On a Learning Curve

Life may not be easy, but it's always an adventure.

Lessons Learned This Week

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It snowed again in Maryland. You would have thought from the news coverage that it has never, ever snowed before in the history of Maryland. Phew. We survived the five inches of snow that were immediately follow by rain and sleet. The thermometer hit 50° today, and now our yard looks like it is covered in melted white Slurpee. Ick.

This was another learning week for me. Here are my Top 7, in no particular order of importance:

1. I am loved. My parents sent me a bouquet of red roses as an early Valentine’s gift. My mother-in-law sent me chocolate bars. (The kids don’t know about the chocolate, and they don’t read my blog.) And my sweet husband sent a gorgeous arrangement of yellow lilies.

A fun flower arrangement and my 3 Valentines

A fun flower arrangement and my 3 Valentines

2. I need to hold newborn babies more often. I delivered dinner to friends who recently welcomed the arrival of healthy twin girls. The babies are still in that scrunched-up stage where they just want to snuggle and make sweet little noises. I was in heaven for 20 minutes on Wednesday, and all of my stress magically melted away. (This is not to say that I want a newborn baby of my own.)

3. I need an attitude adjustment when I start feeling sorry for myself. The  snow was ridiculously wet and heavy yesterday, and I struggled to clear half of the driveway. The snow plow skipped our street, and I almost gave in to a rather bad attitude. Until I realized that no one owes me anything. There are much worse jobs than shoveling snow.

4. Other people are facing much harder challenges than I am. (See #3 above.) Several friends and acquaintances are fighting cancer, waiting for test results, or dealing with difficult situations. This realization is an instant attitude changer.

5. Sometimes you need to take a snow day. We didn’t take one yesterday, and lessons dragged. Children were grumpy. The teacher was grumpy. Children were unmotivated; too late the teacher loosed them. Today students and teacher struck a deal: no new work for math, language arts, or history. Instead we made up the music lesson that we forgot to do yesterday; G wrote the paragraph that she didn’t write earlier this week; everyone worked on Awana assignments; and H counted and categorized birds for the Great Backyard Bird Count while S and G wrote expository paragraphs.

My snow squirrel and S's version of Olaf

My snow squirrel and S’s version of Olaf

6. Night terrors stink. Period. That’s about all I can say on the subject.

7. Sometimes children are smarter than we think. H is becoming an excellent birder. I have the hardest time figuring out exactly which brown finches are eating from our feeder. Yesterday we were stumped by four little brown finches. H insisted that the females were purple finches. This morning a male purple finch arrived and confirmed H’s diagnosis. I was impressed!

Tomorrow brings more adventure. In honor of my dad’s 65th birthday, we’re heading out on a 10-mile trail race that promises to be snowy, slushy, muddy, and full of adventure. I’ll save the details for my next post.

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