Everyday we start again. Today I am starting with kindness inward then out. I am allowing the mistakes of yesterday to wash away with the smiles of today. I am forgiving myself for my fears, doubts, and anger. I am taking a breath of kindness inward. I know that then I will be full of the love I would like to give.
I watch her sleep
envisioning the stretches
that will happen
How will she look
in ten years time?
If I am too busy
it will feel like it all happened
in a blink.
For now, I soak up
that angel skin
and soothing snore.
Take a deep breath
and pray for more.
I just walked away from another conversation about money, kids and savings. So let me take this opportunity to talk about a book I am reading and recommending. It seems like recently I am going about my day and all of a sudden I find myself talking or thinking about this book. I have been reading through it in pieces but I am now recommitting to giving a page to page read and review. In case you can get a copy before I finish…it is facilitating amazing conversations about money in my every day life. Get it. Read it. Let’s talk.
I am having my lunch and reflecting on Tuesday’s exciting and emotional event. Kindergarten Screening…I was calling it Orientation but I found out yesterday that I get to go to another visit/orientation in August. This was a chance for some of the teachers and psychologists at the school to meet & greet the families. They also separate the kids from the parents to check on some skills before placing them in classes.
This did not go as well as I hoped.
I am staying positive and open to learning more about my child and our journey together. She is magical. When she was born 4.5 years ago, I knew I was on a journey of empowerment, discovery and humble love. J has always pushed y understanding of self and a women’s role in this world. Because I want to provide a healthy happy life for her, it is causing me to examine the way we treat women, girls and children.
This is all material for some other blog posts, but what I can say now is that her time at Kindergarten Screening was emotional, enlightening and a little difficult. When we arrived we were instructed to wait in the vestibule with other families. We did not have to wait long and the staff at her new school are very kind. However, immediately after being escorted into a busy hallway, we were told we were being split apart from our kiddos. They would go one way, parents another. Juliana was trepidatious about this and didn’t want to go. Understandable so as it was her first time in the building with a lot of people she doesn’t know. I had to accompany her at the start. She was shy and nervous. They jumped right in to reading a story. A story she knows by heart but she clamped down and would not respond. She is reluctant to share herself with strangers…again I do NOT see this as a detriment. However, since my little girl came into this universe, other people have made us feel that this is not normal or not ok. (Again, I will write about this again another time) We worked through a couple of sad, teary and tough moments. I was able to pull myself away and go find the other parents.
Her school is lovely. I was sure to watch the interactions between the teachers and Principal. I wanted to see if I could sense any clues as to how things really are when families are not watching. We had a great visit from the PTA rep and we were encouraged to make little cards that will be given to our children on their first day of school. It was fun. I had this little voice or tug inside that kept me connected to her. I was sending out my energy throughout that building letting her know she is loved.
They conducted some “testing” with her. I did not get to see what they did or how she responded. Chances are, if the teacher did not take time to let her get warmed up or comfortable, she may have done nothing. It is a little sad to think J will look as if she can’t do certain skills that are actually easy for her. When I was still in that room with her she was refusing to write her name. Meanwhile, she can spell and write her first, middle, and last name.
Oh well, we have to let go, right? My husband and I are realising that she will come across to others a certain way in the beginning. But on her terms, in her time, she will let the world bask in her light. She will shine.
It’s a big day in our house. I am taking a half day at work on Tuesday for Kindergarten orientation. I am probably more nervous than my daughter. I am actually surprised at her excitement. I would have thought she would be terrified. She is a cautious and shy child. She can transition well from place to place, activity to activity. However, transitioning from person to person is where she struggles. She is not immediately trusting of people, which can work to our advantage in life. J is very bright and loves to learn. I am hoping that this next phase of our lives is met with enthusiasm and joy. She has such a thirst for knowledge. I know that the drone of routine can be beneficial but also stifling. I want my daughter to love school. Not just because it will make life easier for me, but because I think one of the greatest qualities a person could posses is a love of learning. I know that learning doesn’t only happen at school – but if she hates school, it may turn her off to learning in general.
I have begun reading the first few chapters of “How to Teach your Children Shakespeare”. It’s easy to already see how to implement this into my life. I’m excited.
The other night, after I read the first two Chapters, I went into Juliana’s room to get ready for Bedtime. We cuddled, read stories and began to get drowsy.
She rolled over to look at me and said, “mummy what were you reading?”
“A book about one of my favorite writers and how I can help you to read and love his work. ”
“Who is it Mummy?”
“Can we meet him? Go see him?”
“In a way, we can see his plays performed. Shakespeare is no longer alive. He died a long time ago. ”
“Mummy, is Shakespeare a dinosaur?”
I chuckled and hugged her. We are on our way because my daughter LOVES dinosaurs. “Yes in a way my dear he is. I love you. We will start reading his stuff together soon.”
This is going to be enlightening!
