On a Learning Curve

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

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Under pressure today….

When kid #2 finds out that she made a premier-level soccer team but not the team she wanted to make. When kid #3 attempts to calm her distraught sister, but her offer to play Quiddler is rebuffed. When kid #1 refuses to ask her teachers to clarify the exam schedule and demands that you figure out what she is supposed to do.

That was the first part of my morning.

When kid #1 finally catches the morning bus after a week-long hiatus. Wben kid #3 stops being a jerk and completes her vocabulary and math assignments. When kid #2 agrees to start her language arts because you’re letting her keep her favorite rat in her jacket pocket–and it’s your jacket.

That was when I caught my breath.

When kid #1’s trainer texts to say she just quit giving riding lessons at the barn–the barn that is less than a 10-minute drive from your front door. When kid #3 shoves her fist into her mouth and refuses to answer the pediatrician’s questions because there is a male medical student in the room. When the monsoon restarts and water threatens to enter the garage less than 15 minutes later.

That was this afternoon.

When you find the sump pump and successfully hook it up. When the husband phones from the opposite coast to casually ask how the day has gone and gets more than he imagined.

Will life ever calm down? Is this simply a rainy season?

Ugh. There is so much water everywhere that the mosquitoes have burst back to life. And that’s exactly what life feels like right now. I’m treading water while trying to get back to the shore, and I can’t figure out how to outsmart the mosquitoes. Yet.


Writing is hard, but parenting is harder

I haven’t written anything for almost a year. On this blog, that is.

I’ve started countless pieces but never finished anything, much less published a piece. I skipped our annual Christmas letter, too. I just couldn’t find the words to express what’s going on in my head, in my heart, and in our family.  I make it a practice not to sugarcoat my life, and I just can’t decide if sharing the messiness of my life would add value to someone else’s or just be TMI.

In short, I’ve been busy trying to parent our three girls. And it’s been an exceptionally hard season of parenting.

Last August, H developed an anxiety disorder in the aftermath of last summer’s C-130 crash. Her daddy is a pilot, and those crew members were his friends and colleagues.

Last October, G made a bad decision; the administration made a bad decision; and then we scrambled to place her in a new school. Three grading periods later, she still doesn’t know where she fits in, and she still doesn’t know who she wants to be.

S is hanging in there. She is the proverbial middle child who knows how to slip under the radar while her sisters draw fire.

Somewhere in the midst of counseling appointments, teacher conferences, and doctors’ visits, I reached my breaking point. I made the decision to stop teaching S and H after we finish this school year. I need to be my girls’ mother first and foremost; they desperately need other people to teach them.

While that decision was monumentally freeing, it hasn’t made anything easier for now; however, we have almost finished jumping through the required hoops of registering for public middle school.

Last Monday I submitted the girls’ standardized test scores and requested that our homeschooling file be closed. Yay, me!

Ten days ago I took the girls for MAP testing at the middle school after the counselors did not want to accept their Stanford Achievement scores. I goofed and scheduled the MAP and Stanford the same week. They completely embraced 3 full days of testing. (In my dreams, that is.) Coincidentally, the girls’ MAP test results aligned perfectly with their Stanford results. I rolled my eyes, but not in front of the guidance counselors.

Both girls chose their classes last Wednesday; S is pinning all of her hopes on advanced art and French I despite my guidance. H spoke a total of 10 words to her guidance counselor. He’s a man though, and she makes it a point not to talk to strange men.

Today I am writing on Memorial Day. We are home and unpacked from a very hot, humid soccer tournament. This morning Ryan switched out the front porch flag to fly the USMC colors. I can’t help but remember family and friends who selflessly sacrificed themselves for this nation. Today in particular, I am thinking of the 16 men who gave their lives aboard Yanky 72 last July.

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There’s more to write–much, much more–and I promise to return. After all, I’ve left you, my readers, hanging in the middle of what seems to be my belated Christmas letter.