Tales of a Fourth Grade Tween

Tales of a Fourth Grade Tween

I look at him, stomping around the house, being angry about whatever there is to be angry about today. Three minutes later, I watch him slip over to the sofa and sit as close to me as humanly possible without getting back in my womb. He nuzzles his head under my arm and I can feel him relax.

Things are changing.

Fourth grade is hard. Being almost ten is hard.

He’s not a teen, but he’s certainly not a baby anymore.

It’s a purgatory area, those tween years, of being immaturely mature and learning to move through life in a bigger way.

In the mornings, we fuss. He’d rather lay around and be lazy now than jump out of bed like he used to do. I can see the differences in the way he sleeps, the way he looks when he’s trying to wake up, and the way he almost needs coffee to get going in the morning.

Growing up isn’t easy.

4thgrade

His features are darkening. I can see the future in his eyes. The next few years will hold changes in his hormones and desires and voice… he won’t be my baby anymore. He’s already not my baby.

He and I wear the same size shoe. He’s not much shorter than I am. I get fussed at if I have to help him wash his wild and crazy hair in the shower because, “You can’t see me naked, Mom.”

These changes are inevitable.

This morning, after fussing to get up-get dressed-brush your teeth-why aren’t your teeth brushed?-get your socks and shoes on-let’s go-I said let’s go-come ON, I drove him to the path he takes to the school. I pulled over to the side of the road. Reaching over to open the door, he looked back at me.

“I hope you have a great day, bud.”

“Ok, mom. You, too.”

“I’ll see you this afternoon.”

He glanced quickly out the window, making sure nobody is looking, leaned in and kissed me on the cheek.

“I love you, Mom.”

“I love you, too, buddy.”

I’m aware that these days are numbered. The tales of my fourth grade tween are going to be tough – new and different. School, life, body changes, mood swings… they’re all things we’ll take day by day.

And if those days include a sly kiss on the cheek and a back rub to help him go to sleep at night, then I’ll take it.

It was all fine and dandy…

The morning was great.

He got up, got dressed, and even brushed his teeth without my having to ask.

The excitement and anxiety was getting the best of him so breakfast was a bust. He decided on some yogurt and water. That’s fine. That’s what I would choose, too.

He moseyed into school, tall and confident, saying hi to everyone he passed. That’s my little social butterfly (read: class clown) who never meets a stranger, but if he does, he turns them into a friend.

With a quick wave goodbye, he was off to start third grade.

THIRD GRADE? Stop it!

If only I could stop time. Or at least pause it.

I spent the day at work wondering if he was having fun or not. Was he getting in trouble for talking too much? Was he fidgeting in his seat or being impulsive? Was he hungry or tired?

I knew all the answers, because when he’s with others, he doesn’t get in trouble for talking too much (most of the time) and he doesn’t fidget too much in his seat. He doesn’t have to eat every 3 minutes and he would never act like he needed a nap.

Picking him up at his after school program, he reported that the day was “great! And I like my teacher, but not as much as Miss F in first grade. Nobody even got their clips flipped and the class didn’t get in trouble one single time.”

I’d call that a success, wouldn’t you?

NOT SO FAST MY FRIENDS!

It was all fine and dandy til the homework folder came out.

Even though the math homework for the night was kinda optional, it was still going to get done. BUT THE TEARS! (Whose, you ask? Uh, his? Mine? Both?)

I just…

I’m speechless. In spite of my making a cute little chart that has rewards and everything tied to doing his best and not arguing and not making either of us cry, we succeeded in crying on the first night of school.

I mean, come on. How do you get your child to do homework without tears? Because we can’t do this every night. We just can’t.

:::waves white flag:::

Stream of Consciousness Sunday: Do Over

It’s back to school time. Again. Seems like it’s always back to school or back to school after Christmas break. Or back to school after Spring Break.

This year, I’m taking a Do Over. What’s something YOU would like to do over if you could? Or what are you going to do over?

Today’s (totally optional) prompt: Do Over

stream of consciousness sunday

Last year I failed as a mom. At least in my eyes I did.

I started working the same day Henry went back to school. I was behind from day 1.

My brain tells me I failed him.

I was always a step behind, forgetting things I shouldn’t, missing spirit days, failing to make sure he did xy&z.

I never could get ahead.

This year is going to be different.

I spent all day yesterday getting ready for school to start. The house is clean. A million loads of laundry are done. New school clothes are bought. A family calendar is hanging up with color coded dry erase markers.

A homework station is set up and my calendar is filled out completely.

This year is going to be different.

