9.06.2011

practice

Do you remember when you were about 17 and you were in lots of ways kind of a grown up but in lots of ways not one at all? How you would go out to eat with your friends and have to ask for a table and the hostess would say, "How many?" and instead of just answering her like a normal human you would look at each other and giggle and then stutter out a number followed by and preceded by the non-word "um"?

I asked for a table a couple of weeks ago and when I sat down I wondered what happened and how many hostesses I had to stutter at before getting a table just wasn't a big deal. It's just getting a table. It's just saying a number at a person and whatever, no big deal or anything and also could we please sit outside? That's the thing I like about being a grown-up, even more than the freedom. I like all the practice I have had at doing people-things. I like the lack of anxiety in those situations.

I still need practice in some areas.
I still need practice with sending my kids to school.

Alice really really really really wanted to go to preschool this year. So I am sending her. She is three, and old enough to be in the class Clark was in last year. The idea of being away from her for eight hours a week makes me want to sit on the concrete of the parking lot and cry. Clark is going to be in the fours class -- the last class before the big K. A year from now he'll be in Kindergarten and just the thought of that makes me want to do that parking lot sob thing for three days straight.

Last year Clark had an iffy year. He struggles with things. He hates to be told that he has to stop doing something. He is not good with transitions. He struggles with following directions. He locks in on the stuff he likes and tunes the rest of the world out. He is going to school tomorrow. I am so nervous and I know I am supposed to relax but I don't have practice with this. I go to his school and I feel like a little girl with big emotions that don't make sense and not like a mom who knows how to get a table at a restaurant without saying "um".

I haven't blogged in almost two weeks because I have spent all of that time with my laptop folded up and stuck under my bed. I could feel school looming and squeezing and growing larger, out of focus for awhile but directly in front of me now. I miss my kids and they haven't left me yet. I am grateful for this chance to spend time alone with the baby. He needs me to look him in the face at eye level for more minutes of the day. I am happy I get to talk to him in mama-language and spend 20 minutes (in a row!) trying to get him to say one word. I am glad for that. I also need this break. Having three kids in under four years makes your brain feel like it's about to fall out. I actually need this break for my mental health. I think the entire house -- the floors and surfaces and walls and everything-- will sigh in relief because there will finally be a stretch of time where someone isn't spilling something on it.

But how am I going to sleep tonight?

25 comments:

  1. oh, mama. it's a bit much sometimes, isn't it? the more practice he gets in school, the more opportunity clark will have to get better at transitions and such.

    and hal will relish the love and attention he'll get. it will be special for you you both.

    i bet miss alice will be golden.

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  2. Yes! That is the very thing - I often don't feel like I have enough practice being a mom. And I only have ONE kid! I still can't believe I'm the one in charge of doctor appointments and laundry and nutrition, you know? Like, oh yeah, I have to think about ALL that stuff, not just loving on my kid.

    I pray that Clark will have some really awesome, understanding teachers. (And Alice, too!) That has made all the difference with Thomas - they know him, they love him, they accept him. I am beyond grateful. Just the other day I realized they postpone music class until he gets there (he comes late b/c of his speech class). That made me want to sit in the parking lot and cry, I tell you.

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  3. i wish i could be of some help. i am awful too. and we homeschool. molly had a super hard time last year going to dance class, but after a few weeks, it was "bye mom" i know how you feel, though. do they still need me?? they do, i promise. and the break will be nice for you and hal. i hope you get some sleep.

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  5. I so get this. I had the same feelings dropping my son off today . . . like somehow I was just DOING IT WRONG. Like every other mom was in on some secret knowledge that hadn't been passed to me. My son has similar issues and it's so hard not to be anxious for them, isn't it?

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  6. I have thought his before, but after this post, oh boy. my oldest, Cade, sounds SO SIMILAR to Clark. I mean, you literally just described my kid. he (and his twin sister) just started kindergarten this year, but never went to preschool. it was really hard. he has struggled with his issues just going to Sunday school, so I've been SO worried about real school. but we did it, he started, and I'm praying it goes well. all that to say, I completely feel where you're coming from and I hope Clark has an amazingly good year.
    also, my 4 year old wanted to go to school too, so I just went with it and enrolled her in preschool, which she started today. she absolutely adored it, and I had 3-ish hours alone with just the baby. I honestly think we are all happier with this small amount of space!

