You don’t know what you’re missing

But, I do know what I’m missing. Maggie is in school 3 days a week now and I work 3 mornings a week. Being in school is so good for her; she is gaining confidence, making friendships and discovering she can be fine when she away from mom. Of course, she can also get those same benefits from dance and soccer. But, so far, she is enjoying her school, a carefully chosen preschool with a play-based curriculum.
I miss her, though. This morning, after the big kids were in school and the dishes were done, we took Sadie for a walk. We looked at the leaves changing color. We marveled at the way the wind blew the trees and shook the branches and made the white clouds scurry through the blue sky. We scouted for jewel-weed and Maggie giggled so loudly and sweetly when we popped the tiny seed pouches in her hand. I thoroughly and completely enjoy her company and I know exactly what I am missing when she goes to school and I rush off to work.
I miss talking to her about everything from weather to politics. I miss her pulling out her little broom to sweep beside me while I use the big one. I miss the smell of whatever we decided to bake that morning wafting through the house, and even the mess of the paint or the glue we dragged out to do “projects.” I miss the chance to do laundry with her, laughing as she takes over loading the machine, adding soap and pushing the start button. “No, no mom, I got this!” she always says. And she does.
I feel blessed because I was able to stay home with the kids. We made choices, the right choices for us, and staying home was a gift we gave to each other. All the muffins we baked, the endless pushes on the swings, the cuddles on the couch, the luxuriously long naps in the big bed, the many, many books we read, all those delicious, divine, fleeting moments I would have missed if I had to rush off to work. The ones I am missing now every day that she goes to school and I rush off to work.

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Camp out

A couple weeks ago the kids asked to go camping. They wanted one last summer adventure. So, being good sports, we dragged out the tent. And when I say we, I mean me. When I was setting it up Sam was bouncing around me like a eager puppy. “Are you sure you can? Do you know how? You should wait for daddy!” Where does this kid get his ideas? I am an independent, capable person – woman – and a good role model. Anyway, he and I together with the girls, got the tent set up pretty easily. I think Moira’s expression reflects her accomplishment. Or her irritation with her brother. Probably both.
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We went fishing – Sam loves fishing! He caught a couple of catfish, which we released back into the pond. Maggie was very happy with her haul- she caught tad poles galore and even got a crayfish in her net. And, of course, a few frogs. Moira caught poison ivy, which we did not realize till later.
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We roasted hot dogs and marshmallows on the fire and the kids had a fantastic time. The benefit to this method of cooking is minimal clean-up, so I was on board. At bed time the kids were over the moon to climb into the tent. They were actually pretty tired. So, after brushing teeth and scrubbing marshmallow faces clean, we climbed into our sleeping bags. And when I say we I mean not me. The tent, as I explained to Scott, really won’t hold 2 adults, 3 kids and a dog comfortably. So, thoughtfully, I volunteered to sleep inside. Which is how I had the bed to myself for the first time in TEN YEARS! I love camping!
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Hat Trick

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Well, we dropped them off less than an hour ago… 1st day of school 2014. Still thinking of the homeschooling thing, but not committing to it… yet. The kids were excited and nervous and tired. Yesterday was a Labor Day/birthday party at the pool and they made the most of their last day of vacation, running wild and swimming hard with all their cousins.
It has been quite a summer. We pulled a hat trick, managing to spend Memorial Day (x-rays for Moira’s finger), 4th of July (x-rays for my knee) and Labor Day (poison something-or-other, Moira’s back on prednisone) in urgent care. And in between, we have seen an allergist for Moira’s VCD, an ortho doc for my knee and my regular doctor twice for the Lyme diagnosis. Here’s hoping our fall is healthy and happyand free of doctor visits!