We’re not going to be stressed because we didn’t know about a certain special day. We won’t let him fall behind in math, and will stay on top of falling grades.

Our new chore/responsibility/reward chart will be enforced.

My brain is ready, along with the house. Now to get through the last week of summer and hit the start of 3rd grade with gusto!

Getting a chance to have a “do over” at the beginning of each school year is a blessing. 

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This was my 5 minute Stream of Consciousness Sunday post. It’s five minutes of your time and a brain dump. Want to try it? Here are the rules…

  • Set a timer and write for 5 minutes.
  • Write an intro to the post if you want but don’t edit the post. No proofreading or spellchecking. This is writing in the raw.
  • Publish it somewhere. Anywhere. The back door to your blog if you want. But make it accessible.
  • Add the Stream of Consciousness Sunday badge to your post (in the sidebar). .
  • Link up your post below.
  • Visit your fellow bloggers and show some love.

 

Sitting On My Shoulder…

Sitting On My Shoulder…

Today was a second “first day” at Buck Jones for me.

Nearly 14 years ago, fresh out of college and freshly married, I started working at the Woodstock location. There were no nerves at all. I was young, smart, and probably pretty full of myself.

A lot of things have happened, good and bad, in the last 14 years. Some of them caused me to be a little anxious. Some things gave me extra confidence in certain areas. A few of the things made me feel very unsure of myself. But at the same time, I feel very confident in my ability to do this job.

This morning, after dropping Henry off for his first day of 2nd grade. He wasn’t nervous — after all, he’s pretty young, smart, and full of himself! I didn’t have a whole lot of time to think about what he was doing today because I knew he was having a great day. He always does.

But I felt my little angel sitting on my shoulder. I knew he was with me. Charlie was perched in his usual spot — right on my left collarbone, snuggled up against my neck, in his blue and white seersucker gown.

There were a few times today when I talked to vendors I had worked with way back when and they asked what I’d been doing all these years. “Raising a family” is of course, my standard answer. It’s not the time to lay it all out. I’m sure it’ll come up in time because it’s a part of my daily life. I talk about it and it’s just not a secret.

I came home and picked Henry up at his new after school program. He loved it. I knew he would.

But when I pulled out his work and looked at his “All About Me” page that he filled out at school, I realized I was right when I knew Charlie  was with me. He was with both of us today.

family image

I’m always amazed when Henry draws his family for others and includes Charlie (always bigger than him and with wings). It makes me happy and at the same time, extremely sad that I didn’t have a 2nd grader AND a 4th grader today. But I don’t question it. I just hold on to the knowledge that we’re doing the right thing in making sure Henry knows that his family is bigger than it seems.

It’s not surprising that while he was with me today, he was also with Henry. They’re connected in ways I’ll never understand.

Our family will continue to celebrate firsts.

And our boys will celebrate many more firsts together… as brothers… in their own way.

 

Stream of Consciousness Sunday: Beginnings

Summer is coming to a close here in our neck of the woods. It’s time to jump back into the swing of things. School is beginning tomorrow and we are ALL so excited! Second grade for my little man. Where has the time gone?

This has me thinking about beginnings. Every story has a beginning, for without the start there is no finish.

We’ve all started things that have been exciting. Maybe they were in the past or maybe they’re coming up soon. Are you scared of beginnings? Do they excite you?

Today’s (optional) prompt: Beginnings

stream of consciousness sunday

Tomorrow, Henry and I both have a “beginning.”

He starts school and I start work full time. In an office. For the first time in 13 years.

Fresh beginning feel so good. New Sharpie pens. New legal pads. New crayons and notebooks for Henry. New teachers and new bosses. New classmates and new customers.

Beginnings feel a lot like a stew. That first day, you throw all the ingredients into the crock pot. You turn it on and wait. Every few hours, you come to stir. Maybe you have to toss in some pasta or more fragile vegetable. Hours later, your stew is done. You’ve succeeded.

Tomorrow we jump off, into the crock pot. Through second grade and a new job, we’re going to be cooking up some awesomeness!

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This was my 5 minute Stream of Consciousness Sunday post. It’s five minutes of your time and a brain dump. Want to try it? Here are the rules…

  • Set a timer and write for 5 minutes.
  • Write an intro to the post if you want but don’t edit the post. No proofreading or spellchecking. This is writing in the raw.
  • Publish it somewhere. Anywhere. The back door to your blog if you want. But make it accessible.
  • Add the Stream of Consciousness Sunday badge to your post (in the sidebar). .
  • Link up your post below.
  • Visit your fellow bloggers and show some love.

 

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