Saturday, October 1, 2016

Finding a Ladybug

Last week a friend was over and she was reminiscing a bit about when her kids were the age of mine. The little years before school and extra curricular activities. My simple little life felt probably a little romantic to her. She said, "I know everyone says you will miss it, but the good really does stick with you." I thought quickly about what she was saying and knew it was true. Even now, just a few short years (even months!) from those new baby days and I think simple things like "we just did our best."

My friend's words did get me thinking though. This is our last year before "school." I know I have felt a lot of pressure about what my decision will be for Blanche's first year. Whether to keep doing what we are doing and add a bit more study, or to send her to public school and start a whole new chapter of life. Either way, Thursday morning as we walked on the trails at the Wild Flower Center I just felt a peace. To stop and truly enjoy my children and the stage of life we are all in... Being the main subject of this blog (the artist with occasional meltdowns) I of course had that peace for the morning and then that afternoon tried to envision my whole future on whether we would buy a house, adopt a baby, and/or homeschool. You know. Peace of mind.  But after melting down a bit, rambling to Andrew and then watching Netflix, I feel a bit better. I think sometimes (okay a lot) I am not getting enough sleep and my overthinking starts to kick in full force. But the last couple of days have been just the reminders I have needed in life. We have played at the park with friends and had sometime as a family with Andrew. It really does take so very little to make my kids excited. Today Blanche found a ladybug outside. It really reminded me of the time we found a worm. There is such great excitement in kids with the smallest parts of nature. Its refreshes me. Somehow Rosemary found this little ladybug in the huge pile of wood chips that is our yard. And then not only that, but Blanche played with it, and then left it in the garden and came back four hours later to find it. Tonight all three kids were outside and playing with the lady bug. "Enjoy them where they are" is what I thought. And then I remembered how one of the things I've wanted to start doing for homeschool is a nature journal. I brought out two pieces of paper and the crayons and asked the girls if they wanted to draw the lady bug. "Yeah!" Blanche exclaimed.

The girls took turns holding it, drawing about it, trying to protect it, and so on. I feel like these moments when they are outside and working together their play becomes so rich. They share better and act so kind at times. Then Blanche got the playsilks to throw above the air conditioner fan outside. Another favorite game. So simple.

I am pretty sure we will homeschool. My brother asked me the other day about it and I said I was about 70% with homeschooling and 30% with public. He said I could just send her on the days I didn't feel like homeschooling (actually if anyone knows of part time in Austin... let me know!) haha. But I think the key for me is to not think too far ahead. A year ago if someone would have told me I was helping Blanche with basic sight words and checking out level one reading books from the library I would have thought "Oh wow, I must have gotten my act together." But in reality, it has all come from Blanche and her interest and love of learning. We are slowly figuring it out together. And thats really what I want anyways. I want learning to not be just about the subjects but home life and in nature as well. As soon as I can be fully confident, I will be fully ready. Sure, three kids ages 1,2, and 4 is a bit nuts. But there are great moments every day. My mind just has to slow down enough to live in the present, to be present, and to be there for my kids. One worm or ladybug at a time.

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