There’s a sick irony to having the whole house come down with the stomach flu the same morning you post about being healthy in the coming year. While the kiddos snuggled on the couch with blankets and buckets, watching movies and sipping broth, I had the time to peruse blogs and take an assortment of Zimbio quizzes (I’m apparently Albus Dumbledore, Princess Belle, and should have lived during the 1950s, in case you were curious, and I knew you were…).
Here are some tid bits…
Let Your Husband Love You
Wives need to be reminded of this often, I think. I need it daily. The other night I was on FaceTime with my husband and he mentioned how beautiful I looked (Yea, he’s a keeper). I stared at him dumbfounded and my hand went automatically to my unkempt hair. I hadn’t showered all day, I’d been cleaning up vomit and bleaching counters, I was sick and weak and so I just stared at the screen like an idiot. Then I made some off-handed comment about how he must be joking and moved on. But folks, he wasn’t. He was dead serious. He’d been waiting all day to talk with us. He misses me and loves me and no matter how tangled and greasy my hair, how worn and weary my face, he honestly thinks I’m beautiful. It’s weird. And awesome. And wonderful. So yes, I think I’ll let him love me. And I’ll be grateful that he does. Because he needs to love me. And I need him to love me.
The Disgrace of Infertility
A good read on the struggles of infertility. I highly recommend it to those who know someone suffering through infertility. While I haven’t really felt shame or disgrace over the burden of infertility, I can certainly identify with the helplessness and despair.
And check out this article on 5 Things Infertile Couples Want Friends, Families, and Churches to Know. I definitely left church crying on the third Mother’s Day we faced without children because every mother was given a rose and I was left empty handed and empty hearted. It’s not that I didn’t want them to celebrate… I just desperately wanted to be part of it too and it was a tangible reminder that I wasn’t. To this day, even as a mother of two beautiful children, mother’s day leaves a bitter taste in my mouth. Because I know countless families are still hurting. But I also love that this article points out that infertility isn’t a blank check for self pity. Everyone struggles- we all need the joy of the Lord as our strength, whether we struggle with infertility, singleness, cancer, loss of a child, financial burdens… and the list of sorrow goes on and on because we live in a fallen world. So let’s all spread around some love, kindness, and tact. :o)
What Your Four Year Old Needs to Know
This is a great read, written by Alicia over at A Magical Childhood. It reminds us that focusing on developmental benchmarks created by educational and child development professionals can make parents arrogant or forlorn… or both. Instead of the long list of things a kid should ‘know’, like ABCs, counting to 20, etc, she reminds us our children need to be secure, loved, and encouraged to embrace creativity. Everything else will follow in due course, but a child needs to be loved and given freedom to explore the world from a safe vantage point in order to thrive.
She also links to another page with more suggestions on ways to direct play to focus on development, like listening skills and fine motor development over ABCs and numbers.
I needed this reminder very much this month! When it comes time for my monthly meeting with our Educational Supervisor from the charter school, I start stressing about benchmarks and our lack of ‘progress’ (I can’t forget the look she had when she wrote “Math Lessons 1-10” for the 3rd month in a row on our lesson plan objectives- as if maybe I wasn’t actually teaching the lessons… but I tell you what, I taught subitizing up to 5 for weeks and weeeeeks. I almost lost my mind. But eventually, we got it and moved on.). Each month, I call my mum freaking out- have we done enough? Will our ES think I’m spending all our time playing and I’m not teaching enough formal school? And each month, my worries are in vain (so you don’t get the wrong idea, our ES is a really sweet lady, it’s just her job to keep us on track with all those pesky common core standards). When, oh when, will I stop borrowing trouble?
We spend 95% of our day playing: dressing up, painting, using play dough, going to the park, playing with LeapPads, reading books, driving cars and trains, going on hikes, splashing in waves at the beach (ok, so we do an inordinate amount of beach time), doing crafts, building legos & blocks, baking, going to the zoo, and just being kids.
I have a child who blows these milestones out of the water and one who may forever lag behind peers (and then again, maybe not… she’s making fast progress in catching up!). That’s one of the main reasons I’m homeschooling- so my 4 year old can read his world atlas by himself and my 7 year old can have the freedom to learn read without a classroom of kids reminding her she can’t. And so we play, and play… and play.
And you know what? Somewhere in all that playing, she got it! She’s reading and SO. EXCITED. She carries a chapter book around everywhere- even at the mall yesterday- even if she can’t read it all yet. And each afternoon we are home, we have tea and the munchkins sit and listen to me read aloud. We just finished up A Little Princess last week. And started Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone yesterday (she may not be able to read at age level yet, but she can find London on a globe in a heart beat). On that note, I think I’ll go put the kettle on…