Wednesday, April 22, 2015

The Courage in You

Dear Friend,

What you're doing takes courage.

It takes courage to face each month again with hope while still reeling from last months disappointment.

It takes courage to pay for another round of pills, more vials and needles, more tests, ultrasounds and surgeries.

It takes courage to wait in those waiting rooms and drive to those clinics, so often by yourself.

It takes courage to remember to be happy for others.

It takes courage to remember to be happy for yourself.

It takes courage to remember that your marriage is not a means to an end.

It takes courage to say I need a break.

It takes courage to sign stacks of papers, have your life picked apart by strangers and wait for approval.

It takes courage to arrange classes and activities because there are no playmates at home.

It takes courage to remember to enjoy each day, guiltless, when you know it might never come again.

It takes courage to celebrate those days, those anniversaries, those holidays in a way you never would have imagined.

You are courageous even on the days you feel weak.

You are courageous even when you struggle with guilt.

You are courageous even when the stress is too much.

Here in the most unlikely of places I see the courage in you.

Dear Friends Who Walk Beside Us - 

Thank you for your courage.  Thank you for your courage doing what you have to care for those given to you.  Thank you for share your joys, fears and frustrations.  Thank you for reminding us that our dreams must still be realities.  Thank you for loving us, caring for us and mourning with us when our lives are so, so different.  We see your courage in tight budgets, long nights, aching bodies and short tempers.  We see your courage in those small, loving moments.  We see your courage in the messy floors and the deep laughs.  We see your courage in your acceptance and your fear.  Thank you for loving and supporting us this week.

Monday, April 20, 2015



Nothing seems to sum all this up better than lemons.

Imagine you want to make some orange juice.  Go to the bowl, grab some oranges and make orange juice.

Now imagine every time you go to that bowl, the orange bowl, that special bowl that is on everyone's counter, and every time you go to that bowl you find lemons.  Maybe once in a great while you find a orange or two and you get to make orange juice, sometimes you find oranges but they're rotten or you drop the glass before you're almost ready to drink, but most of the time you just find lemons.

Oh, sure you can make some lemonade.  Of course it takes more lemons because they're small and it takes sugar because lemons are bitter and you have to get the sugar just right or the lemonade won't taste right and then it's just waste of everything.  Perhaps your neighbor really appreciates that you made lemonade because she's had it up to here with orange juice, she has more orange juice than she knows what to do with.  So you serve her up some of your lemonade while she waxes on about all the great things you can do with those lemons and all the while you're hating lemonade all the more because all you want is a simple glass of orange juice.

I'm a lemon.  I'm not a fruit, I'm the other kind of lemon: "a person or thing that proves to be defective, imperfect or unsatisfactory; a dud."  The dictionary doesn't hold punches.  Thanks dictionary.

I'm a lemon who has been handed a big pile of lemons who makes lemonade for other people so they can further appreciate their orange juice.

It's Infertility Awareness Week and I'm aware that I'm surrounded by lemons.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Signs of Spring

A little bit of real nature in our fake flowers on the front door.

Sedum,tulips, daffodils, butterfly bush and hollyhock seed sown; waiting for the hostas to come up and the hydrangea bush to get bigger.  The rocks will hopefully make a good path for water drainage.
That's a good sign.

Weeded and mulched.  Hostas just starting to come up.

Not much going on here yet, but gates and "sentries" are set.

Morning glories planted along trellis, Sunflowers in the back.

Coreopsis, Cosmos and Shasta Daisies sown between the peonies.

Have a lot more volunteer raspberries coming up this year, don't know if I have enough mature stems for fruit though.

Moved the rocks back around the house in back in front to help with drainage, mulch and columbines around the tree.

Everyone loves tent season.

Everyone loves open window season.

So glad I took an extra day off this week.  The yard is good to go for the year, now I get to sit back and wait impatiently to see if any of the seeds I planted will come up.  Here's hoping.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Vanilla Ice Cream Or More Thoughts on Preschool....

We were all set to make a final decision on preschool a few days ago.  If you socialize with me away from here it's all I've been talking about for weeks - who does it, is it necessary, what on Earth am I going to do?

Thanks to a change in our childcare situation this fall we thought we were all in line to buck the system and not do preschool.  We'd do some classes and activities and some extra stuff next summer and be fine and then I ask the four year old what he wanted to do....

"I want to go to Pre-School!"

I was a little surprised.  But, I told him, you'll have to go every day, every morning, on and on and there he sat resolute that he wanted to go and spend more time with his friends.  He's a social little creature and spends a lot of time at home lamenting the lack of people to play with so it's not totally surprising that he'd jump at the chance to see his "best friend" Lucy more often.  So there it was, we're keeping our enrollment in preschool in place because in the end the last four years of "follow the child" would be pointless if we didn't follow his cues now.  We'll give it a try and see what comes of it - we don't deem it crucial to future success so if it's too much we'll stop.  It'll be two and a half hours a day, five days a week during the regular school year and it seems odd that we're here and it seems a little odd that we're not going other routes.... I think.

I know a lot of great people who've gone the non-traditional route, so many it seems that homeschooling is the traditional route and what we're doing seems a little odd.  But what if that's okay?  What if my son is one of those kids who likes going to school, regular ol' brick and mortar school.  I know I did, my husband did and we seemed to escape with our creative and critical thinking juices intact.  But nowadays it's so en vogue to do the opposite it feels like I'm subtly being told that ... well... maybe my kid just isn't that special, maybe he isn't that unique.

Not that I'm actually hearing that talk from anyone I actually know - none of my real life friends who do alternative schooling have ever suggested that, it's just this feeling I get.  When you're looking at being a public school kid when all these other options are so popular - private religious, specialty Montessori or Waldorf and five thousand ways to home-school - it kind of makes those public school kids look a little simple, like if they were naturally more creative, more pious, or more intelligent these other options would be calling our names, but because we're not we get the vanilla ice cream of educational choices.

Honestly, I'm not sure where this is all going and it's definitely not to accuse anyone using alternative education of being elitist, it's just me trying to figure out our place in the grand scheme of things.

I know, as we start to dip our toes in this new current, what I believe and expect a public school education to be.  I think I'm realistic in my expectations of where it succeeds and fails.  I really look at a public school education as the foundation of a building, and that it's up to me as a parent to oversee the rest of the construction - walls of morality, turrets of critical thinking, and spires of creativity.

I guess one good thing about vanilla ice cream is that in the end it's all about the toppings anyways....
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