Category Archives: Parenting

Off to School

This year marks the first in six years that I haven’t had at least one of my sons at home full-time. Take a second to digest that, I’ll wait.

This has been an exciting transition for my guys. For me? Not so much. Don’t get me wrong, I am very secure in our decision. I just miss the big ol’ fellas.

I love the homeschool lifestyle. Waking up whenever I want (7:00 a.m. is the perfect waking up time) and not having to plan my families activities around a school calendar affords incredible freedom. Meeting after church on a Sunday night? Sure! State Junior Olympics Competition on a Friday? Why not!? Stay up late on a Wednesday? Go for it.

Mentally, I’m still a homeschool mom. I still subscribe to the local support group’s email list because they have the inside track on all the cool family activities in our area. I still drool over those amazing lesson planners and super sales on homeschool stuff that pop up in my inbox.

I will never pass up a good sale on school supplies, ever. I’m pretty sure I am hard-wired that way. I get giddy when I see the huge bins of pens, pencils, and big pink erasers. Don’t even get me started on binders-I found the cutest one the other day, all girlie and bright; and then there was this really sturdy one with the rubber edges, and the mini one that holds 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 paper… I may have a problem.


I Just Can’t Wait To Get On the Road Again

I was clearing out my inbox when I came across this little gem:  MomsMinivan.com – 101 Road Trip Games, Car Travel Games for Kids, and Games to Play in the Car, Printable Car Trip Games.

I wish I had this site when my guys were little. We have played a lot of these games (love pipe cleaners and aluminum foil), but I think my kids would have loved Pirates of the Caravan. I’m not sure how long the pirate talk would play with my hubby these days.  He might make us walk the plank. {Aarrrgh!}

There were a few that caught our eye, and my 17-year-old asked me print out the Battleship game, just in case. 🙂

Happy travels!


Beyond the Boo-boo’s

We recently had a bit of a health scare at our house. Our oldest son had an appendectomy. Seems like no big deal, right? How many times have you heard someone had this procedure and you dismissed it because it wasn’t major surgery?

I admit I have been dismissive in the past too. I tend to rank surgeries by the length of the hospital stay or how life-threatening the condition that prompted the surgery. Before you decide I’m a total monster I should tell you I pray for the patients and caregivers, check on their progress, and pitch in to do what I can to make convalescing less taxing. It’s the time after the doctor released the patient and before they have returned to their normal self I find a bit perplexing.

We’re pretty private folks at my house. (Well, three of us are; that’s a story for another day.) Once we’ve put in the mandatory “here are all the pertinent details of the condition” time, we like to pop back under the radar. Suffering in silence is an art form. I firmly believe there are people on each end of the spectrum who could benefit from a good lesson in the finer points.

My paternal grandmother broke her wrist once. No biggy, just working in her garden, tripped, and snap. What did she do? After noticing the protruding bone she grabbed her hand and pulled. Snap again, all set. She wrapped it up and didn’t even tell Grandpa! If one of my aunts hadn’t noticed it on her regular visit no one would have been the wiser.

My grandmother’s case was extreme. I cannot imagine having a broken bone and not letting the whole world know. {Note the earlier post chronicling my mid-foot sprain: Klutsy Much?} I won’t bring up stories of people who are exactly the opposite, but all of us have acquaintances who tell us too much information about their health; to the point of being completely awkward.

What does this have to do with my son? He’s back at school after missing over a week. Judging from the outward signs, he’s all better. However, he is still very tired and sore. He has lost ten pounds, has dark circles under his eyes, and is in serious need of a haircut. His doctor doesn’t want him to drive yet or even lift five pounds. He’s returning to end of course exams, given on make-up days (during other class periods, missing even more assignments) with no review, because he was unable to attend school on the official three days of review and two testing days. He is much too stoic to tell his teachers he is overwhelmed and seriously concerned about getting behind in his pre-calc/trig class. Instead he will duck under the radar and trudge on.

Here’s my dilemma: Do I shout it from the rooftops that my baby has just had surgery and is far to fragile to continue at this pace or do I let him be the man-in-training and do things his way and respect his privacy and desire for things to return to normal? It is a constant balancing act.

I drive him to school; carry his book bag to and from the building (it is now even heavier because of the make-up work); make sure he schedules time to meet with his teachers for catch up sessions; and “remind” him that it is really important to eat lunch even when he isn’t hungry because his body is trying to heal AND not to forget to use the hand sanitizer…

This transition from little boy to responsible adult seems fairly effortless for my son. It’s hard for me. While I’m so proud of the teenager he has become, I miss the days when I could fix his boo-boo’s with a big ‘ol Star Wars Band-Aid and a kiss.


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