Now.

13925349_10154008702583860_4145260599955505736_nMy kids started school two months ago. As per usual, they surprise me. I figured my little guy would mostly sail into kindergarten but it’s been a really hard adjustment for him. The long days are tough (8:15am – 2:45pm) but mostly he misses me terribly. The first month, he cried almost every day in class. I tried to make it better by joining him for lunch one day but it only made things worse. No fun for anyone, I’m afraid. We had long talks, mega snuggles, and once he was familiar with the extensive routine, he  settled down a lot. At first, they were covering shapes, but now they’re onto numbers. He’s a numbers kid, has always loved them, so this makes him happy and he now really likes his teacher.

I expected my daughter to push back some with a new teacher, since she adored her teacher last year, but she’s settled really, really well. Her new teacher is very light on homework which is in stark contrast to last’s year’s hell. This makes us all happy. There’s a calmness in her classroom, a peaceful atmosphere which I truly appreciate. I love her teacher something fierce. She understands that school is for school and home is for play/family/relaxation and not grinding out ridiculous hours of homework (can you tell I’m traumatized from last year??).

Me? I’m stupidly happy. I’m frigging Mary Poppins happy. Now that I actually have time to myself, my nerve endings have had time to repair themselves. I can breathe, eat, go to the bathroom, all at a leisurely pace. I have immersed myself back into my writing & drawing and it’s great to have the time to devote to that. I can pop over to the grocery store and it takes 10 minutes rather than two hours after a NATO negotiation. I feel awesome. I do actually miss my kids when they are at school. I find myself going to the carpool line a little early so that I’m somehow in the first set of 20’ish cars for pickup. I love picking them up and chatting to them about their days.

The most extraordinary thing happened once they started school – they’ve now become best buddies. They’ve been at each other’s throats for two solid years. I could frequently be found curled up under the couch, rocking back and forth, for the arguments that went on between them. But from day 1 of school, suddenly a new tolerance, nay, a new enjoyment, of each other surfaced. I then realized something that I’d completely not seen. The anger and frustration my daughter had towards her brother was a direct result of her going to school and he got to stay home with me. Even when he did VPK last year, it was only 3 hours a day, and then he was still home with me.  I had never factored in that she would be jealous of him for that. But apparently she was. Now, they’re both in the same boat. They are dropped off to school together, their classrooms are just across the hall from one another. Both have homework now, both have uniforms now (love those!) – there’s nothing for her to be jealous of or feel slighted from.

I figured the peace would only last a day or two but they’re still going strong, joining forces to play games or read to one another. It all feels so very surreal but I’m loving the hell out of it. The harmony has made me a much nicer and more patient mother too. The most significant thing for me is I have to the time to stop and look around. Stop and enjoy. Stop and appreciate. I find myself living more in the now than I ever have before. I listen to the laughter of my children and it sounds like music. I see them cooperating and I am grateful for all those years of struggling to stay sane because they now have each other. I snuggle my boy in bed every night, stroking his face, his hair, his back, and look down at the marvel of a little human being he is. I recognize very strongly that he’ll be all grown up in 10 minutes, and he’ll tower over me. So I try to gaze at his tiny, round face and kiss the heck out of it. I tell him how much I love snuggles, and in that contented moment, he murmurs back, “I love snuggles too, it’s my favorite thing,” or “I love you too, Mommy.” It just doesn’t get better than that.

My daughter is entering a new phase of life, more aware of things around her and her feelings. We talk about people, reactions, how she’s feeling. She told me the other day while we were driving home that she has a boyfriend. He’s a lovely boy from her school. Before I crashed the car, I had the foresight to ask her had she told this boy he was her boyfriend and she said no. 🙂  All that is coming down the line, like a train blaring. I hear it off in the distance and know eventually, it will catch up to me. I will deal with that then. For now, I glow in this morning’s conversation on the way to school where she told me her fairy, Pearl, sits on her ear and whispers to her. That Pearl loves PE because it’s like a roller coaster to her. Her eyes light up that her fairy watches over her, and because we have four fairy doors in the house, she told me this morning that she’d witnessed a meeting of the four fairies. I guess someone in school told her fairies don’t exist but she informed me this morning that those people can’t see the fairies because they don’t believe. Only people who believe in them can see them. She turns 8 next week, inching ever so close to exiting that precious child stage but I feel so much more ready for whatever is coming.

I will lap up that innocence now. I recognize my appreciation of their amazing selves now and I’m grateful I can live it. I look in awe at those tiny, wonderful humans now.

I’m happy now.

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One thought on “Now.”

  1. Please tell your daughter she is right about fairies! And please share my story with her if you’d like 🙂

    When I was probably 7 or 8, I was at a girl scout camp for a week, up north here in Michigan. It is a permanent camp and has been there for years. There are no parents, just counselors and the girls. They always told us that fairies were rumored to be seen in the woods within the camp and that they would leave us a gift. Well, being the logical child I’ve always been, I knew darn well that fairies weren’t leaving those cheap plastic necklaces in the shower stalls that conveniently showed up the morning after they told us about the fairies. They were clearly something that was handmade and cheap to do multiple of and I was positive that they were put there by counselors. You couldn’t fool me with any of that nonsense!

    So, when it came to where our ‘rooms’ were, we slept in raised tents. It was basically a wooden platform built on the ground, with a piece of canvas hanging (like an upside down V), and we slept in sleeping bags on these cots that had bug nets. (You know, to keep the spiders out of your hair while you sleep!) You stuck your suitcase under your bed and pulled it out as you needed it. No tables, no electricity, no running water except that hand pump off in the distance and metal buckets! Anyway, it was 4 girls per tent, and there were about 6 or 7 of these raised tents scattered around, no rhyme or reason. You couldn’t see them all from your tent, but there were paths around and through the trees to get where you needed to go.

    Two nights later, it was finally lights out time for the night, which means flashlights off and time for sleep! We all fell asleep pretty quickly. I do not know what time this next part happened (no clocks out there besides counselor’s watches of course), but I woke up for some reason. I saw a glowing light outside of the tent so I climbed out of my sleeping bag. It was FREEZING cold! I do remember that. The tip of my nose was chilly. I pulled up the bug net, got out of my cot and walked over to the tent flap and pulled it up. I could not believe what I was seeing! There were these greenish yellow glowing fairies dancing around the trees!! Some were short and fat, some were tall and thin, they were all different looking, but there was no doubt, these were fairies!!! I watched them dance around the trees and down the trail and off into the distance until I couldn’t see them any longer.

    Everyone I tell this to thinks I just must have been dreaming, but I just don’t think so. I’ve never had a dream in which I could feel the cold floor beneath my feet as walked. No matter how many times someone tells me that I must have been dreaming, I truly believe that I saw what I saw, and I will always believe it. If I can’t believe in myself, who can I believe in?

    I still don’t believe any fairies put those cheap necklaces in the showers, but I surely do believe that I saw something magical a few nights later in the forest! I’ll never stop believing and neither should you! <3 <3 <3

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