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Writings on Motherhood, Judaism, and Happily-Ever-Afters

February 2018Monthly Archives

Worst February Vacation Ever

We spent all week sick.  Poor Julianna started running a fever and kept it up all the way thru until Friday.  Just in time for me to come down with the same cold.  We did nothing, went nowhere, had no fun adventures, Jessie and Sam watched WAY too much netflix, we slept too much and had nothing fun at all ever.

But onward and upward… so the girls went back to school today.  Sam went back to homeschooling. It occurs to me that we are more than halfway thru this school year at this point, and I’m thinking a lot about what the future holds for all three of them.

With Jessie, her education plan is set.  We’ve got no plans on changing schools, and the main focus over the next year and a half will be on scholarships for college.  She’s got big dreams, and all of them involve a LOT of education, and that’s going to involve a ton of money.  She’s planning out what AP classes she wants to take next year, thinking about extra curricular activities and I feel like, with Jessie, at least, we’re in good shape.  Physically, we’re dealing with the Osgood Schlatter condition, and the sleep problems.  Oh, the sleep problems.  My girl doesn’t sleep well anymore.  She wakes up all the time, and has trouble falling back asleep.  We’ve tried melatonin, and a prescription from the doctor, but it hasn’t really helped.

For Sam – there are still a lot of questions.  Not in terms of his education, exactly.  He’s thriving in homeschooling, we’re moving quickly thru Level Five of Build Your Library, almost done with the elementary portion of Life of Fred, and while there are still areas where he needs to improve (specifically in terms of writing and reading), I’ve got ideas on how to work around them.  The obvious challenge for Sam is the vision aspect – while he’s literate and CAN read, it’s hard for him to see the letters, which makes it harder for him to be able to sound out the word, so he guesses based on length and starting and ending letter.  We’ve got an appointment with his pediatrician tomorrow for his yearly physical,and I’m hoping to get some answers about finding him the support he needs, in terms of Orientation and Mobility training, and if I can get it outside of the school system.  I’m also concerned about the amount of sleep that kid needs, he sleeps more than the other two girls.

With Julianna – in many ways, she’s thriving.  She loves school, mostly, and is doing really well when she’s there.  Elementary school is easier for her than it was for the older two.  She’s got the academic ease that Jessie had, combined with the social ease that Sam had.  She’s definitely got a tinge of the anxiety that plagued both of them, but it’s not as hard core.  I still feel really conflicted about Flagg Street, and nowhere near as certain as I’d like to be about what to do with her going forward.  She’s doing well, academically and socially, there, and I think she’s on the same path that Jessie was on.  And if I can get her into GSA, I know she’d thrive there.  But do I want to keep her at Flagg Street on the chance that she’ll be able to go to GSA in 6th grade?  Or should I think about private school – there’s a private Jewish school in Framingham that looks amazing.  Of course, it’s in Framingham, which means she’d be out of the house all day, every day, from probably 7-4.  I struggle with 8:30-2:30.  Homeschooling is always an option – but she’s got so many friends at school, and she loves that aspect.  Homeschooling Sam is going to make homeschooling a lot less social – he fights it so much.  Although I might have an easier time getting him to doing social things if I had Julie as well.  ARGGGG!  I don’t know.  Seriously – I don’t know what the right decision is.

So there are still questions and nothing is settled.  But Marc is doing great at his job, and loves it.  He’s happy and busy and I miss him terribly, but he’s really a perfect fit for this position.  I love not working – and being able to settle in and focus on the kids and what they need.  Lizzie Beth is still a holy terror, but she’s housebroken, and still eating everything in sight.  She’s barking and jumping and running all over the place, but so full of love and sweetness.

I don’t take any of this for granted – and there’s a part of me that still waiting for the other shoe to drop.  But the reality is that we’ve come a long way since the accident, and it’s possible that there is no other shoe. I’m probably still going to watch for it, though, just in case.

To Jessica Mary – Fifteen Years

Fifteen years ago, I was hugely pregnant.  Pretty sure that I was going to be pregnant forever.  I had already started my maternity leave, because we had scheduled a c-section a week ago, only to realize that Jessie had flipped when I went in for the last check up.  So I was home, feeling like it would never end.  And that was okay with me, because I loved being pregnant.

I felt like she was safe and mine and wasn’t ready to share her with the rest of the world.  I feel that way now too sometimes.

She’s going to be fifteen on Wednesday, and I need to get ready.

I’m no more ready to share her with the rest of the world than I was fifteen years ago.  But in the same way that labor happened regardless of how I felt about it – she’s going to be a sophomore, then a junior and then a senior and then she’ll be… out in the world.

Mothering Jessie has always felt completely natural.  I wanted to be a mother, so badly – and from the first moment I saw her, it was like something that had been missing my entire life clicked into place.  But it’s with Jessie that I constantly feel inexperienced, and like I’m playing catch up.  I no sooner adjust to having an infant and then she’s a baby.  I blink, and she’s a toddler, and then dancing off to preschool.  I can’t quite keep up with her, because it was yesterday that I was somehow the mother of a middle schooler, and suddenly we’re debating which AP class she should take and what scholarships she should apply for, and how far away can she go without me losing my mind?  (That last one is a consideration that I keep to myself – but breathe a sigh of relief when she tells me that she wants to stay within New England.)

At fifteen, Jessie is taller than I am, and so beautiful.  She’s brilliant and sarcastic and literally one of the funniest people I’ve ever known.  She’s still as emotional and intense as she’s ever been, only now she’s got a little maturity to add to it.  A little self-control, a little bit of restraint.  She still hates to fit in too much, hates to do anything on committee, and group projects make her crazy.  Her little sister is the bane of her existence, and I’m not entirely sure she’ll ever forgive Marc and I for making her share a bedroom with her.

I love this kid so much, her craziness, her kindness, her empathy and impatience and drive and humor.  Fifteen years ago, when I first saw her, I knew who she was and I knew who I was now.   And as much as I want to keep her all to myself for the next fifteen years, I know that I can’t.   There’s going to be so much changing soon, too soon.  She’ll get her license, and then her first job, and then college and an apartment, and if I spend too much time thinking about it – I’ll just end up in tears.  Because I’m no more ready now than I was fifteen years ago.