Monday, November 24, 2014

Giving Voice to Joy

This past year has been a difficult one for our family on many levels, but also filled with tremendous hope and joy. It is important to give voice to all the joy so that we do not forget it.  One of the challenges of our very fast-paced culture is that we have lost the habit of reflection.  And, reflection makes room for joy.

The things of which I am cognizant of most this year is Elias' new school home.  Some nights, the process of pulling out homework and supporting a somewhat anxious boy can be very depleting. But, then I pinch myself and remember that my son is waking-up eager to go to school. He has had three months without being teased for his tics.  He has a fabulous teacher who challenges him with his exceptionally high reading needs and supports him with his learning differences when it comes to fine-motor and dysgraphia. He has a guidance counselor who meets with him once a week for extra time to talk about recess and sore muscles from tics and how to manage feelings of frustration. He has a responsive school administration who have all been on board for Elias since his entrance, including helping all his specials teachers become more aware of his needs. He has friends who are kind.  And, I think three months into school he is almost finished processing all of the trauma of last year. On that note, I still feel a bit of unease when I walk into his old school, (but Adelaide's present school) but I have worked hard to modulate that.  In addition to his school support, we also got to see the neurologist at CHOP, which was very helpful.  And, now that he has finished soccer we are going to return to Theraplay for help with his handwriting and fine motor issues.  All of these resources are at our fingertips and we make good use of them. The last piece of exciting news for Elias is that he has qualified for a peanut challenge.  He has most likely outgrown his peanut allergy and we will go to DuPont to test that in January.

Adelaide has a terrific teacher making her classroom experience very positive. Despite having a run-in with the Superintendent over Adelaide's illness this fall, we have recovered and are relieved that all is well with her in her school setting. Adelaide has a great cadre of friends and is a real leader.  Soccer brought her great joy this fall and she made some new friends on her team. She also started playing the violin and so far it appears she may be musical. I am thrilled to have a child playing an instrument in our household.  I am thankful most of all for the care Addie received at DuPont in September. She was so very sick and we are grateful that things did not get any worse for her during her hospitalization.

Each morning I still help this little boy put one foot in his underwear and then the next.  Most of the time, Josiah reminds me in the most cliche way to "stay in the moment."  But how can I not between his use of w's for r's, his infectious singing, his constant creating, and his very sweet face. When we have our stay home days on Friday I pinch myself as I glance back in the rear view mirror and see only one child being dragged to the YMCA.  It won't be too long before all of my kids will have begun the every-day school grind. For now, I am thankful that Jed and I have lunches together and when he puts his winter hat on his face is no different from the day he was born.

And then there is my dear husband. I am grateful that he puts our family first on his priority list, even when that is challenging professionally and physically! But, he knows deep in his heart that loving God is loving us and modeling to his children the importance of play and rest. (And we all know how hard it is to not constantly work when you live at the shop and there is little separation between home and work--both physically and emotionally.) I'm also infinitely grateful for the many nights he cooks for us, especially when I've been agonizing over what to prepare and he just throws some French bistro dishes together.  I've realized that I am really happy to tend to the household, do the food shopping, but take a back seat as a cook.

These four creatures provide me with everyday Thanksgivings.  I am thankful for each of them.

Monday, November 10, 2014

The Third

Every once in a while, I remember to share some things about this lovely little creature in our family.  As of late, he has been so funny, perceptive, and sweet.  I wish I could recall some of the funnier stories...Right now, he is calling clothes labels "mabels" and is very confused why there are "recess" peanut-butter cups. We had also been going through a long period of him invading our bed.  I promised him if he slept in his bed for five nights in a row, I would give him a present.  I gave him "sleeping bear" and so far this tactic has been quite successful. It helps that we have buy-in from Adam's parish administrator who comments on how tall he is growing now that he is sleeping in his own bed. Josiah is certainly one big kid. It is hard for me to believe he will go to kindergarten next year.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Rainy Day Fort

I told the kids to go up and build a fort this morning because soccer was cancelled.  I came up to our office/guest room and found this!