But first an update on story #1…the narrative of youngest daughter starting school. Let me share (if you are a veteran reader you already know this) that I am 100% a liberal arts person. I understand the basics of the birds and the bees and I can tell a conifer from a deciduous tree. I know what happens when you mix baking soda and vinegar. That’s about it for biology and chemistry. As far as math goes, let’s just say that I consider it a win if my checkbook balances and I do that everyday so it’s not too many numbers.
Since I have a definitive bias towards art, literature and writing, it is possible that I may have let the math lessons slide a bit. Youngest daughter also has struggled with the retention of even the most basic of math facts. Loads of tears, worksheets, computer programs and textbooks later, we finally happened upon something that worked two months ago.
At the beginning of the summer we were still working on addition and subtraction. It just didn’t make sense to her.We found a computer program that she really enjoyed and with the looming deadline of placement testing for her new school, she had quite a challenge before her.
Keep in mind that she is entering the sixth grade and had to place in fifth grade or better to take math on campus. At the beginning of the summer she was at a second grade math level.
She tested on Monday and place firmly at the fourth grade level…almost to fifth. They are allowing her to register for the sixth grade math class based on the fact that she accomplished so much over the summer. I suspect that she is actually really great at math and just needs a teacher who can guide her (someone who can actually do math and isn’t studying ahead trying to remember how to do long division)!
What these words leave out is how truly hard this all was. Copious tears and meltdowns for both of us. Me feeling like I had failed her. She feeling dumb. Apologies and hugs. Giving up and starting over. Endless lists of what we needed to get done (me). Endless doodling on the page meant for figuring out answers (her).
It is done. She is entering school on the same level as everyone else in her class. We saw her desk yesterday with her binder laid out and waiting for her.
That made it so real. And hard. And happy. And proud. And anxious. And….
on to story #3…
Binky Goes on an Adventure
I love all my kiddos. I even like them a lot of the time. Honestly there have been times (in all of our lives) when I would have traded them for a fountain diet coke with crushed ice, but I’ve given that addiction up, so it’s a moot point. I stuck it out…they didn’t run away from home (well, one of the did, but she came home).
When my two girls left home, I thought I would die. They both left at the same time and dropping them off at college (the same one my husband and I went to) was impossibly hard. I survived. They survived and thrived.
But this is my baby boy, Binky. This unfortunate nickname is no longer in use, but grew out his extended attachment to his pacifier.
He’s been quietly making plans for his future for quite a while. He’s never been much on sharing the important stuff. He’ll coast along for a while and then make a big announcement about what he’s about to do and surprise us all. I knew he’s been trying to figure out this apartment thing.
I just preferred not to think about it.
It’s time for him to move out. It’s a good plan. The apartment is further in towards Austin. Not too far away for him to bring his laundry home and raid the pantry.
I want him to go and build his life. He’s an adult. My job is done.
But…he’s also still Binky with all the moments and memories that name symbolizes.
What will my life be like with him not in it all the time.
Sleeping soundly through all the malfunctioning smoke alarms going off for 30 minutes while I try to shut them off.
Endlessly sharing sports names and stats while I struggle to appear interested.
Never straightening out his nasty socks so they can be properly washed.
Continually butting heads with his Dad.
Insisting that the vegetables in a Hot Pocket are enough for a healthy diet.
Living in a room that any decent health inspector would condemn.
Planting daffodil bulbs and sunflowers…well, mainly eating dirt, but we tried.
Always knowing when I need a hug…even when I don’t.
This growing up thing is hard. For Mom’s and kids.
I’m going to go cry for a while.
It will be okay.
And, of course, I have Barret the dog to keep me company. Thank you, Jacob. I really mean it.