Monday, April 13, 2009

Sending Them Back

The alarm went off at 5:48am this morning. And after having a week of no alarms going off, it was disheartening for a moment. Spring Break is officially over.

Here we go again, I thought. Back in the saddle.

I realized this morning as I walked down the stairs trying to orient myself for the coming week, that this was probably the only Spring Break I'll ever have with all my kids. Ever. I mentioned how this was my first one in about 6 years. The kids are court-ordered to spend school breaks with their Dad, and it was just sort of serendipitous that this year the cards fell. . .in my lap. And that will most likely never happen again. It may not seem like a big deal, but my motherhood is mostly filled with duties. I get the routines, the structure, the school, scouts, work, sports, feed 'em, teach 'em, clean 'em sort of stuff. Their dad gets the play, the trips, the vacations. Whenever school is on break, most often the kids head off to spend time with him. And that's wonderful. But when they come home, it's back to the grindstone for me, and we don't often get much down time together. It's just the way it is. And so, when I realized what a blessing this last week was, it kind of choked me up. I may never have a Spring Break with all my kids together again. sigh.

We did have lots of fun, though. Outings and activities, and just hanging out at home, something the kids rarely get to do, and miss. Lyndsay even had two days off of work. They all managed their time fairly well, spreading homework out over the break so that nobody was crying on Sunday night with stress. Lyns got to eat dinner with us almost every night, which never happens save for weekends, because of her work hours. She eats home cooked Thai food every night at work, which she loves, but it was nice to have her at the table. We did a lot of cooking. We feasted. It was wonderful. She and I in the kitchen have great synchronicity.

We did some shopping. We did some organizing around the house. We watched some movies. We made frosted sugar cookies. We went for walks. We did Easter.

About Easter~ poor Adam had to work all day. He didn't even get to come to Church with us. But the kids successfully found their hidden baskets and ate chocolate to their little hearts' content, and then dressed in their Sunday best and off we went.

As a sidenote, Dylan ran 22 miles on Saturday for his marathon training, and now his knee is killing him. During church it started to swell, so I took him home to get it elevated and iced. I started the dough for the rolls, and ran back for the rest of the meetings. Poor Dylan hobbles. He'll be okay. I cannot believe he ran 22 miles. Good night. The qualifying race for the marathon is this weekend coming up.

Anyway, after Church we worked together on our Easter Feast. Glazed ham, cheesy potatoes, creamy fruit salad, Lion House rolls with homemade honey butter, sweet carrots, and white cupcakes with coconut buttercream for dessert. It was all delicious. After cleaning up, we piled onto my bed and watched episodes from the first season of 7th Heaven, the new show we're going to get into, now that we're waiting on LOST.

On Thursday somehow I pulled a muscle in my neck. The same area that has given me pain, trouble, and migraines since a car accident I had when I was 18. Oh, man does it hurt. I have spent the last several days just trying to manage pain without much success. There is not enough ibuprofen in the world, and I don't want to completely destroy my stomach lining or liver, but I'm really struggling. That pain put a bit of a damper on my cheerfulness at the end of the week (because you know how even when Mom's hurt or sick, the show must go on!), but the kids were great about pitching in to help.

And then this morning, as we were sitting down for scripture study, we noticed that the cat's neck was covered in blood, and upon investigation, he has a gouge about half a centimeter in diameter on the bottom of his chin. The flesh is just gone. I have no idea what he could have done to inflict that injury, as he's an inside cat and the wound is fresh. He either jumped up on something or down on something, but he did a number. Poor kitty can't even meow because his is a quiet breed, so he suffers in silence. I washed what I could and applied some Neosporin. We'll see how it progresses. Weird.

So, now the kids are back at school. They are recharged and ready to finish out this last push of the school year and give it all they've got. When I packed their lunches this morning, and wrote their little love notes to them, I wrote,

"I LOVE having you home. Please promise that no matter how old you get, you'll always come home. I love you so much. Love, Mom."

That's what I hope. That no matter what age, distance, or circumstances, my children will always want to be home. It sure feels good.

Just before I moved out of the house, my mom cross stitched a pattern for me, that still hangs in my kitchen. It reads, "Wherever you wander, wherever you roam, be happy and healthy and glad to come home."

I know what she means more than ever now.


Sarah said...

Jenna, I'm so glad you got to spend so much quality time with your children this last week. What a blessing. It breaks my heart reading this because it makes me realize how much I take for granted all the time I get to spend with my kids and I don't make the most of it. Before I know it they are going to be grown and I will be saddened at the loss of time. I should take this as a lesson and improve myself.

You guys all looked so beautiful/handsome for Easter Sunday!

Poor kitty! One of our cats had a scratch on it's nose that he had gotten from the mama cat and the dumb cat kept licking it and made it worse. There wasn't much that I could do because of where it was and the fact his tongue could reach it and it made me wince everytime I saw it. I did finally apply some neosporin. Eventually it got better and he had his cute little pink nose back! Hope your kitty heals quickly!

We love you guys!

Saint Holiday said...

I'm starting to believe that you could be a stunt double for Marie Osmand, now that she has lost so much weight. You'd have to throw on more make-up, but I think you could fool Donnie Boy. I love you. The kids look great!

Luisa Perkins said...

The photos are lovely, and you totally made me cry. What a great mother you are. Thanks for inspiring me yet again.

Rachel Sue said...

Ditto, Sarah! I don't really think about all the time that I get to spend with my kids, but after reading your post, I sure am grateful for it. Those vacation days are the best, when pajamas are the uniform and cookies are on the schedule!

I really hope that the cards fall in your favor again soon.

Sarah said...

Jenna, I got my boys ties at The Children's Place. I think they usually only carry ties around holidays (Christmas and Easter mostly) and they are only about $7.50. They go up to size 14 and I did notice that they have real ties for the bigger boys. (the bigger sizes may be a little more expensive) Their smaller sizes are not the typical clip on that clips at the collar, they actually have a thing that goes around the neck and clasps in back. Kinda nice. I know the metal clip on ties irritate my boys' necks. Anyway, check them out. They have awesome sales and are very affordable.

Love you!

Turleygirl said...

I am totally with you on this. I hear Moms saying how they dread Spring Break and don't know what they are going to do with the kids home. I can't relate in any way to that. I love, love, love having them home. It is never long enough in my eyes. I am so glad that you had that week and hope that fate will grant it to you again.

YogaNana said...

I do so hear you about kids coming home. (sniff!)

Remember when Dylan was short?

Raelene said...

What a great family week you had. The kids are growing way to quickly. Poor Maestro, your quiet cat's brother meows enough for both of them I guess. Love you*!*

Wonder Woman said...

I'm so glad you got your kids for this break. So many moms I know were really happy when Spring Break was over and they got to send their kids back to school. It's refreshing to read about a mom who was sad for it to end.

You have a gorgeous family!!!

family said...

What? No bunny ears? Come on!! A note on the marathon training. Jeff runs all the time - every Sat her runs a min of 10 miles. So...tell him he might need new shoes. He should go to a GOOD running store and have them evaluate his pronation. Jeff's knee got bad around 18 miles when training and got new shoes, never had another problem. Tell him good luck!! Running is a great hobby and very theraputic!