Spring-to-Summer Rhythms

As we’ve been transitioning from spring to summer and finishing up the last of this year’s curriculum, I can feel our house fall into new rhythms. We don’t follow a strict daily schedule, but sort of an “ish” one–we start school at 8ish, have lunch at 11ish, nap around 1ish, etc.

I’ve finally managed to start waking up before the children; there are seasons where this works for me, and seasons where it doesn’t. I know as I get more pregnant, I’ll not be able to do it anymore, and of course when the new baby comes this August he or she will bring his or her own schedule along with.

Waking up before the kids has been good for me though. During the day and even after B gets home from work, I have very little time where I can sit quietly and think–and consequently, very little time for grief. It is hard to fully feel my emotions and really give my grief space when I’m reading a picture book to D, doing the dishes or helping Z with math.

Mornings are also when I feel it most because when she was home, I would always look over at her bassinet next to my bed and think, “we made it! Another night!”. Even though she was my fifth, having her at home required an intensity of care that I have never experienced before–round-the-clock medications, careful watching, precautions upon precautions. I only slept in little snatches. But I’d wake up and put my hand on her chest, and know she was still breathing. I’m thankful for that time.

So I read my daily prayer from the Valley of Vision, a short devotional from the book of Hope (N. Guthrie), and pray. If there’s time, I work on my classes, though those end this week–giving me a few weeks off before starting my June then July classes.

For school we’ve been tapering off the old curriculum and starting up the new. The girls find the science interesting, so it doesn’t take much persuading to get them to sit for a few minutes to listen to me read aloud the science curriculum or for us all to gather for an experiment.

The girls have liked my new policy with their own reading assignments–they “check one out” at a time from our homeschool bookshelf and can have another one after they write a bit about the one they just finished in their composition notebook. I’m excited about the composition notebooks–having all their writing in one place at the end of the year will be a wonderful keepsake.

I’ve also been trying to add a little fun to their mornings by setting out some sort of activity on our kitchen table (also where we homeschool) each morning–play-doh or blank paper / drawing books or playing cards or stamps, etc.

For readalouds, I’m rereading Beautiful Tales from Shakespeare (Z loves Midsummer Night’s Dream), various poetry books (we’re taking a stab at poetry tea-time again–so far so good!), and I have a few kids books the girls have read but I haven’t that I’d like to get to this summer, if they are interested in hearing them.

I’ve been keeping up my daily writing practice–usually about 15 minutes during “quiet rest time” in the afternoon–I’ve been a little more strict about this time actually happening, since I’ve been getting more tired and needing the time to actually get off my feet and rest.

I’ve felt a little more ambitious with my poetry lately–thinking about sending my manuscript to a few contests in the coming months and aiming high with submissions. I’ve also almost completed my princess kitten stories–I decided to take the time during quarantine to actually type them out. I’d like to make a little book of them for the girls when I’m all done.

I know when Quarantine finally lifts we’ll shift again, but this is a pretty pleasant season actually–with all our natural space from each other being taken away from us by forced shelter-in-place, I’ve had to be more purposeful about making space for myself (hard to want to do) and learning how necessary that space is (hard to want to do until you find you have to do it).

My prayer is that I can continue to meet each new season with gratitude and hope.

thoughts?

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