Photo: That is a basted quilt. A quilt that is ready to be quilted. It is quite imperfect, but I’m still proud of it. I hope I don’t screw it up any more than I already have.
Ursa Major had us up at 3:48 this morning, Dear Reader. He came running into our room at full speed and at full volume talkin’ ’bout “my tummy hurts because I’m so hungry.”
My husband, after much negotiation, actually went downstairs and got that child a cheese stick. I couldn’t believe it. I’ve been preaching the new gospel to that child all day: “Don’t you ever do that again!”
That child wasn’t really hungry. That child is a little anxious about all of the things going on around here. Truth be told, there has been a lot of regression and acting out around here lately. I was scratching my head about it while talking with my neighbor and she, an child-development teacher at the high school, enlightened me: “oh, he’s getting the kindergarten jitters.”
It made total sense. We’ve had a lot of regressive behavior lately, but we’ve also had a lot of boundary pushing and assertiveness. Major has been too excited to exert his big-boyness in certain situations while, at other times, he’s been incredibly needy and utterly disruptive.
“Yup. Kindergarten jitters. He just realized the world is going to get big.”
You’re probably thinking to yourself, “it’s April. Kindergarten is still a while away. Why’s he acting up now?”
Well, I turned in the registration papers some two weeks ago, remember? And he watched me leave the house every Tuesday night this winter to go look at schools. He kissed me goodbye when I went out for official Registration Night. It’s real now.
Of course, that manifests in funky ways when you’re 5.
I’ve been wanting to tell him that I’m anxious about kindergarten too. Sometimes my stomach hurts when I think about it! I was in the tupperware aisle of Wegman’s on Wednesday and I stopped in front of all of the plasticware especially designed for lunchboxes. I looked it all over and was quickly overwhelmed. I’m going to have to pack lunches next year! I’m going to walk that child down the driveway and put him on a bus! The logistics of that alone is going to be a major change for the entire rhythm of our mornings, let alone adding lunch packing!
And I put the thought away. Because it’s April and I don’t have to think about it yet. But it’s there, waiting for me. September is coming. When I think about everything that has to happen between now and then, I get a little knot deep down that I can’t get to go away.
I recognize that it’s inappropriate to share these anxieties with my son, so I keep them to myself, even when he’s losing it and driving me crazy. He’s looking to me to tell him that it’s going to be ok. Because it will, that’s true. He needs stability and confidence, which I’m actually pretty good at delivering. I have to remind myself in the moments when he seems to be falling apart that my job isn’t to fall apart with him. Nobody needs a deteriorating adult at 4am. Grace is difficult, patience even more so… but a stable and firm hold on things is something I know that I can manage.
I don’t really know what my Quiet Thoughts are. Maybe I’m reflecting on how unrelenting change can be sometimes. Didn’t we just start preschool? Didn’t that come with enough change? Must we go through yet another big transition? Or maybe I protract our transitions–always looking ahead toward the next big thing and getting us ready for it, never enjoying exactly where we are and what we are doing. My Quiet Thoughts are wondering how much I deserved to be woken up so early this morning. Maybe “my tummy hurts, I’m so hungry!” is better translated as “I’m only 5, change is scary as hell, and why can’t everybody just be cool?”
Something to ponder this weekend, Dear Reader.
My Dear Reader, it is a warm Friday evening. A stormy weekend is on the horizon, threatening thunder and rain, snow and gale. Spring is about boundaries and transitions, demonstrating the power of change in dramatic and powerful fashion. The instability of it is attractive, even in its frightfulness! How can you possibly look away, even when the trees are bending and the limbs are snapping? I wish you delightfully Spring moment this weekend, Dear Reader: a gust of wind that knocks you back a step, a new sprout of green climbing up from the thawing earth, the pounding of rain on your windowpane, or even the yelp of an animal just emerging from a long slumber. I also wish you a peaceful moment: quiet stillness that sneaks up on you as you go about your day or something set aside that you’ve been looking forward to all week. I wish you a little time with a nourishing bowl of something slow-cooked and lovingly tended. I wish you a few good stories shared with instances of loud belly-laughs and whispered secrets, indulgences that set your mind afire and fill your soul a bit.
Above all, I wish you a warm smile, a lingering hug, and someone telling you that they love you. Remember that you are worthy of that love, as what you do matters to so many people.
Until Monday, Dear Reader, take care.