Photo: They learned to destroy together a long time ago. Only recently have they learned that they can build together. The result can be magical, when it works, which it doesn’t always. This week it worked a lot, thank God, as I had many things to do.
When Major picked up that chalk this week and began to write his name, I could have flown from here to the moon. Such a mundane thing, to have a child pick up an instrument and begin to write letters, but it really wasn’t. It was pivotal evidence that some of the strategies that I’ve been using to raise him and teach him are working. The daily reading, the easing into letters and sounding, not stressing on flashcards or curriculum, but being thoughtful about language and how it works… all of these little things, the thoughtful curriculum of home and early learning (not to mention everything that goes on at preschool!), coming together in a spectacular moment. Four little letters written on our refrigerator door.
My Quiet Thoughts have been on that moment all week. About the excitement of the moment, how utterly fleeting it was, how much went into it and all that it means for the future. Especially as The Husband and I wrote two checks this week to continue to pay for a very expensive pre-education for these two boys and potentially face another year of $10,000 in tuition costs. I’ve been to no less than three meetings this week about either of their educations, and I’m about to go through a gantlet getting Major registered for kindergarten next year. Such extraordinary efforts we are going through, to only be rewarded with these little moments of triumph, glimmers of a future we’ve so heavily invested in without guarantee.
What I’ve been thinking about all week is how little they know of what we do for them. Their entire world turns on the axis of our efforts, the momentum of our dedication and the gravity of our devotion. This is the burden and the blessing, the call to action unlike anything else we’ve ever experienced. To be rewarded sparingly and sporadically, four letters at a time.
And those brief rewards are enough. I can’t believe it but, they really are enough.
So I toil and fight for another day while they do what they do with oblivious abandon. Somehow that mix allows them to absorb the lessons that I’m teaching. It’s a mysterious and frustrating process. Tonight’s challenge? Spaghetti and meatballs demanded by my 4 year-old while also on a playdate. Because why not?
I’ve been writing all week, working my tail off to meet my goal of getting Act II posted up here before the end of the day. Write a draft, transcribe it into this computer, edit it once, fix it, edit it again, fix it. I keep trying to edit it a third time, and that just doesn’t seem to happen. Seven whole days to do this work, and while it’s not impossible, it feels increasingly improbable with each day as I try to weave in the creative process with the mothering process. But, Dear Reader, I’ll tell you what: I’m almost on par. I’ll have Act II posted this evening. Even if not a single one of you reads it, I’ll know that it’s there. That’s what matters. I have accepted a challenge and I have met it. I’m still the woman I think I am. I might actually be a little better.
What are your challenges, Dear Reader? Who are you today? I hope that you are looking yourself in the mirror and seeing all of the things that make you wonderful. All of your talents, strengths, values and virtues got you through your week and to this Friday, Dear Reader. Congratulate yourself! Then congratulate someone else–they deserve it, too!
On a November Friday with grey in the sky and color on the ground, I wish you something warm in your lap: a baby, a pet, a mug of something warm, a favorite book, a soft blanket, even the heaviness of your special someone. I wish you time to be cozy and warm, unhurried and not bothered. I wish you time to think about tomorrow and the things you want to accomplish. I wish you a time to create one beautiful thing–a doodle, some crafting, a painting, a beautiful meal. I wish you a time to reach out to a friend. Be sure to tell someone you love them this weekend, Dear Reader, and give them the chance to tell you the same in return. And don’t forget to give someone a hug, too, and a kiss on the cheek. We get what we give, Dear Reader. Give just a little more than you normally would, then watch as it comes back to you ten times fold.
And remember above all that you are loved, and that someone out there has made your world spin on the axis of their devoted efforts to see you happy.
Until Friday, Dear Reader, take care.