Monday, September 01, 2008

The Plunge

I have distracted myself with many things over the last few days-the Palin Pick (Thank You Sweet Sweet Baby Jesus), the laundry, my camera, baking four batches of bread in one evening-all in the effort to avert my eyes from the ever encroaching first hour of School. I feel like I'm standing on the high dive looking down at a placid sea and everything's fine, except that I'm afraid of heights (in this case my children and their education) and so jumping off the board is going to be unpleasant. I know I have to do it. I know its probably going to be better than I expect in many ways and possibly worse and that we'll be fine. But none of that knowledge has any bearing on the state of my nerves. I remember a long lost high school boyfriend insisting to me that if I just Understood what he was trying to say, I would Feel better about it. I told him 'Malarchy' at the time, and I stick by it.

I think perhaps, the root of my discontentious anxiety is the fact that my oldest child is beginning to be rational. This has never happened to me before. The cozy cacoon of me and my husband and a lot of little children who are lovingly put to bed before quiet dinner time is shattered by one (and now two really) insisting on staying up to eat it with us, and Talk and Relate. This Talking and Relating has interfered itself in my preparations for school, offering unasked-for advice about how the school room should be arranged, whether we should have desks or a table, whether we should have a chalk board or a white board (the fact that we are having a board at all, in fact; we Are having one, even though I had not at all planned on it), at what hour we will color and do paste and when lunch will be served.

And, to my chagrin, this little person has inserted herself into my kitchen. Her job, every morning, is to unload and reload the dishwasher while her brother clears the table, wipes it down, and then cleans up the bathroom.
'I'll do it like this, Mom' (note the tone of the word 'Mom'). 'I'll put all these dishes here and then I'll call you and you'll come and tell me its fine and then I'll mop the floor and feed the birds.'
'Are you trying to be Cinderella?' I asked, 'Because you're not.'
'I know,' she said, 'but I'm still going to do all the work in the whole house.'
At which point I realized that I am now sharing My Kitchen with another female, and that I'm going to have to go on sharing this kitchen until she meets some poor unsuspecting guy and goes off to organize her own kitchen.
'If you don't do it exactly the way I tell you,' I said, 'and disobey me on Purpose, then you will have to do your own work and your brother's work tomorrow.'
'Oh' she said with her nose turned up, 'Alright.'
'Its my kitchen,' I said.
'I know.'

So, we will take the plunge, maybe tomorrow just to get our feet wet (skipping the high dive, as it were), but for sure on Wednesday-all the way, no holding back. Ack.


laura said...

I will tell you that I felt the same way in the weeks leading up to us starting school this year, and we have done this for almost 5 years! My "baby" is starting High School- something which has terrified and overwhelmed me all summer. And we are expecting our 5th child in just a few weeks! has been much better than I fear of "the event" (starting school) was so much bigger than my reality, so our first week was a blessing.
I will tell you this wonderful piece of advice given to my by a veteran homeschooling mom who's youngest of 5 sons is my oldest child's age (and all 4 older ones have either graduated college or are currently enrolled)...whenever I get stressed and think this is too much and I am ruining them forever, she calmly tells me to "stop what you are doing...take time to read together...enjoy being with your some more...and it will get better. An awful day homeschooling is still better than a good day in public school" I don't always remember that right away, but when I do it always makes me feel better...and the children's best memories over these past 5 years of homeschooling are those times where we have read together- from the Hobbit to the Bible...they just love it. Good luck and God's abundant blessings on you as you enjoy this first day of school.

Laura Gent

Perpetua said...

Dear Anne,
I came over to your blog today to read what you had to say about Sarah Palin. As I read the MSM, I would love to read your insights for balance. If there is any way you can find time to see what is being said in the MSM and your take on it, well, it would be great.

Geri said...

Anne, you can do this. You have prepared yourself and will really enjoy the process once you work out the kinks.

I totally support Gov. Palin. She obviously walks the talk---whether it is easy or hard. She strikes me as a no nonsense woman who know what she believes and practices it. I think that the jerks that are trying to destroy her daughter's reputation ought to be drawn and quartered. The Carter daughter, Chelsea Clinton, and the Obama kids have all been off limits. The same respect should apply to the Palin family. I strongly suspect that her acceptance speech will tell the media to back off. I give McCain a big + for putting her on the ticket knowing that this piece of info was bound to crop up.

Barack Obama has told the media that kids are off the table. John McCain and Gov. Palin have to do the same. Their minor children are not running for office and should not be fodder for the leftist media. I too would be interested in your view of Gov. Palin.

Anonymous said...

I firmly believe that being family is a vocation. In addition to being called to be priest, and being called into marriage with Matt, God has called you together with those four blessed children.

Now, you clearly are called to the vocation of home schooling. God never gives us what we can't handle.

Trust God and Jesus and the Holy Spirit to guide you in this very important call - just as they have carried you through all of your other vocations, they will see you through this challenge.

I am also very interested to hear your views on Gov. Palin and how her nomination might help you to get you husband to vote. ;~>

TRW said...

I have enjoyed reading your blogs - you are a wonderful writer - enjoy your time with your kids - which I do think you do - but don't over think it - they grow up too fast.

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Perpetua said...

When I was a little girl, my Daddy built me a play kitchen room in the back garden. I could be a "Mommy" and bake in my pretend oven, etc.

Now I realize why he did that.