Saturday, December 4, 2010

Watching, Pondering, Grieving, Celebrating

Today, one of my 30-something friends watched her 70-something dad get married, 18 years after his first wife died.  Today, one of my 70-something friends buried her daughter, a victim of cancer's vicious teeth and long, reaching arms.  Today, I ponder the mysteries of the inexorable circle of life.

Today, I observe my boys, watching them closely, noticing their accomplishments, seeing what brings them delight, what causes them frustration, what makes them sad, what causes laughter to well up in their souls.  I see Shav...
...so proud of himself because he can line up small metal trains and connect them magnetically to each other.
I've no pictures of this, but I remember how last evening, while I was down on the floor with him, I saw him for the first time ever, get up on his hands and knees and actually crawl.  He only moved a centimeter or two, but still, what an accomplishment for our Scooter!  And then came a milestone I'm a little embarrassed to write about:  from that hands-and-knees position, Shav maneuvered his feet and legs around in such a way that he could sit down.  That's the first time I've ever seen him get himself into a sitting position from lying down.  And all the childrearing books say he should have hit that milestone months (and months and MONTHS) ago!  But Shav has his own timetable; and for him, it's just right.

Today, I remember how Tobin fell asleep last night at the supper table.
Some days, he resists his afternoon naps so fiercely!  He stays in his room and plays {mostly} quietly, which is good preparation for when he graduates to Josiah and David's status of having quiet time in the afternoons.  But on the days that he doesn't sleep in the afternoon, he gets so very tired by evening.
In the fairy tales, the princess is always the one asleep; but I think in my real-life fairy tale, he's my little sleeping prince.

Today I celebrate David's accomplishment of finishing all 100 lessons in his reading book!  Yesterday morning as we did some school work, he did Lesson 96...but he didn't stop there.  He asked if we could continue, so I said "Sure!" :)  and we spent the first part of his quiet time, sitting on the little couch together by the woodstove with a Christmas bear blanket wrapped around us (he had just gone out to feed the animals before this, so he was a little chilly--but I enjoyed the blanket, too!) and his reading book spread on our laps.  
Lesson 97...Lesson 98...Lesson 99...and then finally...
...Lesson 100!  His good reading skills and excitement about reading have been one of the great surprises of my homeschooling career!  :)

Today I anticipate Josiah's debut...
...with the Shenandoah Valley Children's Choir!!!  (pictures from Monday's rehearsal...that's why all the seats are empty!)  :)
At long last, the day is here.  He will walk on stage in that well-known uniform, take his place in the front row, second from the right, and sing his little heart out.  I can't wait.  

If you see me tonight standing in the back with a tear in my eye, you can smile and nod sympathetically.  You'll know what I'm thinking:

That's my boy up there, y'all.  That's my boy!  And I'm so exceedingly proud of him.

Of all of them, really.  The dressed-up singer.  The eager reader.  The adorable sleeper.  The excited train-assembler.  As the circle of life spins around, I couldn't be happier that God put those boys here, at this time, in this space, in my family.  No matter how long or short our spin is, I will treasure them...

...today.

8 comments:

Kristy said...

Beautifully written! I can feel your love for your boys just through your writing. They are very blessed boys!

Beth said...

Beautiful! Beautiful! Beautiful!

Homeschool on the Croft said...

That was so beautiful. You are indeed blessed to have these precious children for this time, as I am to have mine. What gifts we have been given.
Love, Anne x

Kirsteen said...

What a lovely post! Our youngest has had his own timetable for all the milestones too!

Lindsay said...

What a circle of life in this post. I hope the concert goes amazing and wow yay on reading! So many cute things!

Jolanthe said...

love that sweet picture of Tobin sleeping at the table. :)

Julie said...

Wow...I was smacked in the head by tears at the concert several times tonight. The first was before the singing had even started, and I heard "Can you hear my cry" being played for the slide show (I was in the lobby). Instantly I was transported to a ball room in Hawaii where the choir was giving their individual concert at the Pacific Rim festival and Caleb (11) and Katie (12) were in the choir and Chloe (6mos) was in the sling. It was an overwhelmingly powerful performance and that memory was right there coming out in tears.

Then watching (listening to) Caleb play the handbells...and seeing all of the choirs together with Josiah in the front and Caleb in the back. It really seems like yesterday that Caleb was in 3rd grade singing a little solo in Christmas comin' ("soooon we'll go to Grandma's house, ChrisTmas comin'....sooooon we'll go to Grandma's house, ChrisTmas comin"....and now this was his last ChrisTmas concert.

You always capture the reminders and perspectives so beautifully. Thanks for being a place to remember and to share...

Davene said...

Oh, Julie, thank you for sharing your thoughts! To tell you the truth, I was sitting there today thinking, "How does Julie do it? How does she hold it all together? I guess after who-knows-how-many years and concerts, maybe a mom just gets used to it. But will I ever get used to this? Will the sight of Josiah in that vest on that stage ever bring forth a less intense response from me?"

I guess if I'm like you, the answer is no. :)

I'm SO glad Caleb and Josiah get to share this year in SVCC. You can tell Caleb that Josiah looks up to him incredibly. After these recent joint rehearsals, he would often report to me with a beaming smile, "Caleb gave me a high five today!" Caleb has been a great example for my little guy. :)