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  7. I've been thinking of you this morning, and right about now when you are getting everyone ready for the big first day I'm praying. Just that.

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  8. i hate when something is looming ahead filling my head with... stress, and JUNK, and ugr, and ARG. today will be the first day. things will happen. the weight will lift or it won't or it will change.

    also, being an adult is stupidly difficult sometimes.

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  9. I hope you slept well. I think it sounds wonderful! I love having just Ivy here. Even more than I thought I would. It's amazing how we send them out to have their own lives and how we think it will go one way but really always works out!

    Steph

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  10. I pray that the anxiousness that comes with anticipation has been replaced by the peace that comes with things actually getting started. And, that this is a wonderful year for all of you. All of you.

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  11. i know this feeling so well. i can cry and feel relief and a bit of an exhale all at the same time. xxo

    i hope they both had a good first day today.

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  12. I hope Clark and Alice are having good days at school and that you are having a good day at home with Hal. I'm sure he notices it's quieter and he probably misses them, too. Clark will get better with transitions.

    I feel unsure every time I go to my daughter's high school. Like a shy dork who can't relax. I'm the mom who has called the office multiple times to ask silly questions and I'm the mom who cried the first time I pulled into the parking lot, seeing all these OLD looking kids with facial hair and cars.

    I keep thinking by the time Teddy is in high school, everyone will think I'm his grandmother...but I'll know EVERYTHING. Poor guy.

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  13. I hope you and Hal are enjoying your special one-on-one time. Who knows, maybe somedays you'll even get to nap together. Good luck, Momma.

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  14. Transitions are hard for all of us, I think.
    Squeeze.
    L

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  15. My son needs work done on his car. Dropping him off at college had me feeling no less lost.

    I wish I could hug you and squish Hal's cheeks. And Alice's. And Clark's.

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  16. Oh the looming. This happens to me, too. One thing looms on my horizon and, suddenly, the rest of the world vanishes except for that one stressful, looming thing.

    Jamie said it best, being an adult is stupidly hard.

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  17. I hope they had a good first day and that you enjoy your little breaks. And the kids get to spread their little wings at the same time. Totally a win, win.

    At least I'm looking at it that way. In my own case too... xo

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  18. you are going to do GREAT. i had to giggle at the whole house breathing a sigh of relief, oh mama, let me tell you what... as nervous as i was about the idea of sending dotty off into the world for a little bit each day without me, and even excited about the 4 hours of quiet time i would have to myself, i was also really looking forward to that chunk of time she wouldn't have access to her dresser drawers which she opens Every.SINGLE.TIME. she goes into her room to reach in and pull out another piece of clean clothing to change into. that girl, i tell ya, she likes to changer her some clothes. SIGH.

    as of this afternoon, we will have 2 weeks under our belt-- each drop off gets easier, and every single day when i pick her up, she has more of a kick in her step. she actually says out loud to me, "I AM HAVING SUCH A GOOD DAY!" or "I AM IN A REEDY REEDY GOOD MOOT!" and then there was that "heart is laughing" thing that pretty much did me in.

    you and mister hal go enjoy some quiet time together today. alice and clark will do great!!

    xo happy friday mama!!!

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  19. boys are notorious for having trouble transitioning in preschool - but it's good practice for "real" school - and the teachers are used to it.

    and i feel your pain, momma - four kids in six years here - my brain is mush!

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  20. I hope this year is beautiful, Erin. Last year, we had a very tough year with Tommy at the sitter. He was mean to the other kids. He was grumpy and cried a lot. Every day, I would pick the boys up, then cry in the car. This year has been better by far. I pray the same for you.

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  21. I hope the first day went well. I also hope you've slept well since then at least once.

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  22. I well remember the sadness of letting my littles go to pre-school.....but pretty soon...I promise it will be like that staples commercial of the parents shopping for school supplies and "It's the most wonderful time of the year " playing!
    Lisa-G

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  23. So how did it go?! Are you doing ok?

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  24. practice. sometimes i think i need more practice at just plain being an adult. because i'm sitting here in pajamas for the second day in a row. i haven't showered. i've been feeding a newborn and napping and doing my best to entertain a bored three year old in this ridiculous heat but i can't seem to get it together to shower or dress myself appropriately.

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  25. It does make you feel like your brain is going to fall out!!

    Great post!

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