This was what a school morning looked like around here a few years back. Sonja K. was in kindergarten, now she is in the sixth grade. Jon was three, Char was one, I was probably expecting Camille. Phew. Emily, Abigail, and Benjamin were all through with school by that time, perhaps in college, I don't know. I do know that if anyone has good reason to be a little crazy, it is me:)
But as I marveled at having so many kids in school, I realized that I still have lots of kids in school. Sam graduated early, but I still have Margaret, Evelyn, Suzanne, Sonja, Charlotte Claire, and Camille, plus Kathryn and Jon doing homeschool.
Anyway, it has been a crazy ride, this motherhood thing. It seems like I spent so many years being tired and nauseous and frazzled. Up half the night with a baby, chasing a few toddlers all day, longing for that ever-elusive Good Nap...then the middle school kids would have these school projects, and I would just groan. Snack days, ugh. Then there were the spring olympics, where different grades were supposed to wear different colored shirts, oh my goodness I couldn't keep afloat. I felt like I always got by by the skin of my teeth, whatever that means. I would go in the office to sign a few of the kids out, and when I was asked what grade a particular child was in, I would get that panicky feeling, and when asked what teacher, oh my, give me a second, I think I know...
I admit I couldn't keep track of everything. I would go in to parent teacher conferences, and nod my head and agree, but honestly, I didn't know what each child was doing in school. I just couldn't keep that much information in my head, and besides, I already went to school, I didn't have to go again with each child, right? They were well-behaved, did their work, got along with other kids, that was the important part.
I went for years thinking there should be like two of me. One to clean the house, because hey, when you're so tired you can't see straight, or perhaps you just had a miscarriage and you're out of milk and bread and the dog needs to go to the vet and someone's birthday is coming up and there is a church conference and the camper needs to be vacuumed and the pool needs chemicals and the car needs to be inspected...but there was just me. And Paul, of course. But since I didn't work, it was really up to me to manage things around here, at least during the day. I was always thankful I didn't have to work, at least at a Real Job.
Anyway. I am still winding down from all that busyness. Between homeschooling, keeping up with the laundry and the house, shopping, hanging out with the older ones when they have an odd day off, doing church things, I still keep busy enough. But the whirlwind has slowed to a steady breeze, for the most part.
Today is Wednesday. That means 50% off at the thrift store in the small city. It means I am picking five kids up early from school to go there. They have finally realized that one can find good things secondhand. I think once they have that EUREKA find, that perfect pair of jeans for just a few bucks, they get hooked. They recently bought nice jeans, like American Eagle and Hollister, and cut them into shorts, sewed on lace, made them cute. I like buying myself a few books here and there, and finding nice coffee mugs. In a normal house, there are mugs. The mugs stay there, where they belong between uses, in the cupboard. In our house, they disappear, like the spoons do. When I cleaned the van before the trip to Georgia, I found three. I also like to browse the furniture section, we got our five matching kitchen chairs there for only $29.99. Not each, for all five. And our leather couch for $41. Anyway. Going out and about with my girls is FUN.
I worked out yesterday, then Abigail came over in the evening for a nice long walk. My knee hurt so badly I could have cried, later when I got up from my comfy chair after finally finishing the third book in the Divergent series. I hobbled in to take my shower before bed, trying not to get too bummed out. I know it gets bad, then gets a little better, then gets worse, then a little better, and yesterday I just did way too much. One of these years I'll get both knees replaced, I wish I could just wave a magic wand. It is a hard thing to try to get into shape when it hurts so much to do it.
Well, there is stuff to be done here, a boy to teach, laundry to switch.