Saturday, August 29, 2009

Sounds like life to me. . .

Well, this post is for my friend Jane, who mentioned to me that she kept up with my family this summer through my blog and thought that I needed to write another post. I'm so flattered that someone actually reads this stuff, how could I refuse?

Yesterday morning I got up and had lots of deep thoughts running through my head and I thought, "Hey! I should go write a blog entry about this!" but instead I laid there fifteen more minutes and then go up and started my usual day. You can't really write a good blog entry on deep thoughts in fifteen minutes anyway. So this morning, I got up early (for me) at 6:00 and thought I'd go write a blog entry. Two things got in the way though - first, two other family members got up with me, and second, I have no deep thoughts this morning. Oh well. So, here we are, with only light and fleeting thoughts for today.

Well, we are now two weeks or so into school, and the girls seem to be enjoying it. It has been super crazy around here though, because our church postponed VBS to this last week, from 6:30 to 8:30 at night, which meant that the girls came home from school and we had to cram homework, dinner and playtime in so that when they got home they could go straight to bed. They really enjoyed the VBS though. They took our neighbors across the street with them, so we got to know them a little better as well.

Gracie's first couple of weeks at school have been a bit up and down. She seems to have a good time most of the time, although when I ask her about her new teacher, her overwhelming impression is that she's "loud." Mrs. B does have a rather low, booming voice, but I don't find her overwhelmingly loud. I've heard that she is a fun teacher though, so I'm hoping Gracie will warm up to her soon. Gracie will certainly get the chance to know Mrs. B. - she got moved to a desk near her because she is having trouble keeping focused on tasks. I got a note about that already. Still, she seems to be doing just fine in class for now. On the playground though, she had a bad day yesterday. She was put in time out for part of recess for chasing another kid that didn't want to be chased. She apparently was so upset about it that she cried until she had a bloody nose, for which she had to go to the office. So, when she got home, our conversation went something like this:

Me: "How was your day at school."

Gracie: "Good. Except I got a bloody nose."

Me: "What? How did you get a bloody nose."

Gracie: "Well, I was playing and chasing and got in Time Out and crying and sad and Ben and Edmund and . . . "

So we sat down and talked about what exactly happened. Then I said, "Okay, well, what else happened today that was the good part?"

"What?" asked Gracie.

"You said you had a good day when I asked how it was - what was the good part?" I replied.

"No, that's all I remember. I guess it was a bad day."

I suppose it's all in the details.

Maggie is a busy girl in her new class. She hasn't talked very much about her teacher, but seems to be just as enthralled with her as she was for the last few teachers. She gets 40 minutes of Spanish each week for this first semester and is excited about that. So far she's learned how to say, "Gimme Five!" in Spanish - very, very useful stuff!!! (No, really, in our house, that's useful!)

Maggie's first two weeks have been marked by social angst. She got off the bus last Friday swearing that she would never ride again. Why? Because one of her friends hasn't sat with her since school started, of course. Her solution? "I will never speak to her again, and then she'll know I am mad!" So we had to sit down and talk about how people can't read minds, and this friend probably doesn't even know how she feels. She spoke with this friend the next morning (after some coaching) and they sat together on the way to school, so that crisis was averted. Of course, that afternoon she found out that a friend was having a sleepover with six friends, and she was not among the selected six. Sigh. . .

I know that this is a life lesson that she needs to learn, and yet, as a mother, I wish I could shield her from anything that would make her tender heart ache. Still, it's a part of building character and all, so I wouldn't truly want to shield her from that either. It's a fine line between raising a well-mannered child and a real spoiled brat. I hope I get it right.

Other things that have been going on are of course, my birthday. The girls and Jerry brought me presents in bed and we had a nice little party before the day got started. Jerry took a photo that he posted on Facebook, so I'm not sure that there's anyone in the world that hasn't already seen it, but here it is:
That night we all went out to dinner and then tried a new frozen yogurt place. When you walk in they give you a tub to fill up with the 20 or so flavors of frozen yogurt and a wide assortment of toppings. Then you get to the register and put it on a scale and pay by the ounce. We had been warned by friends though, so we didn't fill our tubs up to capacity - just got a modest amount, and got out for about $10. It was quite delicious. Maggie got PB and chocolate, Gracie got strawberry and banana, Jerry got cookies and creme, and I got a smidgen of chocolate, vanilla, cookies and creme and orange. The orange was so orange-y it made my eyebrows want to leap off my face! It was tasty though, so I see a return trip in our future.

One thing that threw me for a loop on my birthday was finding out about the death of the father of one of the Girl Scouts in my troop, David. He did just about everything with our troop. He went on our camp outs, our field trips, came to every award ceremony, provided snacks when it was his daughter's turn - he was a wonderful father, and a good man. He had a massive heart attack and died the Tuesday before my birthday. It used to be that things like that happened to my parents friends, but now I'm getting up there, and it's people I know. Quite a sobering thought to have. Even more sobering is the thought of his daughter, going on without him. I can't imagine going through the loss of my father at my age, much less being 9 years old. My heart just aches for her.

Several such things sobering have happened in the last few weeks - one friend's baby being stillborn and another friend whose water broke at 28 weeks who is now looking at a long hospital stay. These occurrences present challenges that can be difficult to resolve in my mind. How can a loving God allow these things to happen to folks who love Him? I know it is natural to have these doubts, these feelings of uncertainty, even anger, but the thing that makes it harder is when my children, so young in their faith, have the same questions. When I told Maggie about David's death, she got upset, understandably. She was sad for her friend, she was worried about something like that happening to me or Jerry, but she also wanted to know, "Mom, who decides when these things happen? Is it God, or is it the Devil?" Sometimes I wonder too.

Well, that's about all the Saturday time I can take for blog posting - Jerry and I are tackling the clutter that is on our bookshelves, and has been since we moved here a year ago (broken tea cup anyone?) We may be able to have another garage sale by the time we finish. If anyone is in the market for a large china cabinet, let me know - it's still hanging around!


Cheryl Tredway said...

You are so right about it being a fine balancing act with our children. When should we shield them, when should we explain things to them. Even harder is when our children ask us questions and our answers just don't make sense to them.

Oh and love the bow! :)

Jane said...

Thanks for the update!!