Eleven Years Ago Today
Eleven years ago today I had just spent one uncomfortable night in a hospital bed, hooked up to far too many monitors. I was sure that “today was the day” that I would get to meet my daughter – but my body and Em were not willing to cooperate. This was a frustrating day that decade plus one year ago, and I remember it clearly.
Em’s arrival at 3:13 p.m. on October 4th, 2006 was a long-awaited relief.
I had so many fears in those days – one of them being that she would be shy, that she wouldn’t have any friends. I couldn’t conceptualize of the amazing social butterfly I would soon give birth to.
This past Saturday was filled with family and friends who came to wish Em a happy birthday. It was a wonderful day, and I remembered thinking how lucky I am, that my child has made such an impression on so many people, and formed some truly wonderful friendships.
It doesn’t seem possible that it has been eleven years. I absolutely adore this girl, much as I did her sister. Why oh why must they grow up?
Great Minds Think Alike
Em wakes up at around 7 a.m. these days. Since we live in a school district that has a fair amount of impoverished families, the school automatically provides breakfast and lunch to all students, regardless of income, so Em eats there for two meals each weekday.
This gives us forty glorious minutes to wake up, cuddle, read together, talk, and just share some together time upstairs before she has to head out of the door.
This morning, as we sat on a loveseat in the library, her head resting against me, she said, “Mama? I’ve been thinking about school and I wondered if, after sixth grade, you would want to homeschool me again?”
Which kind of blew me away because that was exactly what I have decided I wanted to do! Whittier goes through the sixth grade and having her so close is lovely. It’s a quick half block to school and back and she likes most of her teachers and the friends she has made there.
Come seventh grade, however, and we would need to decide on a school a little farther away and probably far more populous. I had literally just written to a family member that “I figure we will let this year and probably one more play out there at Whittier and then I’ll re-assess the schooling situation before 7th grade begins. Middle school can be dicey, and I would prefer that she avoid too much early teen drama and focus on learning, but we will see how things go.”
I laughed in delight at her question. “That is exactly what I was envisioning, Em! We could homeschool and go to co-op two days per week for 7th and 8th grade. Then, when you hit 9th grade, we could still do co-op and also add in two classes per semester of community college. Probably math and some other core class to start with.”
“Really? You would want to homeschool me again?” Her face perked up.
“I sure would! And also, by 7th grade, you can have more say in what you are learning.”
“Could we do more science?”
“I think taking a math class at college would be good for me.” She paused, “I mean, it would be hard, but I know I need to learn it better. Mr. G says some of the kids in class aren’t as good at it as they should be and he sent me home with flash cards so I practiced with Daddy last night. I tried to do them fast because, you know, they are flashcards after all.”
“You are doing great with math, you know. You get better each time you practice. That’s all it takes, really. Just doing it again and again until you get it.”
She nodded and then turned to look at the blackboard walls, “Could we practice right now, Mama? On the wall?”
I agreed and she ran to get dressed while I wrote a 3-digit multiplication problem on the board. That ate up the last five minutes before it was time to go.
I miss homeschooling her, but I also look forward to the break this year and possibly next. It is good for both of us.
Re-Dedicating Myself to Learning
I am trying to eke out some reading each day. Right now, for fun, I’m reading Vector by Robin Cook, but I also want to add to my knowledge base, so I’ve been reading (and listening to) the following:
- 365 Tao – It has daily quotes and concepts to examine and incorporate into my life. Some inspire, other resonates as part of my daily goals in life. It’s short, sweet and to the point.
- Scriveners for Dummies – So far, I’ve figured out on my own most of the book’s tips and tricks, but I have had a couple of good ideas for better usage of the Scrivener program which I use to organize my book-writing projects
- The Book of Yoga – I’m just getting started, but I hope to incorporate yoga, stretching and light weights into my daily routine
- Mad Science – Just a snippet of science per day. A “this day in science” kind of book
- Science Podcasts – While I’m cleaning, I’m trying to listen to podcasts and get some research done for my new book project, the sequel to Gliese 581: The Departure.
I’m keeping the old brain active with these different topics. I might also return to A People’s History of the United States by Howard Zinn. History can be fascinating, after all!