do with my life is not popular and I don't want to go to the expense and hassle to get there only to have it be a night full of fake smiles and judgement or pity.
  • Because of facebook, I know the generals about many classmates and my curiosity is satisfied with those simple details.
  • A friend got married in June which provided opportunity to visit my home state and gathered together 95% of the people I would want to see at a reunion anyway.
So- I knew I wouldn't be going to a reunion.  And I'm not at all upset about it.

Not gonna lie though, I'm a bit bummed. 


Well, because nothing says, "You were so easily forgotten and no one cares," like not getting invited to your own class reunion.

Or to be more clear- nothing says, "you were so easily forgotten and no one cares," like not getting invited to your own class reunion when your graduating class was only 142, facebook makes it easy to find everyone these days, and people from the classes a year ahead and behind ours are being invited.

It's this strange mix of emotions.  Most of me is feeling, "eh, whatevs."  But a bit of me is feeling, "ouch."

High school really does never end;)

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Be grateful...

This past Sunday I went to retrieve my boys from Primary only to hear an incredibly ugly noise coming from the classroom Al and Goose are in...fake wailing at it's finest:/
The source- my son:/
The cause- Goose was completely at ends, utterly sorrowful, and on the edge of death because...he got one piece of licorice instead of the two he wanted:/
The result- I got his licorice and he went home with Dad and straight to bed while I tied up a few responsibilities at church.  Their teacher caught me as I left because in his despair Goose had left his drawing in the classroom.  I thanked her (for the paper and for having to deal with my son's poor behavior), we chatted, and then I walked home with Al and Jonz.  As I set down all my stuff at home I noticed what was written on Goose's paper.  "I am grateful for..." followed by a drawing of robots.  I then realized that my son had participated in the class lesson on gratitude and promptly threw a fit at the end because he only got one piece of licorice:/

Can you hear my head hitting the wall in failure?

I don't know how to deal with this.  My children feel entitled.  Why?  I don't know!  Sort of.  I know they don't get anything by whining and they often get exactly the opposite of what they want when they whine.  I know that the more they pester me for something, the less I actually give it to them.  Gifts are only given on birthdays and holidays.  But I also know that we live in very priviliged times and circumstances.  We have easy access to countless wonderful things.  Part of me wants to cut out any and all treats, play dates, movies, delicious food, fun outings, and anything that my children enjoy on a regular basis for the next three months.  Maybe then they'd finally understand the concept of gratitude that I keep talking about...there's got to be a less dramatic way of doing this, but not much less because they aren't anywhere near understanding in current conditions.

And so today I've decided that I'm grateful for this situation.  I am grateful to have children in a day and age when luxuries come easily.  I am grateful for what we can give them.  I am grateful that I learned from my parents that I can't expect to get what I want just because I want it.  That there's work and cost and consequence to consider before most blessings are achieved and/or granted.  I am grateful for this challenge to teach them gratitude and that I have these future men under my care who will (if I can manage, which I often doubt...) be among the few that grow up knowing that no one owes them anything.

Wish me success, please.  And sanity:)

In other, successful news- my eldest called up to me from the back of the van on the way home tonight, "Mom, when it's your birthday I'm going to do the dishes and laundry so you don't have to.  Cuz it's your birthday."  Then he asked me how to spell "birthday" and "here" and tried to sneak what I now suspect is my birthday card past me into the house.  Then he wished me "good sleep and sweet dreams" after I turned out the lights at bedtime.

They can drive me half crazy with how much I teach that goes in one ear and out the other.  But every once in a while there's a gem like this that reminds me that persistence is working, that they'll turn out great, and that my children are amazing souls.

I sure love my boys:)

What are you thankful for today?

P.S. I know the :/ symbol technically means "confused," but I use it to illustrate my slightly tilted head, raised eyebrow, and one-side-of-my-mouth-pulled-back look...You know, the "are you kidding me?" look, the "that is utterly ridiculous" look, the "seriously, folks?" look...maybe I'll take a picture to illustrate one of these days:)