Monday, January 28, 2008


We started back up with our weekly co-op today, and whew, not a day too soon. I've recently realized what a creature of routine I am, how I rely on the outward trappings of routine to give us forward momentum. During the breaks between semesters, when co-op's out and other activities are on hold, I kind of fall apart. I know most homeschool moms just love to hang out in their pajamas and spend cozy times at home, lots of it, but I guess I'm a maverick because I really like to have somewhere to go. Of course, now that I have three children, I do appreciate the value of a day with no regular commitments, a wide-open invitation to get out the paints or the popcorn or maybe even talk the kiddos into a spontaneous outing. But those days are more welcome when they're not ... every day.

I actually discussed this very issue, my tendency to restlessness and need for some level of outside activity, with my mom this weekend during our delightful lunch at The Steeping Room. Did I mention my mom is in town? Well, sort of, anyway -- she's staying out in Elgin, a.k.a. "out in the country," with my in-laws, with the express purpose of getting some much-needed rest. But we've wangled our way into some time with her now and then, and Saturday was our day to have lunch, buy some pants for Ian, some curtains for the girls' room, etc. I managed to make it, oh, five minutes into the lunch, to the point when she said, "So how are YOU doing, honey?" before dissolving into tears. Yay me! That seems to be my function in life lately. Test the absorbency of disposable paper goods.

So back to the co-op thing. The nice thing about this co-op is that, while I'm pretty involved, as the treasurer and with my required parent-volunteer hours, there are some weeks when all I need to do is drop off the older two, collect a few checks in the hallway, and then, o rare and precious opportunity, the morning is ours -- just Caroline and me. I really enjoyed spending the time with her this morning, even though it was short and she did spend a chunk of it playing in the bathroom sink while I put away laundry. I guess I just always feel like I'm at my mothering best when I'm one-on-one with the kids (don't we all do better when we can focus?). She really hammed it up for me, too. I had laid out on the craft table a bunch of National Geographic pictures of various ocean animals, and she took the tour, she got inspired. She grabbed a green pencil and Ian's sketchbook and began creating her own marine life. It's pretty amusing to watch that girl draw. She gets all serious, very purposeful, and after scribbling something unidentifiable to the adult eye, finally looks up and proudly pronounces it, "a mommy fish and a baby fish!" Or whatever. You can almost see the smoke pouring out her ears. It's wonderful.

Oh, one more thing and then I'm off. We finished painting our bonus room this weekend! We're totally kicking ourselves for not taking a "before" picture, because it was such an artifact of the '70's before: walls that were basically yards and yards of dark fake-wood paneling. And dark wood trim. And vinyl flooring, covering partially with carpet (well, that's staying, for now.) Get the picture? But even though the walls turned out more like Peach (or as Tim put it, "'80's Telephone") than the taupe I had envisioned, we now have a transformed room, thanks to the help of some industrious friends. I'd post a picture but it still looks like a bomb went off in here. Let's just make that a coming attraction.

1 comment:

Jenny said...

80's telephone...what a perfect description because now I can totally picture it in my head! It sounds kind of like the color of our family room...I can't remember if we painted that before or after your move to Tx.

Hope your mom is getting some rest. Tell her Hi for me if you see her. (((hugs))) on saturating the disposable paper goods. ;)