Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Reisterstown, Maryland
Friday, August 13, 2010 4:58 PM, CDT
School is in session. The kids headed back to the classroom yesterday, August 12th, and I continue each day to be a student in the classroom of life…under God’s instructions. I knew this was going to be an emotional period for me with Corinthian, Isabella and Elias returning to their daily school schedules and the fact that Sicily would have started kindergarten. I allowed myself to feel and do whatever was necessary to get through it. My emotions came into strong play starting late Tuesday afternoon when Patrick and I escorted Elias to his elementary school to meet his new third grade teacher. As we headed toward the direction of his classroom we passed by the rooms marked “Kindergarten.” It was hard not to wonder which classroom would’ve been hers and who her teacher might have been.
Sicily could not wait to start kindergarten and ride a big yellow bus to school like she’d watched her siblings do the past two years. She was more than going to be ready. I had that familiar knot in my throat as we walked past those rooms and I began to pray that I could get through the next fifteen minutes of the day without totally losing it. I didn’t make it.
We entered Elias’ classroom to find an attractive young woman who introduced herself as his teacher. I immediately felt a good vibe. She already seemed like someone Elias would bond with and I needed to feel that. As Elias and Patrick stood and chatted with her, I sat and filled out the necessary paperwork. It was the usual list of questions I’ve become accustomed to filling out for the past twelve or so years (counting back since Corinthian was in preschool). I could feel my lips begin to quiver and the familiar tears burning my eyes when I read the last question on the final page…“Is there anything special I need to know about you child?” I knew what needed to be written…what had to be written. But how do you explain and describe or put into words what I needed to share with this new teacher, who was totally unaware of what we, as a family, and Elias, as a big brother, have endured with the loss of our precious daughter and his little sister?
Because it was upsetting me so much, and at the same time I knew I needed to write something, I wrote it plain and simple. I actually can’t even remember the exact words, but it was something along the lines of, “In March, Elias lost his little sister, Sicily, to pediatric cancer.” As I sat and struggled writing these words as the tears blurred my vision, Patrick verbalized to the new teacher what I was in the process of writing. I couldn’t talk much. The reality of it all still hits sometimes like an earthquake and continues to shake the world around me. And like an earthquake, I have little or no warning when my strength begins to tremble and crumble a little. God has built and reinforced me to withstand a great deal during such earthquakes. His form of stabilization comes in the faces, words and actions of family, friends and perfect strangers. I’ll explain more in detail shortly.
Though my face continued to be stained with tears, precious Elias still managed to conjure up the need for laughter. I had a very good “craughing” moment (crying and laughing together) before we left his new classroom. When his teacher innocently asked him if he was ready for school to start, his split second response was, “I wasn’t until I found out YOU are going to be my teacher”…this being said with a confident smirk on his face. Poor gal, she is going to have her hands full! You have to love this kid! Scoring brownie points right from the get go! I also have to mention that he had an apple in his backpack for her on the first day of school. He’s a charmer, that one!
I have been doing pretty good lately at “trying” to live in the day and not let my worrywart personality control things and get too far ahead of the present. I’m still a complete work in progress in the area, and will be for a long time, I imagine, but it really feels good to “Let go and let God!” That’s what this truly is. It is an amazing way to live. I’ve tasted the success and only crave it more. I hope and pray this becomes a permanent practice because it just makes life better…simpler…free-er! But at the same time, it is work. As the old saying goes, “Anything worthwhile is worth working on”…or something along that idea.
Yesterday morning, getting the three kids ready for school went like clockwork. They were all anxious and excited, in a good way. Corinthian was ready to start his “high school” career. I still can’t believe he is in high school. He is almost as tall as I am and his voice has really deepened. He is truly turning into an incredible young man. Watching him mature and grow into this world around him is a goose bump producing experience for me. I want to enjoy every single moment around him (all the while giving him needed space and breathing room) as I know the next four years will fly by, despite my pleas for slow motion.
Isabella is coming into her own, as well, as a soon-to-be-official teenager. She is sweet and loving and concerned about my emotional state at all times. When she is aware of a situation that might affect me or stir my emotions, she is the first to ask, “Mom, are you okay?” In addition to the “light” eye shadow she was allowed to begin wearing last year, late this summer she asked if she could try mascara before entering seventh grade. We are on the road these days to learning how to remove the black mess to avoid waking up every morning with raccoon eyes. Not there yet. It may take some time, but she is asserting her independence in the matter and I have to let her. Before she heads out the door I try to grab a makeup remover wipe and do a little touch up. She’ll get the hang of it eventually! Boys are so much easier at this stage, but I wouldn’t trade my shoe shopping buddy for anything! ; )
Elias, oh Elias. He excitedly reported yesterday as he walked in the house swinging his empty backpack and carelessly tossing it on the floor that, “THERE ARE NO RULES” and “THERE WILL BE NO HOMEWORK” in his class. Next out of his mouth was, “Man, I really like our teacher!” I think he’s going to have a really good year and he deserves it, by golly! He may never want to leave the third grade! One last thing on this kid…I’ve come to the conclusion that when he tries to be funny, which he is in constant practice of attempting…he is not. When he is just himself and doesn’t try to be humorous, he has me rolling. This morning he was not fully awake when I asked him what he wanted for breakfast. He requested more time to think about it. Typical for Elias…why do now what you can put off for a bit longer. He is already notorious for procrastination. I have no idea where he gets that! (Not that I am confessing to anything!) I explained that he didn’t have extra time to ponder this morning as I let him sleep in a little longer than I should have. I began to rattle off choices…cereal, bagel, English muffin…he sat looking very disinterested and still half asleep. I gave him a few minutes and returned for his decision. With a bit of a confused look on his face he asked, “What did you say about the Italian cupcakes?” I returned the confused look. “What Italian cupcakes?” A little frustrated with his clueless mother, he pointed over to the counter where the English muffins were. Yes, I almost had a moment…one of pure hysterics. So he got the country wrong as well as the bakery category. Heck, Italian cupcakes sound better to me for breakfast than English muffins. I’m all over that! Except he is voluntarily attempting to eat healthy. (Did you know that if you smash chocolate chips into a bagel they don’t count? It’s magic or something. They only count if they are in a cookie! Haven’t found the scientific proof yet, but we’re still look’in!) I will never be able to look at or eat an English muffin the same again. And yes, he chose an English muffin, aka “Italian cupcake,” spread with butter and sprinkled with cinnamon sugar (which apparently doesn’t count in this instance, as well). ; ) I have yet to figure out his idea of “healthy.”