I am combining two of the things I truly love in this world- my kids and Shakespeare. I picked up this book as part of my “teachers choice”. That’s the stipend we are given to buy supplies and such for our classrooms. Every year teachers every where spend thousands of dollars of their OWN money to provide their students with the resources they so desperately need. NYC tosses some coins into our paycheck for such a purpose. It is usually 40-120$. Honestly it’s a drop in the ocean of money spent by teachers but I’ll take those drops gladly.
I am hoping to use this book to find new ways of infiltrating Shakespeare into my lesson plans. I usually teach at least one play per semester. I bought it hoping it would be more ways for me to build engaging lessons. I’m not going to lie- I teach great Shakespeare classes with my nyc high schoolers.
However, as soon as I began this book, I became not just inspired but determined to use it with my own kids. Juliana is 4. Maybe that seems young but we will try. Her brother is 10months- he will get it through our practice. I am so excited. I will post updates as to how it goes. Stay tuned!!!
Please feel free to comment or suggest.
It has been an exhausting day. I am running on very little sleep and suffering from back pain. My infant won’t nap and both kids want my constant undivided attention. They are so beautiful and wonderful yes. However in my sleep deprived over worked exhaustion, I am finding it difficult to stay positive.
Several times today I had to close my eyes and meditate. My daughter would then say “Mama are you ‘breathing'”? We have clearly been in this place before. This place of Mama about to lose her mind, go off the rails but attempts to model meditation. It is not always successful. In fact I feel like lately I have been more irritable, short tempered and fatigued than ever well except for when I was in first trimester with Colin. That was tough.
Juliana is trying so hard to Be a good listener and helper today. Yet in this quest she has also not stopped talking. Not for one second. I’m in sensory overload.
I was determined to get Colin down for his morning nap and we were already at noon and I had no success. I was rocking him, singing, everything. Finally, Juliana stopped talking. She came over to me at the buggy as I was wheeling him back and forth hoping it would work. She put her hand on me and said ” mommy, I believe in you…and Santa.”
I lifted my head to the heavens, closed my eyes and cried. She wrapped herself around my leg and squeezed. This little person has the ability to send me to places of rage, frustration, and fear. She also has this prophetic ability to say things that rock my shell of doubt and negative thoughts, make me vulnerable and joyous for her wisdom. Love.
I’m in the car. She and her brother are sleeping. We got that morning nap in for him. Then later went out to the store. Colin didn’t fall asleep until moments before getting home. When I got into the driveway, Juliana said “Colin is asleep. Mama please drive some more so I Can nap too.”
Wow! Didn’t think I could get that lucky and then I started driving. Less than 2 min away the heavens opened and it poured. I would have been attempting to get a toddler, bags and an infant down 80+ steps in torrential rains. We drove slow and she drifted off. I did a big loop of country roads for only 15 min when the rain stopped and the sun burst through. I saw this rainbow and took a picture for Juliana. I want her to see the magic when she wakes. I sit now and soak in the magic of my sleeping children. They teach me when I let them.
I’m in sensory overload. We are on the road. Driving back to NY day 2. We just went to Panera for a late lunch. I feel like I’m going to be sick. I don’t know if it’s because of my food or the fact that everyone is yelling or needing something from me. Juliana is testing the strength of our windows. I’m sure her voice can’t shatter them but she is willing to give it a whirl.
Colin is doing his sleepy song which is a combo him and whine. Matt has decided to turn the radio up and marley’s exodus is pounding my head into pudding. Juliana is currently talking about her poop. Yes it’s disgusting. She is inspired because at the last gas station she went and her poop was green. Bright green. What the hell did she eat? I don’t have a clue and I was so confused and grossed out by it. She now wants to discuss what would her poop look like in a multitude of colours. We are in crawling traffic. Bliss I say. Bliss.
We have just pulled out of the driveway of my parents house. We are on our way home driving from Florida to New York. It has been a wonderful holiday.
We are less than ten minutes into the drive and Juliana is wanting snacks and wiping her blanket around like a lasso.
Juliana is a skinny little thing but eats constantly. We got into the car and she wasn’t even strapped in and she is asking for snacks. We have to set timers so she waits in between snacks. It’s exhausting. We have a back seat that is filled with 2 children and snacks. It’s mind blowing.
I want to encourage healthy eating but don’t want to get obsessive over food because well I have food/ body issues. I am doing the best I can to celebrate my body so she doesn’t grow up in a house of self loathing modeled behavior. Not easy. Especially because she needs/wants to eat constantly.
She went the first four hours of our road trip asking to eat a new thing before she digested what she already was eating. It gets annoying and concerning. Road trips mean junk food. I try to keep it healthy but a lot of junk finds it’s way into car. Gummi bears, starburst, chips but we also eat granola, fruit, trail mix and carrots.
Juliana is a bottomless pit sometimes. She was double fisting puffs and Cheetos. It was comical and crazy. She can eat a pint of blueberries and about 10 strawberries then chase it with a granola bar.