Well, the year is off to its start. If the beginning of the week was a bit 'rude'; my system took a hit with the car trouble, the returning imperatives of caring for kids, being in the daily rhythms of cooking, waking early, getting out the door and simply coping. But that seems to have passed, and I'm getting back into the flow of something I know oh so well, but from which I had unprecedented vacation time this summer.
The kids are back in school, both very much enjoying their teachers and friends. We've taken in just one extra child this year -- a 15 year old girl -- and thus life is infinitely calmer than last year. What a difference! Rather than rowdy, easily-upset pre-teens learning to deal with emotional surges and freaking out, I've a very calm, mostly autonomous and gentle teen female. Ahhhh. And just in time.
Leo and I are turning over a new leaf. This year I will survey his homework, follow-up on what he is doing/learning/preparing at school. I will do as I can to teach him better study habits (no more silly errors on those dictés please!). Somewhere, somehow, if only by being more present, able to truly concentrate on him every afternoon, I will help him be more grounded, more attentive, conscious of the importance of working at school. And he is grateful! The first afternoon after our long discussion on this subject he was there ready to show me all he'd done, assuring me that he'd finished his homework before listening to music, before playing outside, that he had taken me seriously and was ready to go forth into this new way of being. I am constantly amazed by my own children!
Jonas is 'vif', present, delighted to be again with his favorite friends, eagerly eating up the intellectual nourishment of school. I've taken to reading him Laura Ingalls Wilder's Farmer Boy. He is hearing and absorbing the story. As a Steiner teacher from Manhattan once told me, it is perfect for 3rd grade. He is at that age, open, curious, and amazed as I describe the days of this little boy, and the quantity of food he consumes! If Jonas has one or two pieces of toast and a bit of hot chocolate for breakfast, little Almanzo has sausages, a stack of 10 pancakes, two slices of apple pie and??? He's anything but fat!
And with the new fall, a new start. One of my summer tango partners has demonstrated that he'd like to be more. Hmmm. A calm, lovely, and very tall architect with two boys just a tad older than mine. A new world for me. And so I begin something anew. With my wits about me, gently, slowly, open and willing, but not yet head over heels (a good thing I think), we shall see if we are compatible (kids included!). And if nothing else, I'll be dancing more and more tango...
In the meantime, the next few weeks are filled with clients and tours. So, keeping my head on my shoulders, planning carefully, working out all the kinks (such as car repairs, rental vehicles, kids' swimming lessons and tennis...and all those lovely things!), I'm busy, occupied, focused, here.