Adjustments

First Day

I spontaneously wanted to do something meaningful for the girls this morning as they finished breakfast and before we loaded up in the van to head to their first day of school-away-from-home. Michael Card’s Barocha came to mind, so I began singing it to the girls as a sort of blessing on their time away from home. There was just one problem with that plan: I’ve had a bit of a weather-change cold for the past few days, so my voice first thing in the morning wasn’t exactly cooperating. After doing my best This is Spinal Tap version of Michael’s beautiful song, I gave up and plugged in the iPod.

The day proceeded mostly as planned, closely supervised by my Thursday boss:

My Thurday Boss

Actually, the day with her was just about perfect. I let her watch a movie when we got home, and then we had a much-anticipated (by Millie) picnic on the floor of the living room with her lunch in a lunchbox. I actually even read Curious George to her after that, and she took a nap on the floor for the rest of the time. I spent the entire movie time and nap time working on my new project, so that was all good.

Then things began to unravel somewhat: on our way to pick the girls up, we were on a highway where a major traffic accident had just occurred, so we were stuck for 20 minutes until I wormed my way three lanes over to the nearest exit (which wasn’t the one I needed to get off on) amid much honking by other frustrated drivers (and, I’m sure, plenty of special hand waves aimed in my direction). I didn’t care – I was going to be late picking my kids up on their first day of school ever, and I just didn’t want that to happen. As it was, I was still 10 minutes late, but not the only parent to get stuck in the accident.

But things continued to spiral down a bit. Maddie, who according to a tale of two witnesses (that of Chloe and the teacher) really enjoyed the day and did well, was grumpy with the rest of us the entire way home. Katie decided she should be grumpy with all of us also, so we had a really pleasant car ride back (during which we avoided all highways courtesy of the traffic accident).

I let them watch a DVD when we got back to decompress after the day, but we had to turn right back around 45 minutes later to do the choir drop-off shuffle (they are in different sections this year, meeting on opposite sides of a very busy street). On the way to choir, Maddie realized that she would not get to see Craig today and that the rest of us would be eating dinner without her. Her choir section is 90 minutes long, while Chloe’s is 45 minutes long, so Craig picked up Chloe and then brought her to the seminary where Katie, Millie, and I were waiting with dinner to eat with him before he left for class.

This is the only window of time on Thursdays in which *most* of the girls can get 45 minutes with him, but it just happens that Maddie isn’t in that *most*, and after a long day full of brand new experiences and being very tired, realizing that not only would she not see Craig, but that she would have to eat dinner alone later unraveled her completely as I escorted her into choir with tears in her eyes.

Adjustments. I have learned not to sing to the girls first thing in the morning on weeks I have a cold. Now we’ve learned that we need to figure out a plan for Maddie to see her Daddy for even a little bit on Thursday afternoons. We will tweak the system and try again, but in the meantime, it’s wearying and we might cry a bit. Thank God tomorrow is a home day. I think sleeping in and doing school in our pajamas has just been A-listed for Friday…

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10 thoughts on “Adjustments

  1. TulipGirl says:

    What martha said was just. . . wonderful. . .
    As you probably remember, the boys were in school-building-school the first year we were in the States, 5 days a week. We’re starting on our second year back in homeschooling. While I think y’all have a wonderful set-up, for us one of the big factors in returning to homeschooling was that the boys just were SO cranky at the end of the school day. It was like everyone else got the “best” of each of us, and we gave each other the left overs–which was usually cranky and tired and all too often unkind.
    Not that my boys show each other self-sacrificial love and gentleness 24/7 with each other, but at least we aren’t giving one another only the cranky parts of the day.
    (Again, not saying this will be true of your family–the school situation y’all have sounds pretty close to ideal! Just that it isn’t unusual for everyone to be overtired and cranky at the end of a school day. . . I’m sure y’all will be able to get into a good rhythm with school, though. . .)

    Like

  2. martha10 says:

    from the sound of things, you did well for a first day of school and fantastic for a first day of school away from home, EVER! when you add an afternoon of lessons also (ours usually started a week or 2 later) i think you deserve 5 stars:) you started ALL the new things on one day…and survived pretty well. b/f long, this will be a routine! (once the bugs are worked out.)
    we had a daughter who almost always came home from school in a bad mood. according to her teachers, she was a little angel all day. after much sleuthing, i came to conclusion that the hard work of being nice all day was just too tiring and she had had it by the time she got home. she knew we were safe and wouldn’t reject her. i didn’t understand what i do now about grace. i wish i had and could have more strongly encouraged her not to feel she had to perform, but to “relax” in the fact that she was already accepted in Christ and He is the one whose acceptance is most important.
    i did try to help her relax when she got home. sometimes she was able to. she has grown up to be a wonderful person and a very caring mother.

    Like

  3. TulipGirl says:

    What martha said was just. . . wonderful. . .
    As you probably remember, the boys were in school-building-school the first year we were in the States, 5 days a week. We’re starting on our second year back in homeschooling. While I think y’all have a wonderful set-up, for us one of the big factors in returning to homeschooling was that the boys just were SO cranky at the end of the school day. It was like everyone else got the “best” of each of us, and we gave each other the left overs–which was usually cranky and tired and all too often unkind.
    Not that my boys show each other self-sacrificial love and gentleness 24/7 with each other, but at least we aren’t giving one another only the cranky parts of the day.
    (Again, not saying this will be true of your family–the school situation y’all have sounds pretty close to ideal! Just that it isn’t unusual for everyone to be overtired and cranky at the end of a school day. . . I’m sure y’all will be able to get into a good rhythm with school, though. . .)

    Like

  4. martha10 says:

    from the sound of things, you did well for a first day of school and fantastic for a first day of school away from home, EVER! when you add an afternoon of lessons also (ours usually started a week or 2 later) i think you deserve 5 stars:) you started ALL the new things on one day…and survived pretty well. b/f long, this will be a routine! (once the bugs are worked out.)
    we had a daughter who almost always came home from school in a bad mood. according to her teachers, she was a little angel all day. after much sleuthing, i came to conclusion that the hard work of being nice all day was just too tiring and she had had it by the time she got home. she knew we were safe and wouldn’t reject her. i didn’t understand what i do now about grace. i wish i had and could have more strongly encouraged her not to feel she had to perform, but to “relax” in the fact that she was already accepted in Christ and He is the one whose acceptance is most important.
    i did try to help her relax when she got home. sometimes she was able to. she has grown up to be a wonderful person and a very caring mother.

    Like

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