Sunday, September 15, 2013

my sunshine

photo credit to alisha lacey

Claire deserves a long, photo-laden post all her own, but my weariness will win tonight. I couldn't go to bed, though, without expressing how much I love this little girl. During a really sad, dark time in our lives as we lose our dad, Claire has been a deep comfort to me. I wish she could have known my dad, and he her. She has been the easiest little baby, from being healthy and chunkabunch to sleeping well and being endlessly content at all times. She is the light of our family. I will try not to eat her.

Sunday, September 08, 2013

the days pass slowly but the years fly by

First day of school this year sees Will off to Kindergarten and Andrew in 2nd. Porter is doing another year of preschool at Colvin Run and a little co-op style academic music program on Friday mornings, taught each week by a lady from church whom he loves.
I was especially nervous this year because somehow sending the kids to our local public school felt much more official than sending Andrew to the tiny Christian private school where he attended K and 1st.

Will was just excited, having been initiated into the routine of full day school by watching Andrew do it for the last two years. When he emerged from the building onto the playground at the end of his first day, he ran to me with a huge smile. He has remarked that they mostly doing things "involving scissors" in the classroom. He has two friends from preschool in his class, he is doing well with his meals (Carnation Instant Breakfasts) and seems generally really happy.
Andrew emerged from the school with less enthusiasm on day 1. "Too many kids, too much noise," was how he characterized public school life. His classwork so far has consisted of coloring gluing. "More like a craft day, really," he remarked. I am not in love with what I am hearing, but it is only the first week. He is making friends, including a kid named Luke who sits by him. "I talked to Luke today! Well, not really talked so much as listened. Well, not really listened so much as watched him put his finger in the pencil sharpener." So.
Porter was really happy to get back into school, despite his declaration over the summer that "it is more fun to stay home with mommies." On the way home from a chaotic first day, he looked out the window and said breathlessly, "I love mine teachers." Porter is the happiest, most loving kid I know. He will be moving from the morning class of younger kids to the afternoon class of older ones with his friend Spencer. I think it will be a wonderful fit. He already has a crush on the teacher!
It is hard to watch the kids get older. I was sitting in church and realizing that Andrew only has a few more years left in primary. It was an awful thought. I just want the time to slow down a bit so I can enjoy them at their sweet little ages. There is something contagious about aging: it isn't just the oldest one who moves up and onto the next developmental stage--he somehow pulls the younger siblings along with him. No one is ever as innocent or young as the oldest was at any given age. Porter and Will's interests have matured to keep pace with Andrew, and Andrew is trying to keep up with his older cousins. We are in the throes of the Beverly Cleary years and I want to keep it that way for as long as possible.
Our schedules are tight. Andrew and Will are doing baseball, Andrew is doing winter swim twice a week and once a week has a study group with friends from Oak Hill, which is really a nice way to keep up a wonderful friendship. We are doing our best to spend time over at my parents' house each day, too. It is nice to not be driving so much as I was last year, but I do miss the looser schedule, the later start time, the earlier release, the more time just with them all. Porter misses his brothers, Will in particular, since he can't remember a time when Andrew was home all day with us anyway. I know I got an extra year with those two older boys since they have late birthdays, but I still can't believe sometimes that they aren't supposed to be home with me.

Claire is a perfect fat angel all the time, and the boys are genuinely thrilled with her and proud of her. I have always thought babies were hard, and they are in a way, but perhaps I am just used to it now or perhaps I just know how fleeting the stage is or perhaps she is just a way easier baby (she is!), but I am feeling especially grateful to be at the very beginning of things with someone. Haven't screwed her up yet!
But that doesn't mean she won't be having some special time with the workers at the fitness center this month. Hopefully just not with this guy who was nice but clueless (he tried to plop her down on the ground to sit by herself). But if I must . . .