I’ve been working on curricula choices for the kids the past couple of weeks. I’ve worked out Oldest’s books and classes with his counselor for his sophomore year. The only child that needs one on one instruction is Littlest. The older three just need a weekly conference and someone to guide them when they are confused. We’ve moved out of read aloud time and other group learning activities. The move away from group learning wasn’t intentional; it just happened organically. They are growing up and away from me. I still have Littlest but even he will follow his siblings soon enough.

I am not sad about the changes in my relationship with the kids. Introspective but not sad. I thought about it while working today. My job is mindless enough that I can run on autopilot while my mind wanders. I thought about changes that need implemented for school and how to go about it. I did come to the conclusion that after years of year round schooling that I am a little burned out. I think the changes to our schedule and schooling methods will be just as good for me as the kids.

Today, I selected twelve oranges for a customer. The country of origin on most of the oranges was Mexico though a few were from Brazil. I wondered about the story of the orange in my hand. Who else handled this orange. Oh, I know the produce lead put the oranges in the bin. I watched him do so as I walked through the floral department after clocking in. These oranges had travelled a long way. Some further than others. The orange I held has a story that I will never really know. It passed through so many hands before reaching my customer today; the planter, the gardener, the picker, the packer, the shipper, the drivers, the warehouse personnel, store clerks, and finally the person who ate the orange. I’ll never know all of those stories but I do sense a vague connection.

We all have a story. There was a time I thought I had control of my own story. The older I get them more I realize my story is something that I live within. I’m born into history but it isn’t my story to tell. I have a small part to walk but I am not the writer. As a parent I want to have control over my kids story and sometimes I live under the illusion that I do so. But they are also born into the universal story. Under ideal conditions I will not know the end of their part. They each have their own path to take and I can only hope to be there for them when they need me. We are all only threads of stories woven together into history. I felt sad holding that orange because for a moment it represented so many stories that I will never know. I also laughed at myself for getting philosophical over an orange.

Oldest attended a professional builders convention in Louisville. He received a scholarship toward his plumbing classes. He dressed up in a suit and my husband gave him his first shaving lesson before the event. He is doing quite well in his classes and I was somewhat surprised when he discussed plumbing code when we looked at various properties over the past couple of weekends. The decision to move isn’t an easy one to make.


Today I spent some time pulling books for the next school year. I even managed to find a book that was on my purchase list! It only saved us five dollars but every little bit helps. This year we are going to use a digital planner for lesson plans. The investment time is considerable upfront but I am hoping it will save me weekly planning work. I’ve been trying to get the lessons plugged in as I get the books so that I do not have days in front of the computer working on lesson plans. The kids are switching from a literature based education to a more workbook open and go style. This will make adjustments to the schedule and independent work easier.

Oldest is weeks away from wrapping up his freshman year. He will still be in plumbing classes until May. He then has one more year of classes and will then be eligible to sit for his license and start working. He will then have decisions to make about finishing high school in the traditional time or quit taking breaks and get it done. That will be his choice but I do not see a reason to be in too big of a hurry.

Sparkles has one more year at home with us to get ready for public highschool. Though if she chooses to come back home after a while I will be very happy. I think the hard part for me is not letting her see how disappointed I am to let her go. I’ll work just as hard to help her succeed in school as I have to help set my oldest on his plumbing path. I think that is what mom’s are supposed to do anyway. I can’t really go by example on mothering but it seems to feel right.

Sparkles managed to evade the camera the past couple of weeks. I’ll torture her this week and get lots of pictures!!! She is doing well after the incident with the neighbor and much better than I had expected.