Per usual, I am behind on blogging. My head, however, is swimming with thoughts of sending my children back to school tomorrow. Charged with these back to school jitters, I feel I have no other choice but to postpone the posts I've been working on and go with the moment. That, after all, is my favorite way to blog.
It was a simple scene to stumble on this morning; familiar in many ways. I suppose it was the timing that made the moment poignant for me (*side note: I'm pretty sure that's the first time I've ever typed the word poignant in my life. I feel like a grown up!!). It was our last day of summer vacation and I was able to sleep in. I couldn't believe that I woke up before Forrest! I tiptoe down the hallway toward his bedroom. That unexpected surprise of sleeping in past your baby eventually shifts into slight alarm. I peak into his room and wait a quiet moment to make sure all is well with him. Next door, I can hear Lottie and Henry chatting.
"But we're playing, Mom!" Lottie informs me.
"Oh, that's fine! Keep playing!" I linger a moment to observe them. Henry's red dragon is scooping up one of Lottie's baby bunnies into its mouth. Lottie doesn't protest. This makes me laugh. It would seem that life on the Flegal funny farm has desensitized her. A surge of emotion passes through me as I take note that this moment of spontaneous morning play will soon be replaced with busy back to school mornings, soccer Saturdays and the continuation of, "Let's Survive Sunday morning without Dad." (That's a thing.) As with each change in the season, I cross my fingers that next summer the pair of them remain friends; playing with toys and imagining conflict between dragons and bunnies.
The rest of our day unfolded per the usual chaos. Eliza was invited to go to classic water slides with friends. I quickly agreed (she was THRILLED) as long as she promised not to share the news with her younger siblings. I could only imagine the shade of green they would have turned had they figured it out. Eliza and I were pretty James Bond about the whole thing as we got her ready for the outing. Before she left, my Mom was kind enough to give my girls a haircut. It's torture watching Lottie's curls fall to the floor. Relief flooded through me as those newly cut ends bounced into their curly shape as her hair dried.
While Eliza was on her fabulous play date, the other kids were treated to a trip to Costco. That's not a bad consolation prize when you consider the hot dogs and pizza! Ha! Andrew worked from home today so he was able to join us for his lunch break. After that, I put Forrest down for his nap and then headed to the Dollar Store. Again, Andrew was working from home. I complain a lot about his travel schedule so I feel that's it's only fair to share the perks of his job too. Running errands while Forrest naps is definitely a favorite. That afternoon we prepped for our "Back to School Feast" and then called the crew together to celebrate!
Andrew blessed Lottie that she would make friends this year, some of whom will be life long friends. I thought that was interesting. He also promised her protection and told her she'd be guarded by angels. Henry was blessed with courage and confidence. Andrew told him that he has a talent to make people smile and that he should use that gift to build people up. Once more, he blessed his eyes to stay straight. He told Eliza that she has been blessed with a brilliant mind and told her that she will find joy as she helps her peers who might be struggling. As for Forrest, I just cried. He immediately blessed him with the gift of tongues. He blessed him that he'd catch up with his verbal skills, among other things. This back to school experience is a comfort each year. It was the best part of the day.
As for our theme this year: Eliza and I were talking a few weeks ago about President Hinckley and some of his teachings that have lingered with me from when I was a youth. The other night as she was praying, she incorporated one of those teachings into what she praying for.
"Help us, Heavenly Father, to try a little harder, to be a little better and to be a little kinder." I knew as she said those words that I'd found our theme.
At dinner tonight, we talked about our goals. Our objective isn't to "be a little better" than another person. This is a personal thing for each of us. I suggested we try to be a little better with scripture study. Dad's suggestion was to be better at family night. Eliza said she'd be a little better at not procrastinating her homework. Henry's goal was to be a little better at focusing and listening. It's easy to get distracted by other kids! Lottie's goal was to be more kind and friendly.
Tomorrow's the big day! I hope we all sleep!
Here are a few misc. back to school prep photos:
My Mom was kind enough to cut the girl's hair.
And here's something funny I found out when I was cleaning out Henry's backpack. It was what he hoped he would do over summer break.
I will want to go to my uncls cabin.
I will go hunting for deer.
Ther is a boy's fort.
It is sooooooo fun.
But...there are fire ants!