Transition and change. Those two words keep rolling around in my head. Yes, change can be great and awesome and so needed, but sometimes change is hard. I have a friend that always says, “Change is the only constant thing in life.” It truly is, but it doesn’t make it all easy. Transition is what I have been telling myself, instead of change. It seems like a nicer word, not so harsh, but gentle. Well no matter how you put it, sometimes it is just plain hard. Why have I been thinking about this? Because I feel like my life and the life of my family has been in constant transition. Let me fill you in…
In August my wonderful husband finished his last graded semester of graduate school. I felt like I had been waiting so long for him to be done and then realized that he only have 5 days off, until the next semester started and Jenna started 1st grade. It was a huge let down to say the least. I am so glad that Scott has the opportunity to go to graduate school and it is amazing to see how much he has learned and progressed, but truthfully it is amazing to have him home WITH us, while he is on break. When he is in school, we see him for 1 hour a day, when we are eating dinner, so needless to say, I miss my best friend. Well, before you know it, the next semester started and I miss him. It is always hard to miss him so fiercely, knowing that he is just down stairs, but I miss being WITH him. Thankfully, he is on his last semester doing his final project, but somehow that makes it harder. It is like it is so close but ALWAYS out of reach. My least favorite comment from people when they hear he is in graduate school is, “Oh, he will be out and done before you even know it.” Well people, 3 years seems like a really long time to spend without your best friend around. In this 3 years, we have added our third child, bought our first house, and countless other stuff. We had done it, but it is still hard. I don’t know when the last day of the semester is, I don’t think I want to know, for now I will just keep missing my Scott.
Then as mentioned above, Jenna started 1st grade. I miss her terribly as well. I know that it is good for her and I know that she is learning so much, but my mother heart breaks still, every school day morning when I send her off to school at 8:45 and don’t see her cute face until she walks home with her walking group around 3:45. It is even harder when she is coming home and saying she is bored. I hate to hear that, but I knew that she would be at the beginning. She doesn’t know everything but she is very bright. Her favorite things at school are…wait for it…….lunch and coloring. Haha, food and being creative! My sweet girl, how I miss her and her hugs, giggles, and the ability she has to entertain herself, Jake and Tessa. Jake and Tessa miss her so much too. It is a huge transition. One of the transitions is the transition of power. Jake is learning to be in charge and become a leader with Tessa, but then he struggles to maintain that when Jenna is back. Tessa just wants to play with Jenna. I also realize how important a good teacher is for my little girl. She is growing up and having her own individual experience, which she needs, but it is not always easy to watch them grow up.
And then there is Jake. Jake is old enough to go to preschool this year. We had him signed up for a place down the street to go to, but realized that financially we couldn’t do it. The same thing happened with Jenna, so I was actually excited to have Jake home with me for another year. Doing at-home preschool has been a huge blessing (which I will talk about more later) but it is also a huge humility factor for me. It seems like preschool is like a rite of passage now and I feel people judging the decision that we had made to do it at home. Granted, people don’t know the whole situation and it seems more hurtful to me than it probably does to anyone else, but it feels like some days we have done something wrong and that Jake will not be ready for kindergarten…well, I know that he will be fine.
At-home preschool is one of the greatest investments of my time with my children. We did the same thing with Jenna. At-home curriculum supplemented with an online school readiness program. It has been amazing to see how different the two kids are. When I did preschool with Jenna, her learning style was completely different than what I am doing for Jake. Jenna taught herself how to read when she was 2, so we did a lot of reading, vocabulary, and word games, etc. Jake is still learning his alphabet SOUNDS. For some reason he just doesn’t have them clear in his head, which is fine. Jenna was more abstract principles of learning, Jake is hands on and activity based. This last week we did the letter “X”. It was great fun, we practiced writing “x”, came up with mighty machines that had an “x” in them, went on a treasure hunt (because “x”marks the spot), made an x-ray with q-tips, went on a nature walk and found some nature stuff outside then glued them into a “X” which is proudly displayed on the kitchen wall. It is great to learn with my kids and understand their learning styles. This knowledge helped me a ton when Jenna went into kindergarten and now in 1st grade.
But with all this fun, Jenna now wants to stay home and do preschool with us and not just “learn at her desk all day.” So there is this transitional balance that I am still trying to figure out. So I guess, all in all, I just love each one of my family members to pieces and miss them when they are away. Change is a good thing, but sometimes my mother heart has a hard time stretching and expanding. I am grateful for prayer and that I can always say a little pray for any and all of my family that I am missing. It gives me a greater understanding of my Heavenly Father and how I am sure He misses us. Loving someone is not just loving them when they are near, but wherever they are. I hope Scott, Jenna, Jake, and Tessa feel my love every day and that I share that love with them everyday.