Friday, August 29, 2008

And so it goes

I've not been getting here perhaps as often as I'd like to. What can I say? Life when homeschooling can be unpredictable and crazy-busy, and that's exactly what it's been here.

The graces continue to flow, thanks be to God, which means that things are very much getting back to where we need them to be in our marriage and in our home. Humility and obedience are good things.

We were supposed to go see Chris this week, but for the second time, when I called to let her know we would be departing, she was with a laboring Mama, so we have to reschedule. I love this--really! Any Mama who has had to deal with delays at the clinic because her doctor is at the hospital will probably understand this. See, I call ahead to make sure Chris is available for our appointment. If she is, it's spiffy, and we meet with her. If she's not, we reschedule for a couple of days later. This means that our time and gas is not wasted--we don't sit around idly in a waiting room somewhere, with people coughing and sneezing on us, or holed up in an exam room reading the same magazines we've read the last four times we were in. Anyway, we get to meet with her this afternoon. When I called her this morning to reschedule, she said, "Well, that baby eventually came out!"

I am anxious for this appointment. I think the baby is lying transverse--that is, a bit sideways--and I want to see what Chris thinks about that. I've been becoming increasingly frustrated as my body continues to betray me here and round ligaments are so weak that they are not doing a very good job of suspending my little one's home...and the muscles beneath it are beginning to rebel at having to pick up the slack. This means that although we are nearly 26 weeks (only 14 weeks left?! How did that happen?!), other peoples' perspective is that I appear small, when in reality, the baby is filling me out very, very low, and also very much toward my back. It also means that as that lower muscle becomes more and more fatigued, my belly contracts more and more...and that's not necessarily a good thing. I know that bed rest is coming; at this point it's just a matter of time.

But as I mentioned to My Darling: I can teach from the couch. I can plan simple meals which yield lots of leftovers. I can e-mail a detailed shopping list to My Darling--who works on the other side of the highway from the grocery store! Going to Mass does not mean I'm not resting--I have to sit to drive, don't I? This, too, shall pass. And of course, I'd do it again, and again, and's such a small part of my life, traded for the beautiful life of such a lovely gift from God Himself. As long as my family understands and cooperates (and they do!), then it doesn't bother me too much. I guess.

So I find myself filling the time by embroidering, sewing, praying, reading, snuggling my babies, answering questions about spelling and history and science, watching old movies (I love Doris Day!) and daydreaming about the Bean. Life could be much worse! And it seems that this is just another lesson in obedience: I could just as easily go about my business, bustling around, doing whatever I please, and ignoring the signs that my body is giving me, but what good would that be? No, I choose to slow down and take the time that is necessary to carry a healthy baby, allow the growth that is needed, and wait. There will be plenty of time for bustling later.


School is going so well that I find myself continually thanking God for His goodness. At the moment, the Frog is listening to her "math teacher" (a CD-ROM) explain basic algebraic equations, the Pickle is at the kitchen table studying the readings for Sunday, the Reepicheep is reviewing her Latin lessons for a quiz, and the Monkey is drawing on a dry-erase board.

Frog loves math. If I were to tell her, "The only thing we're doing this week is math," she'd be happy as a little clam. I so cannot relate to this. I dropped Algebra II at the semester break during my senior year of high school because all of a sudden, I Just Didn't Get It...and there was literally no hope. My mind is absolutely not set up for abstract math concepts, and even though I was getting tons of extra help from both teachers and students-who-got-it, I was failing miserably. So since it wasn't required, and since there was another English elective I wanted to take instead, I made the easy choice of bidding fair well to math, for Pete's sake.

But the Frog? She takes after her aunt, my sister C, who loved math way more than I ever knew was possible. Frog is happy to just sit there and fiddle with numbers the live long day. Have at it, I say! The big blessing here is that we have that CD-ROM which explains everything she needs to know. I also have an answers manual which also shows the work for each problem, so that we can go over things step-by-step, one at a time, to make sure she understands everything. And we also have an uncle in the family who happens to be a math (and science and chemistry and physics) we can go to him with questions, too.

The Pickle enjoys reading (all of my kids are book worms!), so his first assignment this morning is gravy. Also, I like to have him be able to look ahead so that when he's concentrating on being the Very Best Server He Can Possibly Be on Sunday, he's already heard the readings and the Gospel, and he gets more out of the Mass. He'll zip through his spelling and vocabulary quizzes later on, I have no doubt, and will tolerate the rest of his school day, and then relish in the afternoon of outside time.

Reepicheep is absolutely enchanted with Latin. Isn't that a beautiful thing? She particularly loves learning about derivatives, and seeing how we use other languages to make new words in English. I find it fascinating as well, I must admit, and I'm enjoying learning Latin with the kids. I knew lots of basic Latin from choral music and a few liturgical phrases here and there, but since the Church stopped using Latin so much, there was never a need to learn it when I was in (Catholic) grade school. I love this return to the earlier traditions of our faith, and I love learning along with our children about the rich histories.

We've noticed that the Monkey is mostly left handed--a south-paw! Indeed, when he grabs a fork or a pencil or a crayon, it's with his left hand. Scissors are becoming useful to him, so I'm going to have to look for some "lefties," so that he has better control. Funny thing is, he's actually rather competent with either hand, so part of me wants to just keep fostering that aspect. Can you imagine injuring your dominant hand and not being inconvenienced by it? I remember breaking my right thumb in high school, and feeling like I had to relearn how to eat, write, play piano, open my locker, tie my get the idea.


Not so interesting, I know, but that's how the day is going. It's not always interesting, but it is our daily life. Each day is such a gift, full of God's graces and blessings, and even if it's not exciting enough for someone else to say, "Man, I wish I was doing THAT today!" we are thankful that this is the life He has provided for us.


Carrie said...

My day has been a relaxed attempt at making holy cards for my students. Since we begin each class with a prayer, I thought it'd be a good opportunity to teach some of the oldie-basics. On tap for later is a possible run and then dinner with some friends.

Andrea said...

I just discovered your blog- I love it! My little guy looks to be a leftie too, how funny. I'll pray for your pregnancy health. Sounds like your school year is off to a great start, your kids sound so studious :)