Little A just adores her name tag at our church. We have a wonderful woman in our congregation who calligraphs beautiful name tags for anyone who wants one. They are so much nicer than the type you find at workshops or events, where everyone scribbles their name with a marker onto a sticker. We do have those available for first time visitors, but then if they put a request in the book, the next week (usually) there will be a calligraphy name tag available for them in a protective sleeve with a string to loop around your neck. Little A has put a pink chalice sticker on hers to personalize it even more. She stares at it adoringly when she first puts it on each week. It brightens my heart to watch.
All across the country, school is back in session. This is often a bittersweet time for families. Children are ending their summer leisure time, but will reunite with friends they may not have seen for a few months. Parents are losing the extra time with their children, but gaining more quiet time to work on goals that may benefit from the solitude. As with any major change, it is a time of both endings and beginnings.
I work from home. This allows me to be a homemaker and a full-time mother while still earning an income. My primary income is from sewing, but my sewing always takes a back seat to my kids. I also love to write this blog, and that is also easier when it is nice and quiet. Over the summer, I tended to stay up way past my bedtime so I could write in the quiet after everyone had gone to bed. Now that school is in session, I can go to bed at a decent hour and get my writing done while they are at school.
Two to three hour blocks
This is the first year I have not had children at home during at least half of the school day. Until 2010, I homeschooled, then that year my children began public school. I had one in high school, one in middle school, two in elementary, one in preschool, and one in the oven. My day was chopped up into short blocks according to the bus schedule. Anything I needed to do had to fit within a three hour time block.
- 6:00 Get up and start the day with C
- 6:40 C gets on the high school bus
- 7:20 M gets on the middle school bus
- 8:00 Put L and R on the elementary bus, then free time
- 11:15 Put E on the preschool bus, then free time
- 2:15 C gets home from high school
- 2:45 M gets home from middle school
- 3:15 L,R, and E come home from elementary/preschool
- 5:30 (in theory) Dinner time
- 7:30 Begin putting children to bed
This year, my youngest is in full day kindergarten. I get a full 7 hours each and every school day to accomplish great things. Or at least make some headway on cleaning the house or sewing up a beautiful dress or quilt. I have 7 hours of quiet, with just the tick of the clock to keep me company. An occasional buzz of the dryer or beep of the dishwasher lets me know they are done. This quiet has done wonders for my sanity. I would love to figure out how to store it up in a bottle for vacation days.
I would be remiss to ignore the fact that I live in an industrialized nation, where free education is available for all. I am very blessed in being able to send my children to school and know that they are safe there. My daughters do not have to miss school every month due to their cycle. My children have access to sports, clubs, and extra-curricular activities that broaden their horizons, sharpen their skills, and build a sense of community.
Two of my children have/had Individual Education Plans (IEPs). This gives them access to the extra resources they need to succeed, at no extra cost to me. It levels the playing field, so to speak. One child in fact made so much progress that they no longer need the IEP. I fully expect the other one to make similar strides.
I love my children dearly with all my heart, but I need quiet to balance out their loud, raucous kid energy. And so, I am thankful for the peace and quiet that accompanies the beginning of school. I am thankful for the community that supports them at school and gives them a sense of belonging and achievement.
Do you have kids in school? Is September a happy, sad, or ambivalent time for you?