It doesn't matter what I have on my plate, be it a little or a lot. The gorgeous crisp air infiltrates my blood and I succumb to the literary bliss of Autumn. Which means, the cool air and the colors greatly inspire my creativity. And so, my home is full of the smells of the glue gun, and treats baking, and the sound of me crafting up a mad cloud of projects which usually only get half finished, and lie around my craft room for a year, when the next burst of autumnal air re-invigorates me. But the projects I actually finish fill me with pride and accomplishment, and I know that it doesn't matter if some projects are left undone, because that euphoric feeling is oh so worth it!
And did I mention Pumpkin Spice?!
And speaking of school supplies and fall (perfect segue, right?), school has begun!
Faye is in morning kindergarten and loves every single morsel of it. She wakes up each morning with a smile, stretches, and bounces out of bed with an explosive "Is today a school day?" She rushes to gather her so important backpack which is always empty, because what would a kindergartner have to take to school? But it makes her feel grown up and deliriously happy. She quickly gets her uniform on, or at least the parts of it she can find. Somehow, inexplicably, the majority of her school pants got lost. I don't understand it. I have searched through my room, Beth's room, Keith's room, the laundry room, and as much of Faye's room as I could get through. It is a mess again. Which it always seems to be, but what are you going to do? She is a creative enthusiastic child with a flair for the dramatic. I just have to keep trying to teach her to keep her room clean. But when she declares adamantly "I like it this way! I hate it when my room is clean!" I just have to sigh. I quite remember saying the same thing as a teenager, and meaning it and fervently believing it. I could never find my things when my room was clean, but when it was a mess, it was organized chaos. I knew exactly where everything was, but it drove my mother batty to see my room in such a state. The hope is that I learned, so maybe she will, too. But I digress. Faye excitedly gets ready as much as she is able each morning without me having to encourage her, aside from the occasional reminder/nag to quit dilly-dallying, we have a time constraint!
Keith, on the other hand, is very reluctant to get up each morning. Oh, he will get up just fine. It is the getting dressed, eating breakfast, gathering his school things, brushing his teeth, etc. that takes forever. He drags his feet, and each morning he comes to me with a new reason as to why he can't go to school that day.
"My legs hurt too much."
"When I sit criss-cross applesauce my legs pinch and it hurts. I don't want to do that!"
"I don't feel well."
"We don't have school today."
"Fridays are optional school attendance days."
The poor boy doesn't stand a chance. I told him I would email his teacher about his hurting legs. The boy is having growing pains, and I swear he grew 6 inches in one night! He came up the next morning and looked like a giant. I couldn't believe my eyes! I know that complaint is legit. And so I reason with him each morning about why school is important, and why he needs to go, and it is the law that he goes to school, so there is just no getting around it, until he has graduated university with at least a bachelors. Then he can stop going to school. And the crushed look on his face kills me, every time. I am half laughing, half crying with him. It is so hard to have to do something you absolutely abhor every single day. Especially with him being as bright as he is, he gets bored a lot in class. But his teacher is wonderful and is working with him, trying to give him more challenging things. I love the kids' school!
And then there is Beth. My sweet little ray of sunshine. Never before have I met a child to rival her joy and happiness. From the moment she wakes up in the morning, to the time I lay her curly little head on her pillow at night, she is full of smiles. I especially love how she tells me when it is nap time. She will go into her room and find her binki. She will put it in her mouth, and then come to find me, and with slurred binki speak, she will tell me "Night night, Mommy. Go night night." I love that when I pick her up in the mornings, she always says "Sleep good. Good dreams," very matter of factly. And then she will tell me "Poopoo in potty." Which means she has a wet diaper, and she does not, in fact, want to go to the potty, she just wants to run around the house bare bummed. That is her trademark move.
We are beginning to fall into a sweet pattern, now that school is in. As much as my spontaneous nature will let us, anyway. Beth and I straighten up whichever room I think needs straightening at the moment, and then we will read, and work on her ABC's or her colors. The girl is brilliant. She recognizes letters and some of their sounds. She is learning her colors, but is very mischievous in the process. I bought some skittles and was having her sort them. Once they were all sorted, I asked her to find a red one. She quickly found it, and I told her she could eat it. I then asked her to find a green skittle for me to eat. Her hand hovered over the skittle groups, circling as she contemplated which was green. After a moment of circling, her hand hesitating over the green, she pulled back, folded her arms and declared, "No!" I laughed, of course. I probably shouldn't encourage the defiance, but it was so cute and funny! I asked her to find a green one for her to eat, and she said okay. Her hand again did the vulture circle dance before diving down to pluck up a green skittle and pop it into her mouth, with a big sticky grin.
Shortly after Beth and I finish with whatever form of school we are working on, Faye will get home, and we will have lunch. After lunch, Beth happily snuggles down in her crib with her binki in her mouth, her little hand tugging on her ear, Thomas Kitty in the crook of one arm, and her baby of the hour tightly squeezed in a choke hold. She often will tuck her knees beneath her which by default pokes her bum up into the air and makes me giggle as I am leaving her room. And then begins Mommy-Faye time. Which I have really been stinking up lately.
Because we are down to one car, I get up early to take Jeffrey to work. He likes to leave around 5:20. And I don't complain, because quite frankly, I love the early mornings. I love the quiet time I get to myself. I have had some really good cleaning sessions, and have been able to get a whole lot done. It also helps me to be able to get breakfast ready, school lunch made, and the kids to school on time, all while having showered before any of this begins. It is amazing! I love it so much, and when we eventually find that car that we and it were made for each other, I will probably continue to have these early morning sessions because there is nothing quite like opening all the windows to let in that bewitching morning scent, and being able to watch the sky slowly change from the deep black of night to the promising lavender of a newly awakening day. Because of that, it has really messed up my afternoons.
Faye time is supposed to begin as soon as Beth goes down for her nap. However, lately, I have been taking a bit of a lie down when Beth does. Because of the whole getting up so early thing, and the foolish decision to go to bed so late, that I usually make. I hope to learn from this natural consequence and go to bed earlier, but let's be frank here. I really have been cherishing this alone time that going to bed late gives me. And the getting up early also gives lovely alone time. Who knew I would like to be alone so much?! But if I don't get this figured out, I won't ever have Faye time, so I will just work on that next week. Or the rest of this week. We are supposed to read together, and then just do something together. Because she feels so much like a middle child, neglected and ignored, I really try to spend this time with her, cherishing her and loving her. I hope it works.
And then Keith gets home from school. We have an afternoon snack, and then Keith starts on his homework. He reads for 20 minutes, and then we do some spelling and a bit of math. I coerce the kids into doing their chores, and then they are free to wreak havoc on the yard and 'hood.
All of that, though, is my plan. I have yet to see it be realized, due to my lovely afternoon shut-eye. I've got the day down clear up until Faye gets home from school. And then the sleepy bug hits. I've never been good in the afternoons in the first place, but these late nights/early mornings are really doing a number on me.
Happily, it is September, and nothing can get me down! Not even un-realized dreams. Because the breath of the most beautiful month whispers its vigor and optimism into my very soul.
By all the lovely tokens
September days are here,
With Summer's best of weather
And Autumn's best of cheer.
~ Helen Hunt Jackson