"When we had our children, our ideas changed somewhat. Thenceforward we lived only for them; they made all our happiness and we would never have found it save in them. In fact, nothing any longer cost us anything; the world was no longer a burden to us. As for me, my children were my great compensation, so that I wished to have many in order to bring them up for Heaven" -- Saint Zelie Martin, mother of St. Therese of Lisieux, canonized October 18, 2015 along with her husband St. Louis Martin.

Friday, September 12, 2014

First Day of a New School Year

1:31a.m.  awake, fully clothed, and wonder if it's morning

                 It is not morning, but I fell asleep nursing my fussy 9-month-old earlier than I usually go to bed, so it almost felt like a good night's sleep by then.

2:30a.m.  awake to cries of "Mama" from down the hall.  Legolas has lost his pacifier. Please don't write anonymous "recommendations" about 2 year olds and pacifiers.  I know. I know! (and I'm paying for it).

6:30a.m.  Now it's morning!  About half of the kids are up.  Make coffee. Try to pray.

7 a.m. emergency cleaning effort.  Dishes, vacuuming, pick-up.  9-month-old Eowyn is eating everything off of the floor.  I try not to do housework on Sundays, so Monday mornings can be tricky (read: big disaster everywhere).  On the first day of school, we knew we didn't want to start like this.

8:15 a.m. leave for daily Mass.  Mass begins at 8:15a.m.  We live 10 minutes away from church.  You do the math, we made it to communion.

9:10 a.m. scramble a dozen eggs, toast a loaf of bread (no I'm not exaggerating. Ok, I think there were maybe 5 slices left).  Tell everyone to eat fast.

9:30 a.m.  Begin "Circle Time".  Bible study and Shakespeare to start our day.  Bible study went great. Shakespeare? I was pretty much hearing the kids' version of "boo and hiss":  "This is the worst lecture ever!" and "Can we just do workbooks or something?!"

Am I daunted? Oh heck no! This is going to be great!

11a.m. I give in: workbooks it is.

stay with me now: 11:01 no lesson plans for grades 4 and 6.
                              11:02 smell something and realize it's someone's diaper
                              11:03 three to five children need me to direct them before they can start
                              11:04 discover 4th grade lesson plans (Thank You!!)
                              11:05 bickering over someone counting too loudly, and counter-bickering
                              11:06 complaints that "this math is too easy"
                              11:07 tears that this math is too easy
                              11:08 tears over the noise, and that the (other child's) math is too hard
                              11:09 tears because noise sensitive child called other child the "scourge of the schoolroom"
                              11:10 tears because help is needed
                              11:11 shouting (through tears) because help is actually NOT needed
                               [exodus from classroom of three children seeking silent places to work]
                               11:12- 11:30 surprisingly productive and cheerful work accomplished
I made mac n' cheese, so my kids thought I was the best mom ever.  The afternoon was our annual "Birthday of Mary (Sept. 8th)/ Back to School" party.  We sang Marian hymns outside of our local church and then went to a park for Marian-blue cupcakes and soccer.  The kids scored loot bags filled with pencils and erasers and candy.  I got to vent to my friends about the "first day".

Basically, it was great!