I've been writing this blog now since February 2009. Not that long, and yet, well over a year. I re-read my posts from April last year, to get a sense of continuity and space. I've never been much of a journal-keeper, and thus it is a new sensation to have so much personal information available to myself about myself... if that makes sense?
So much I lived then I continued to live throughout this year. But there've been changes. I am no longer so worried about my boys. Last year I was intensely aware of my need to get them on track, of my need to be there, of an urgency in repairing some of the unintended damage that years of working very long hours and foisting them on au pairs had wreaked.
And now, that seems like a distant dream. Leo is reading, handling his homework with relative ease (and some nudging from me). He's seeing a writing therapist weekly to improve his grammar and handwriting. Jonas is happily back in his own bed (he shared mine throughout the winter, but seeing as I kept the house super cold, you could say it was as much for shared body warmth as any affective need on his part), in his own room, strong, independent, yet still very affectionate and eager for me to read to him at night. The bickering has calmed down (who would'a thought?). The house is truly quite peaceful. I feel that my boys have gained a solidity, a firmness in themselves. They are present, verbal, communicative, relatively and mostly willing to help me. They understand me, they know me, they work with me. I'm theirs, and we are a very tight family.
When the boys went off for a 'colonie de vacances' for a week during spring break, they became closer. Leo included and protected Jonas. Jonas looked up to and easily kept up with Leo. Apparently Leo even helped carry Jonas when he had a bit of the stomach flu one day.
Mealtimes are lovely. I no longer need to fetch a child out from under the table, nor do I much need to badger about eating/tasting various food groups, and basic table rules have been absorbed. It's 'acquis'. The daily expectations of house chores, rules, etc., are part of them. No more surprises.
Leo and I no longer have our late evening chats as he is happily reading in bed -- devouring Eragon and Harry Potter and various other marvelous reads. But we are making up for this in the front seat of the car as we go to school. The urge to communicate, share, learn is very present in him. And as no topic is off-limits for me, he is free to do so and takes advantage of his most loquacious mom.
In a week I'll begin working lots again. I'm quite booked with culinary and artisans tours this season, and it will be okay. I've a new neighbor whose kids are in the school, and we'll be going over my schedule to see how he can help me. My kids can easily be at home alone now. They eat their snacks, clean up after themselves, carefully lock the door if they leave for a bike ride... They know the routine. We've moved onto another stage of our lives together.
What a difference a year can make.