April 23, 2012

Feel Good About Today

It would be easy to feel less than ecstatic with today.  It was the first day of school for the 2012-2013 school year and I had high hopes and many plans.

But, as per the predictable, things didn't go exactly as planned.

The first indication that the day wouldn't be 100% perfect was when I went to bed Saturday night without having finished (or started) the strawberry jam.  Many, many, many containers of strawberries lay on my bedroom floor--neatly, in cardboard crate things--waiting to be turned into jam.  But Saturday was just too packed and crazy as it was and the strawberries had to languish through the weekend.

You can't let strawberries languish too long, or they mold.  I'm sure you are aware.  I can't be the only person to have delayed taking care of produce a touch too long.

So, I knew I would be making jam on the first day of school, but I didn't worry too much.  My schedule was fabulous, with lots of wiggle room.

Then, as I was running a bath for the 3 year old this morning, my 5 year old came upstairs and told me that the baby (14 months old) had thrown up.  I was hoping I had just fed her too many strawberries the night before, but when I went downstairs I knew instantly that it was a no-go on that hope.  Baby girl was sick.

Sick babies take precedence over everything.

At 10:00 pm tonight, when I wrapped up the 8th batch of jam and stuck the rest of the strawberries in freezer bags for smoothies, I was feeling a little ambivalent about the day.  Could have been worse, but it could have been better.  A lot better.  But then my husband handed me a Dove Promise (caramel flavored) and I ate it while reading the message on the wrapper: 

"Feel good about today."

And you know what--it helped!  For heaven's sake, I made 8 batches of jam today!  That alone is an accomplishment.  I also held, rocked, cleaned up, and loved a sick infant.  That's service.  We all know how much our Father loves our babies.  If all I did today was care for Lady Harriet, it would have been a successful day.

But on top of those two things, I also read several books on economics and Mesopotamia to the children, started training the children on the updated school and chore schedule, encouraged good behavior by bestowing scoops of beans liberally, sat at the table with my children and colored maps, and discussed with my son the importance of our Heavenly Mother.  A person that doesn't fit neatly into his male need to put everyone into a hierarchy.  I started reading Genesis 1, and then skipped to Moses, and discussed the Creation with my children.  And cried while reading an article in the Friend.

We had morning prayer.  We had Family Home Evening.  I had Baptism Prep with Cowen.  I did some laundry.  My children did not go hungry.  They might have had honey sandwiches for lunch and dinner--but they did not go hungry.

I do feel good about this day.  This day showcases both the best and worst of homeschooling: how the unexpected can really derail a day's plans; and how spending time together is the only real gauge of success.

So carry on, homeschoolers.  Carry on.  And feel good about this day.

PS  If you want to feel really good about your homeschooling decision, read CJane's latest post.  I taught 7th and 8th grades professionally and that pretty much solidified the "my children will never, ever, ever, in a million years attend junior high" feelings I'd already harbored.

PPS Small shout out to my hubs.  He came into the kitchen, after the littles were in bed, and asked if I needed anything.  I put him in charge of an activity on bartering that I'm supposed to have ready for tomorrow (with other people, so I can't flake out).  Love that man.

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