What a mix of emotions, reactions, choices this week has held. We have been blessed with 2 whole nights of sleep from all three children at the same time, sadly it took one of those nights for my body to adjust to such a gift. Last night with the start of colds they all ensured sleep was not something we got overly accustomed too. My encouragement in it all though was that I am actually a functioning, capable, calm, rational and reasonable parent when I have sleep and my short fuse and usual foggy state of mind is not a sign of something wrong in me as such, but simply the difference sleep makes. So please children tonight remember who I was yesterday and who I was this morning and see that it makes sense for all of us to let Mummy and Daddy sleep all night.
On Monday our church held a open doors event to enable folk in the community to engage with the current refuge crisis and provides means of helping. We had various stations around the church and two ‘home’ installations, one a comfy home that many of us would be familiar with and in contrast a refugee shelter. Bob and I had put together the refugee shelter and then went back later in the day to engage with all that as going on. It was a gentle way to help walk through this situation with him, to increase in him an awareness of what others are experiencing, of ways we can pray, and help in practical ways. As we talked and built the shelter in the morning Bob turned to me and said “Mummy I have the very best idea so that no one else has to sleep in shelters and they can live in their own homes again – all those countries should make peace with each other and themselves.” I love that Bob believes that peace is doable and tangible. It is not beyond the realms of impossibility that my cynical heart has come to believe.
We spent two hours at the event, one of those while we went round it and then he spent some time just sitting and pondering it all and playing with a friend while I spoke to folk who came into it. As we anticapted that night saw night terrors return and the next morning I knew I should have stepped back. I should not have just ploughed straight on with the planned lessons for that morning especially when I saw the length of his sentence for copy work. But a night of little sleep saw me reacting and getting more and more annoyed, mainly at myself for knowing I shouldn’t be pushing on with my plan but I couldn’t find the stop button. It was not a pretty morning but eventually I prayed for wisdom to be shed on it all so I could see if there was anything going on for Bob beyond feeding off my blown fuse when the light bulb went on. I turned and said to Bob, “you do know don’t you that no one is expecting you to solve world peace on your own.” And you could see his body totally crumple as I lifted that weight off him. He was getting himself so caught in knots as he just could not work out how he could do it on his own as a 6 year old. I was able to say sorry for my reactions, hold him and we talked about how he feeds off my reactions and he turned and said “yes it is like those diseases that spread really easily from one person to another or just like sin on sin so it needs to be destroyed” Yes little man it does. More pictures can be seen at https://www.facebook.com/photo.phpfbid=10153785222868643&set=oa.10153613773994133&type=3&theater
We have enjoyed Mark around for what looks like one last full week before he starts work next week or so, (heard today that he got a temp job he had an interview for on Wed for which we are exceedingly thankful for). His focus this week has been with Zog and Kanga while Bob and I have stretched out like pussy cats on our bed enjoying the late September sunshine as we journeyed through maths, grammar, reading, writing, spelling and the Byzantine Empire. The way our house faces the only place that is bright and pleasant in the morning when the sun shines is our bedroom, otherwise it feels like you are in the deepest darkest cave, which is just not inspiring or encouraging for anyone.
Kanga’s highlight this week has been to ditch the stroller when out and about in the village now and was very proud going for her first walk into the village with me on Tuesday to go to the hardware store. She was not put off by the torrential down pour on the way home and now makes it very clear that walking is her means of transport. So she was delighted today when I let her and Zog walk with me to the bus to go to Sainsburys to do the shopping before being collected by the other two after Friday Forest School. It is so liberating after 6 1/2 years of going places with a stroller to think those days may be drawing to an end. Though now my question is how do we carry all the library books home :)
We had a fun library visit with other home learning friends and then back to ours on Wednesday and it was great to walk in and see books spread everywhere and children all buried in books though one little walker did find it all just too much and needed some sleep.
I was also struck this week with how differently I feel in contrast to two years ago when Zog at 22 months had few clear words and was well off the so called expectations chart and it was weighing on me, in part because others would raise their concerns, though at home he was well able to make his needs known. Kanga is no different and neither was Bob. Actual Bob did have four words by the time he was two, ‘water’ with a full Canadian accent, ‘ladder’ and ‘purple turtle’. Kanga is very clearly able to show you what she wants, needs etc but there are few clear distinct words at 22 months and if not much changes in the next 2 months I can see myself having the same conversation with the health visitor as I did with Zog. And it is not even as if the others answer for each other, they have just not seen the need to say individual words. Hopefully though it will be perfectly clear based on the boys that ours are just late talkers but once they get going there is no stopping them and that their grasp of language is highly formed.
Thursday as usual this year saw us at Pittville with lots of friends for picnic, learning about the autumnal equinox and general fun in the park.
This morning brought evidence that colds are definitely on the horizon and over-tiredness from either staying up beyond lights out or waking way before lights on to read, so both boys took themselves off to once again the sunniest warmest place in the house in the morning and then alternated between reading books themselves and Bob reading to Zog. For me the scene when I walked in and saw Bob reading to Zog with Kanga joining in by giving the boys simultaneous head massages says it all about why we are on this journey of home learning. No rush, no pressure and doing it together.
So this weekend we head into it thankful for the provision of work for Mark for this season as we continue to look beyond. My heart is full of all that this week has held, for the hugs, laughter, forgiveness that has flown in all directions, for the embrace of big thoughts and dreams and hopes, for moments that say it all.