Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Running Hard

I'm so sorry that I'm not blogging more frequently these days.  I'm dying to write more and have so much to write about, but I often don't have time to sit down for a moment's relaxation between about 6:00am (when Seth wakes up) until 10:00/11:00 (when Matthew finally falls asleep).

This is our third week of h/schooling for this fall and wow - it's been a big transition, for me more than for the kids even.  I've been spending hours on each of the past three weekends getting ready for the coming week of school, and that time has to come from somewhere.  I guess that might explain why the state of my house has deteriorated.

Matthew is well into Grade 2 Curriculum now, in addition to the other stuff we're doing h/school wise.  The bigger challenge has been keeping the younger kids busy.  I'm doing some academic-like work with Seth, but really, neither of the younger kids are ready for school.  They are very bright children, but they have had so terribly much to adapt to and learn in the past four months that it's like their brains just can't hold any more new information.  So, for example, it took Seth about two weeks to really get the letter "A."  When, a month or two ago, I tried to teach him colours, he simply couldn't get it; but now suddenly, he's picking it up with amazing speed...just more indication that when he's ready to learn something, he can just do it at his usual breakneck speed.

As one dear friend recently emailed me, it really would be enough 'schooling' if, in the coming months, all three kids simply learn to adjust to each other and form a close-knit family; if we don't get much school done, that would be ok.  In my head I fully agree with this, especially because it's been less than four months since S&L came home; but in my heart, I really would like to get some school work done because I'm always terrified of failing my kids given our choice to h/school (do you see how it's all about me sometimes??!).  Frankly, all three kids (here's a miracle for you!) really want to be doing school...I get asked from morning to night if we can go downstairs into the classroom - the onus is on me to have enough ideas to keep the younger two kids doing something that feels like learning for them but isn't very hard.  So for now we'll try, and I've made a daily schedule, but I recognize that I may need to adjust things as we go ahead.

As I write this now, it's 7:00am and, though showered and dressed for the day, I am sitting on my bed with all three kids in bed with me or nearby.  Seth woke up just before 6, Matthew has been in our bed since about 3:30am, and Lizzie stumbled into the room about fifteen minutes ago.  Matthew is now still asleep beside me, Lizzie is grunting on the toilet in the adjoining bathroom (any second I'll hear "mommy, kaka - could you please my bum?" She always forgets the word 'wipe'!), and Seth is draped over my back watching me write this, while performing some kind of twist hairstyle thing in my hair (he can't figure out why the finished twist doesn't just stay in my hair when he's done, as it would with Lizzie's hair, and I keep telling him that my hair is very different than his or Lizzie's and just won't hold a twist!).

The adrenaline of the first few months of the kids being home has worn off, and we're in the grind now, the day-to-day grind of training up our children.  Some days (like the last four) the grind is really, really hard, and on those days I still feel a need to run away and hide.  But increasingly, there are days when things look a little better, and when I think for a moment ok, maybe I can do this after all.  Yesterday, I was asked by another h/schooling mom if she could talk with me some time about adoption because she and her husband want to start the adoption process themselves  before the end of the year; she is at that early, eager, hopeful, naive stage of the process where the prospect seems great and the anticipation high - I recognize her face because I wore it myself many years ago when we were at the contemplation point. and well before a bit of cynicism crept in.  What I need to figure out is how to tell her that adoption is great and that I'm so glad that our family has been completed in this way...but that there is a long and twisty and very hard road ahead of her yet if they see this through to its wonderful end.

At any rate, this post will teach me to edit before pressing "publish post" because I've rambled on about various topics unchecked, unedited, and unclear.  Excuse my hurried state, please.  What I really feel like saying very simply and somewhat pessimistically, after a number of days of feeling utterly overwhelmed, is this:  Here's to another day survived!


  1. Your youngest 2 children ARE being h/schooled--the curriculum is learning functional English, Canadian culture (including hair that won't stay twisted!), and learning to trust a new family. Their brains are, indeed, fully occupied, and also clearly very high functioning, as their adjustments seem to be proceeding at lightening speed. You are an excellent teacher/mom. If I may be so bold as to say outright: Don't worry about failing your children.

  2. Re: your last sentence: AMEN!!!!

  3. I like your blogs and look forward to them. You gave us such a great visual of you and the kids hanging out on the bed. Thanks for sharing.

  4. You are doing great. Just keep it up!