Let’s recap another typical May week for posterity. Amy Welborn shared a great post recently on the type of information we share online, and her litmus test for what is worthy of sharing struck a chord with me. Therefore, you can rest assured that all the details of this post (which I write partially in order to remember the highlights of our family life) is all information I would bore you with in a real life conversation. I think blogs have the advantage of incorporating GIFs which I would love to throw into real life conversations. Instead I typically resort to flailing hands and full body contortions demonstrating my favorite GIFs, which is just makes everyone uncomfortable.
ANYWAY- We played well-visit catch up this week. Fulton and Teddy needed camp health forms filled out, and everyone in the house needs to have had a check up in the last year as part of our foster application. Edie and Byron hadn’t seen the primary since 2019 and thankfully I was able to get them both in quickly. When everyone was little, I had to drag everyone to all the appointments. Now, I purposely scheduled everyone’s for a separate time. (I could do Fulton and Teddy at the same time, but between me, the nurse, and two powerchairs, it’s just easier, and less crowded to make two visits, especially since the office is right down the street.) I guess I prefer making multiple trips vs wrangling multiple little children, but it does eat up a lot of time since waiting is always involved. But at least its done for another year!
In a fit of worry induced insomnia which turned into anger that I couldn’t sleep, I woke up at 4 a.m. on Monday and finished my OSV Challenge application, and then, still fired up, went for a run of all things. There was lots of walking involved too, but between the intense intellectual and physical exertion I was exhausted (and useless) the rest of the day. The cause of my worry? Some small fault in one of my children that irks me. But, as is my habit, every time I butt heads with my kids over something I wind up beating myself up. What did I do, or not do, that has caused my child to act this way? And I think of all the things I could’ve done differently in the past, or how I can try to fix everything immediately. I can’t be alone in this mindset can I? I wonder if it stems from society’s obsession with people blaming their faults on their parents. Every cliched shrink scene in a TV show or movie starts with the doctor asking the person, “What was your relationship with your mother like?”. However, the natural result of this mindset is that if your problems were caused by your mom or dad, your children’s problems are your fault. If we are allowed to lay all our anxieties, fears, broken dreams and failures at our parents’ footsteps, then every failure your child makes can be tied directly back to you. Perhaps that’s also why some parents go to such lengths to ignore or make excuses for their children’s behavior. If you don’t acknowledge the problem, you can’t be held responsible for it.
I don’t really agree with this. I see how my parents strengths and weaknesses shaped me as a person, but I take ownership of my actions good and bad. I hope my kids do the same, but yet, I can’t seem to stop feeling like their futures are all riding solely on my efforts. The feeling has intensified as they’ve gotten older and I realize my time to influence them is growing shorter. This is one of those parenting struggles that comes with having a house full of young adults vs little kids. It kind of sneaks up on you, and then it hits you between the eyes at 3 a.m. when you’re worrying about whether or not to let your child live their life or say something about it. (And for the record, it’s nothing major like drugs or something. No one is on the fast track to jail or hell. It just feels like a bigger deal than it is at 3 a.m.)
Here in South Jersey there’s this awesome learning resource place that works like a library, but they basically have the inventory of a Lakeshore Learning Store. Anyone can borrow, and while I’ve known about it for years, I finally got a membership and started borrowing supplies. ITS FANTASTIC. Its newer location is only 35 minutes from our house (vs the previous 45+) and it’s helped bring a little more fun into these last few homeschool weeks. Plus, they have a great selection of books that many local libraries probably wouldn’t carry. I borrowed one on dyslexia that I’m loving so much I ordered my own copy. And Fulton and Teddy have enjoyed the influx of new games into our routine. (We’re currently enjoying a game called ‘Chunks’ that’s thankfully not about throwing up, but word building. Highly recommended.) I have no idea how to find a similar center in your area, but ours is grant funded and housed at a local university. Started to “support the education of students with disabilities, helping them to succeed and to achieve in the least restrictive environment.” its services are obviously geared towards helping teachers, but I’m so grateful they’re open to all parents as well.
We spent more time in Ocean City visiting with family. I splurged on a new sweatshirt and sweatpants. I say splurge because boardwalk prices at the beginning of the season are YIKES! but, for the last several years as my old OC sweatshirt started falling apart, I kept saying, “Oh, I’ll just pick something up when we’re down in the off season and it’s cheaper.” But then I can never find something I like, or the store with the best selection is closed on the day we’re down. So finally I just picked out what I wanted and got it. Tony said there was money in the clothing budget, so I didn’t need to feel guilty and if I only buy a new sweatshirt every five + years, it’s a pretty good investment anyway. (And if there’s one thing 2020 taught me was the importance of comfy loungewear.) So that made me very happy, though in hindsight, I’m sure I’ll regret purchasing both items in white. I jokingly said I should just go home and dump something on it so I don’t get mad when it ultimately gets stained. There’s also always the option to tie dye it in a couple years if the stains get totally out of control, which is very likely. (My old sweatshirt is brown and that was a real lifesaver on many an occasion.)
And now I’m questioning my judgement in conversation topics…on that note. I’ll wrap it up. Next week starts June and then the real summer fun starts and goes NONSTOP until September. Can’t wait.
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