Since tomorrow is Thanksgiving, I thought taking today off from school work and getting ourselves ready for tomorrow and the onslaught of busyness that early December brings seemed like a most realistic plan. This, in my mind, is one of the huge advantages of homeschooling. Feeling overwhelmed? Take a day off and catch up to create more space for peacefulness.
Sitting down to breakfast I started a list, with family members adding in important tasks. Here's what we came up with:
- make pies (2 cherry, 2 pumpkin)
- take out Rosie's braids
- PCC run
- make Theo a double-sided light saber
- send out newsletters by 5pm
- 3:00 Lily here for hair
With all the buy-in from little people we got morning routine and chores done quickly. The work on the double-sided lightsaber came next. When we found ourselves stuck with one blade full of wet, sticky spray paint, we opted to head to the grocery story before facing the second blade.
PCC was a zoo, but our list was fairly short. In and out, we came home to unpack groceries and discover that paint dries slowly in Seattle in November. Rosie talked me into some computer time (SheppardSoftware and Starfall) while I took out her braids. Theo occupied himself by making a whole flurry of paper snowflakes. We finished the lightsaber and started on lunch.
Instead of rest time today, Rosie and I spent a peaceful hour folding, labeling and stamping the newsletter. When Lily arrived to work on hair, Rosie was first in line. She drew pictures and cut out snowmen for a while before moving onto a movie. I finished up the newsletters and Bill ran them to the post office. Theo danced around the house showing off some nice double-bladed lightsaber moves.
Rosie's truly fancy braids compete, she yielded the computer to Theo who played 15 minutes of CloneWars. It is possible he doesn't actually know Lily trimmed his hair, but it looks great. I took a turn in the chair and got my sexy-mama trim and a light scolding.
Bill had dinner ready for us just as the hair fun wrapped up. After dinner the kids raced to the bath because they thought it sounded like fun. There were clean, dry and tucked in right around 8.
After a few missteps and a quick trip back to the PCC, the pies are in the oven and I'm feeling very pleased about how peaceful, creative, connected and fun the day was.
The art of it all, I think, is to figure out how to capture small moments from today and insert them into our "regular" days. My dream would be for each "normal" day to carry pockets of magic and connection that my children and I will remember and treasure our whole lives. Without too much refection, I'm guessing these are the touchstones that for me represent my children feeling loved, important and invited to be who they really are in the world.
What about you? How does your ideal day look? How often do your "normal" days fulfill your dreams for the values you hope to pass on to your children?