The end is in sight. Once next week is complete we are calling an end to the 2012-2013 school year. The end is pretty arbitrary, though. Current math and phonics books were finished weeks ago. We've only loosely been following our schedule the last few weeks, and our learning will continue to a certain extent throughout our summer break. It's just what we do. Nevertheless we all see next week as a closing point and I think I am just as ready - or more so - as the boys.
At a time when I have so much on my plate and on my mind, I am trying to slow down. Breathe deep. Enjoy the dailiness of life with these 5 people of varying ages and personalities.
So yesterday morning after our Bible reading and morning routines we ditched the schedule and to-do list and headed for the hills. Ok, it's not that hilly, but we drove out to the country to check on the garden after the previous day's storm. We also had a turtle that had been captive in his box in the laundry room long enough. It was time for a new life for Sammy Turtle.
Before heading to the garden we stopped off to visit with my Dad and Grand-dad. What a privilege to be able to sit and visit mid-morning on a weekday, a baby in each lap. Checking the balance scales.... yep....definitely out-weighs "doing school".
Then it was on to the garden where some of us dodged the standing areas of water from all. of. the. rain., and some of us sloshed right through. For Tyler, who was wearing his trusty rain boots, that was no problem. But as I loved on Alan in a brief moment of stillness that afternoon I asked him his favorite part of going to the garden. "Getting my shoes wet," he answered with a smile. Wet tennis shoes...again. They'll dry. They always do.
Mr. Turtle was released, camouflaged in the brown leaves beneath the oak tree. Marked with a 'B' (I'll just leave you to wonder about that one) in case we ever see him again. Bees were watched. A butterfly observed. A slilpper squirmy tadpole was caught (and released). A tiny katydid was spotted and examined. Slimy mushrooms that looked like squished raisins were plucked. The garden was explored. All of this weighed against "doing school"..... and real life wins again.
Upon our return home routines resumed, math worksheets were done, spelling words practiced. Rooms cleaned, dishes washed. "Real life" of a different variety, but necessary.
My last slow-moments of the day before the hectic rush of brushing teeth and tucking in and straightening up the messes the whirlwind left behind were spent combing my sweet girl's hair after her bath. She loves singing and being sung to lately. She sat with her vintage Fisher Price van in her lap - one little person left to ride - and I combed as we sang "The Wheels on the Bus" over and over and over again. I'm glad that song has lots of verses anyway! We'd barely finish one set of "alllll ...through...the townnn!" when she'd be asked for "moe! moe(more) town!" So off we'd go again.
And here I sit, the verse of yesterday's trip all through the town complete and the wheels on this bus are already going round and round. I've ditched routine again already just to write this blog post and one little person has woken early and joined me. We'll proceed with this day, trying to soak up all the good parts, not fret over all the not-so-good parts, looking for balance in all the "real life" - the parts that demand our attention, and the parts that quietly wait for us when we're ready. And the wheels go round and round....