Just for Today
Instead, I'm contemplating a cup of coffee. This could be a necessity today, what with waking up to a dove-gray sky overhead. It hangs like a waiting blanket, tempting me to curl up in bed and watch more of "Upstairs, Downstairs". There's a lullaby in the air, whispering one word to me-- sleep sleep sleep--in a gentle rhythm.
Okay, perhaps that's just an aural hallucination, a projection. It's hard to fight it, though. We have had so many moments of sunshine, and yesterday afternoon was so sunny, glorious, even, that the gray rain days just wreak havoc on my seratonin levels. Today, with the gray, it's suppressed and I want to make blueberry muffins for a treat and polenta for dinner and I can feel my body fighting hibernation mode.
This morning, it took all I had to get off the couch where Kiddo and I had curled up for a little bit of snuggle time. I had to purse my lips and refrain from commenting on how nice it would be when school is out and we could just be lazy in the mornings. Sticking with my philosophy of letting kids be in the moment, I knew I needed to keep those thoughts to myself and keep him positively focused on going to school. Over the past few weeks, this thought has been increasingly present in my mind: no school means more relaxed mornings; more school means less homework. There is no reason to share these thoughts with him, as all they will do is sow discontent in both of us.
About a month or so ago, Kiddo started two after school classes: an art class at 3:10 on Tuesdays and a Mad Science class at a different school at the same time on Thursdays. I've worked out a trade for this, so the mother who suggested Kiddo take the science class with her son drives them to the other school and on Wednesdays, her son comes home from half-day kindergarten with us for lunch and a long afternoon. We have a routine: the boys eat, do homework, and then may play as they choose. While all of this is good, it takes some getting used to. Tuesdays, I'm walking to and from the school four times a day, we are jamming on eating lunch, getting homework done, maybe a spot of playtime, eating a snack and then going back. Once we are actually home from the art class, it's time for me to start prepping dinner. See how quickly that afternoon went? Thursdays is also the push to get the lunch/homework/snack thing finished before Kiddo is picked up at 2:50.
And these days, homework includes any work he didn't finish at school, a small worksheet activity, often a math game and now, there's a request for him to read to me for 20 minutes a day. How the heck did we end up with an hour of homework each evening in kindergarten? Ack!!!
This is a preview of what our first grade days may feel like, one I am keeping in mind for reference. This level of busyness is informative; it makes me prioritize. But it also makes me sad for Kiddo. It makes me mourn his loss of true down time. We've taken a break from eye exercises, but these will start again in August and this will be one more thing to add into the mix of obligatory activities. Most certainly, we will wait on starting enrichment programs until winter rolls around; just transitioning from summer down-time to schooling again will be demanding.
We are planning proactively for this. The eye doctor had originally proposed taking a break until September when school started. Joe and I felt that Kiddo needed a few weeks to deal with the challenge of learning new eye exercises, which is a big deal. Starting something that feels so hard right on top of starting school-- well, we did that last September and found that if we have any sort of grasp of history, we would not do this to him (or all of us) again. We also have decided that keeping Kiddo's brain in the game is important, so we are arranging for summer tutoring for him, just to keep his skills sharp. We feel that these are two very concrete things we can do to alleviate the harder parts of going back to school. He'll already be in a new class, learning how to be with that particular group of children as well as that particular teacher.
Joe and I arrange these things behind the scenes, without a lot of discussion or explanation. For the next 3.5 weeks, Kiddo's head needs to be just in kindergarten, enjoying his buddies and where he is now. That's really the best I can do for him at this point. I'm not a religious person by any means, but there is a little plaque my stepmother used to keep in the bathroom-- I think my sister Amanda has it now-- which has a prayer entitled "Just for Today". I think of it fondly; in it, the speaker asks to diligently work, to be kind in word and deed, and petitions:
So for tomorrow and its needs
I do not pray,
But keep me, guide me, love me, Lord,
Just for today.
So, just for this day, I will now get up, make that cup of coffee and set my mind to making muffins. That's all I really feel moved to do, it will sweeten up our snack time and be a good surprise to husband and child. Perhaps diligent work is the true remedy for a sominex sleepytime sky? I do not know, but it seems fitting for a day when my tendonitis is flaring up, my seratonin levels are plummeting. After that, I'll make the polenta, to serve tonight covered with red peppers, carrots and kalamata olives, sauteed with some zinfandel and served with chevre and smoked salmon. Because dinner will be good for us, even if it's only just for today. (I hear that tomorrow's forecast calls for rain and pizza. )