Taking the month of December “off” has been wonderful. I know that back in July when it was hot and we were still plugging away at our core subjects, it felt like torture, but my intent was to finish up what we had let lag due to our insane DI schedule, and close out the year. Our academic year began in September and since we dropped so many outside activities, we have been very focused on academics. There is no reason why we can’t enjoy lots of downtime this month and focus on the holiday season.
Work still happens. Lilah is working diligently to finish up her cousin’s picture book which will be given as a Christmas present. Grace decided that she too would like to give this gift. Her story is complete and she will begin working on her book. Grace discovered that the Kindle app offers all kinds of classics for free and is on chapter 2 of Wizard of Oz. Lilah and her friend have been designing and making clothes. They have a brand name and logo! They still have 2 chapters left of their science text and will have that completed before we begin Zoology 2 in January. There have been incredible amounts of piano practice. Just this week, the Sister at church added O Come O Come Emmanuel to Grace’s program for the Christmas Pageant. This has her a bit stressed, but she is dedicated to mastering the songs.
I am holding onto this moment. Our fall has been tumultuous in many ways. Friendships have changed in both positive and negative ways. Activities have changed. Interests have been discovered. Projects have been expanded. Life and learning are now so intertwined, that that in many ways I am sad to see this year pass by so quickly.
I am hard pressed to look back on another year in my life when I learned so much about who I am and what my role is as a wife, a mother and an educator. My daughters have had the opportunities to demonstrate their beliefs, their values and their integrity as young women. It is a double edged sword that I get to see all this transpire. I will never forget the day I hid in the bathroom in order to get a moment of privacy. I called my mother and asked her how she raised two girls through the teen years with grace. There are times when the emotional aspect of parenting is just so hard. She laughed at me and reassured me that we would get through the moment and the sun would still be shining. And we did. And we are stronger because of that experience.
It is through Advent that we prepare our hearts and our homes for the celebration of Christmas. The next three weeks will be spent in preparation to say goodbye to this year. This year that brought such intense highs and lows. This year that brought sickness and health. This year that gave me reunions and tearful goodbyes. This year that taught me so much about not only who I am, but also how strong our family is together.
The rest of this year will be spent snuggled with my girls reading on the couch, watching the final episodes of Little House season 2, baking, cooking, cleaning, wrapping, laughing, singing, adoring, loving, and....always learning.