Wanting to rebel against our new normal, I made a concerted effort to avoid distractions with the extra hours we were given yesterday. Wednesday is early day at Eliza's school; kind of odd... but I'm learning to appreciate a break in the middle of the week. Heading to the park, I purposely left my book at home. Skipping the shaded bench, I jumped in the sandbox with the kids. When the kids asked to be pushed on the swing, we went. I didn't try to dissuade their request. Yes, I'm guilty of this.
"Freeze this moment." I mentally instruct my brain as I watched the three of them create side by side (by side.). I am sure that if my kids had been paying as close attention to me as I was to them, my staring gaze would have concerned them.
"Our Mom is a creeper!" I can hear it now. Anyway. The magic of the moment was short lived. Lottie, with a clear desire to annoy, demolishes Eliza's sand creation as Henry attracts a descent sized sliver in his finger. The squabbles and the interruptions actually settled me.
"You see, Ali. Your happy chaos hasn't abandoned you yet."
The positives of school beginning includes the return of structure. I am enjoying my one on one time with Lottie and find satisfaction as I raid Eliza's backpack when she returns home. Eliza is a good sport. She is patient with me as we talk through her day. I'm learning to cope with the sad reports ("I was hit in the face at recess by a ball by a huge third grade boy!") but am appreciative she's willing to share the good and the bad.
Henry doesn't start school until tomorrow. And while I'm going to miss my buddy, I am really happy for him. Two and a half hours, three days a week doesn't overwhelm me. With Eliza blazing the trail ahead of her siblings, it's nice for Henry to be able to take ownership of his own school experience. And while I understand all the benefits and reasons for the change in atmosphere, Lottie does not.
Just now, after retrieving Lottie from her nap, she asked,
"Where's Henry? Where?" She uses the word, "Where" often. However, she pronounces it, "Way?" It's cute.
"Where's Daddy?" I'll ask. Putting her own hands in the air, she responds, "Way?" Another favorite,
"Who dat? pause. "Who?"
Henry's social life is hopping. When a friend knocks at the door and invites him over to play, Lottie thinks she gets to go too. And guess who gets to break the devastating news to her that she isn't?! Yesterday when we went to Henry's preschool open house, Lottie was thrilled to be included. Accepting an offer from a friend to keep Henry there with her son a bit longer when I got up to leave, Lottie wailed. Her protest was loud and active.