Photo: What’s keeping me inspired right now–the autumn change. The glorious color. There is no better time to live in New England.
It’s one of those weeks when I’m proud of myself for being on my A-game, but it’s taking all of me: the strength of will, the content of character, and yeah, the Black Girl Magic to get it all done. But I’m gettin’ it. It’s gettin’ done. Even the writing, and that’s the hardest part. Fallen by the wayside? The knitting… which you know is a problem because writing without having a tangible craft is a high-speed highway to writer’s block.
I’m trying. I’m doing my best. I’m getting it done.
Monday was hell, as I’ve already recounted and yesterday was full because I had to be super-wife. Five-star dinner and dessert, clean house and happy babies was the order and I delivered it. The “clean house” was the rub, because it meant long-neglected corners of the house needed to be tended to. That summer schedule gave me the opportunity to look at stuff and say, “meh. that’s not important.” Until it became important and it needed to be scrubbed. My reward, though? This house is the cleanest it’s been in a long time. Clean in that kind of way that makes you look around and love it like I’m seeing it for the first time. It’s a good foundation for easy cleaning for all of the rest of the entertaining I’ll be doing in this house in the coming weeks (so many visitors! That’s not including the playdates!).
I had one of those moments last night as I was setting my table when I thought about my mother. “Home training” is real, you guys, and it comes to the rescue right when you need it. Things like setting a formal table are easy and second nature, and I have my mother to thank for that. Two types of dessert? An upscale dinner with four elements served on time and in a clean kitchen because I could clean as I went? Again… Mom. And her mother before her. They were such battles when I was younger, wanting to play outside, cozy up to a book or blast aliens in a video game. But now… second nature. Thanks, Mom.
Those thoughts are carrying me through today as I continue doing the hard work with my boys. I find myself constantly nagging and pestering. “Don’t do that.” “No, sir.” “You know better.” “Say excuse me.” “Say thank you.” “Is that a request?” “You know where that goes.”
All day. All day. Like a broken record. But the battles turn into something later. Function. Even flourish. Keep at it, Mama, even when it drives you crazy. Keep at it, Mama, even when it feels like they aren’t learning a damn thing.
I spent a little bit of my morning at a different preschool today. Because of our half-day kindergarten dilemma, The Husband and I have decided to go ahead a look for a new preschool for Minor that is closer to my home. At first, it was a difficult decision, but then we had an incident at our school last that confirmed for me that a new community with a different sort of structure is our best option. I’m really concerned about Major’s upcoming transition into Kindergarten: right now, he attends a wonderful play-based preschool that doesn’t put any pressure on him to complete art activities or similar activities. They also aren’t huge on enforcing task-participation: My son has figured out that he doesn’t really have to clean the playroom during clean-up time. He can simply lay down on the floor and the teachers will try, but fail to get him to comply.
In Kindergarten, there will be less opportunities for him to opt-out, more expectation for him to follow the rules and fully participate in school activities. I’m worried about how it’s going to go for him. I explained to him that, when it comes to clean up time and other things that he doesn’t want to do but needs to do, he needs to do the right thing. Even when I’m not there. Even when he thinks I won’t find out.
That’s a long lesson that has to be taught over and over again as he grows. I feel like it’s coming up a lot right now. I know he’ll get it… In the mean time, my free time is being eaten by visiting schools.
I’m rambling, I know. It’s one of those weeks when there are plenty of stories to be told, but my brain is too mushy to retain them and retell them in a cohesive way. I’ll admit that I’m pretty disappointed with how things are going right now. I really thought that I was going to have the time and space to be more productive and have time to propel myself forward. I have so much that I want to write, so many projects I’d like to start (including some for this blog). Instead, I’m clawing and scraping. I know that I’m not wasting any of my day, yet I’m treading water at best. It’s just that everything else in the universe is filling up my time.
Next week, I’m telling myself.
Did I say that last week?
Quiet Thoughts… I hope I have enough brain cells to write you something worth while, Dear Reader.