On first weeks, and water

First week of school down.  Not a whimper from Sparkle, and minimal groaning from Comet.  My children are growing up.  I can feel it this year.  They are moving away from me, little by little, and now they’ve moved far enough that I notice it.

So far, all 5 days of it, our experiment with part-time schooling is working.  Comet is so much more relaxed and easy to be with.  He feels better too.  He agrees to more and argues less.  And me?  My solo Wednesdays are totally gone now, but Comet doesn’t need me so much.  He can go off and do his online math, or programming, or piano, with nothing from me but a prompt.

This is a transition moment, I am sure of it.  We are moving, like water, to another way of being.  I feel this deep inside, in a way I can’t explain.  I see it in the creek bed, low from drought.  I notice it in the way the trees bend in the wind, in the blue of the sky, the sun setting.  For now I am unafraid, only curious, wondering where the current is taking us, relaxing for the ride.

Countdown

I am a little sad, a little excited for today, Labor Day.  It marks a return to the routine of school, being somewhere at a certain time, accomplishing Things.

It also marks the end of summer.  This summer was not my ideal.  Comet and Sparkle spent most of their days at school-based daycare, where activities were planned and provided.  DH and I worked.  Not what I had hoped for when we started a family.  Still, the children had a good time, for the most part, and the bills got paid, we even set a little money aside.  The retaining wall that has been failing for years will finally get its overhaul, and maybe the fence will be replaced as well.

But all this means that the kids did not get that gorgeous gift of time, the long summer days to fill with whatever their minds could imagine.  Comet, in particular, craves this free time.  Much of it he wants to spend on his Minecraft server, building, and collecting and interacting with online friends.  Some of it he would spend reading.  The rest of it, I think, goes to mentally recharging.  It amazes me how much the simple acts of getting up, dressing, and being at school wears him out.  It seems to deplete him in a profound way.

Sparkle on the other hand, thrives on school and the structure it provides.  It seems to give her support to spread her wings in a safe way.  It allows her to focus, and spend time with friends at the same time.  She loves everything about school, and I mean everything!  She’ll have a new teacher this year, so we’ll have to see how this impacts her, and I expect a few growing pains for the next few weeks, but I think overall she will have another great year.

Above all, I am looking forward to a partial return to homeschooling for Comet.  Long ago, we were advised that he would need radical acceleration in his curriculum, and may even benefit from homeschooling the whole way through.  We have incredible support from Comet’s classroom teacher and the district superintendent for his schedule this year, 2 days at home and 3 at school.  We have a partnership with them that is uncommon in our circle.  I cannot believe our luck!  I am sure a roadblock will present itself here and there, but I’m hoping they’ll be easily circumnavigated, or ignored.

But for today, we’ll celebrate our past labors, and relax.