Thursday, September 11, 2008

And four months later...

From Sept. 4...

When I started blogging last Spring, I was bound and determined to do it regularly. That plan certainly didn't last long! So here I am, four months after my last post, and I can tell you exactly what derailed my blogging plans...

Summer Vacation!

Yup, the kiddos were home and any extra time I had (scant to begin with) was sucked away. As of today, though, they are both back at school and my time... well, it certainly is not my own but at least I have a little more control over my activities.

And what will those activities be for the next ten months? Writing my book, blogging (I really mean it!), working (didn't I tell you? I now have an actual paying job!), volunteering, housework, shuttling, cooking, sewing and lots and lots and lots of reading.

But let's get back to the first day of school news. Today was the first day of middle school for my ten year old daughter, Hayley. As I watched her climb on the bus and look forlornly out the window, all my confidence as a parent drained away. Is she ready for middle school? Should I homeschool her instead? Am I pushing her too quickly? I realize that middle school is a right of passage and just about everyone has to do. But here is why I'm concerned about my Hayley-Girl:

1. She's painfully shy.
2. She's incredibly sensitive.
3. For being so intelligent and talented, she lacks self-confidence.
4. She hates the bus.
5. She's younger than all the other sixth graders. (She's not even 11 and many of them are already turning 12.)
6. Middle school can be brutal.

She wanted me to walk her to the bus stop. I asked if she was sure she wanted me to since none of the other kids' parents would be there. She was sure. It's a two minute walk to the bus stop and she stopped several times with tears in her eyes telling me she couldn't do it, she couldn't go. Then she held my hand till we got there and then flatly refused to stand within about eight feet of all the other kids. My poor angel was terrified!

My heart has been so sad all day. I've been praying for her to have confidence, to keep her chin up, shoulders back and act like she owns the school, even if she's scared to death. I'm worried that her best friend (who's more outgoing) will find another best friend and leave Hayley behind.
I had such a horrible time in jr. high and I'm terrified that my sweet girl will have an equally difficult time. But there's not much I can do right now. I have to let her grow into her own, make her own mistakes, enjoy her own successes, etc.

Oh and I have to say that Hayley looked so adorable this morning! She was wearing a shirt and pants that I handmade for her. She knew she looked good, so at least that was comforting to her. I guess we have to count the small blessings, right?

Emma, on the other hand, was excited to go to school, knew just what to do, found her friends and sat down. I spent the morning helping her teacher coordinate the mountains of school supplies the kids brought in. I watched Emma throughout the morning and she was absolutely fine. She's a confident kid to begin with and I knew she wouldn't have any problems, but it did make my heart smile to see her so comfortable. It took her a few years to find her self-confidence, but now that she's found it, not a thing in the world is going to stop her!

She, too, was wearing clothes that I made for her. This morning, this is what she told me as she admired herself in the mirror. "Mommy, you know what I'm going to tell all my friends? I'm going to tell them that they haven't seen these clothes in any of the stores because my mom made them and they are all going to be codfish because my clothes are so beautiful and you are so talented!" Awwwwwwwww!!!!!
(Did anyone actually get that codfish reference? Remember in Mary Poppins when Mary is pulling things out of her bottomless carpet bag and Michael stands there with his mouth agape? Mary Poppins says to him, "Close your mouth, Michael. We are not a codfish." So in the land of the D_____ family, being a codfish means that one is agape with surprise. Random, I know, but funny, don't you think?)

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