The Road to Acceptance

Happy Palm Sunday everyone! It is a sunny, warm day, blue skies, light breeze. I’m sitting out on my deck. We had lunch out here today. Hot dogs and watermelon and a salad tray. Easy to make. Easy to clean up. Fun to eat. 

 

The last time I wrote, I was simmering in anger, feeling like my head was going to explode. Today I am feeling calm. Hopeful. More accepting of where we are at. How did I get from point A to point B? I would say God definitely used my family and friends and community. A family member and an old friend both surprised me and took care of some physical needs we had. A kind lady from our church sent me a card and a gift. I had a good phone conversation with my mom. I took a walk through our neighborhood and waved and said Hi to LOTS of neighbors who were sitting out on their porches or in their yards. My kids all decided to hit the pause button on their bickering, and for the last several days have been playing happily outside in the sunshine. My teenagers have been laughing and joking together and acting like they’re best friends. Domestic Peace. 

 

I also took a Productivity Class with Brian Durfee of productivity-max.com who happens to be an old friend from our church. We did it via Zoom and it was quick and painless and left me with some good tools and tips to try and reign in some of the crazy in my life. It gave me a good dose of hope, that I too, might join the ranks of the organized. 

 

As I sit here, enjoying the breeze, watching my little kids ride their bikes around the yard, I am feeling very much like God gave me the gift of peace this weekend. 

 

This morning we had a little church service with our kids. We read about Jesus coming into Jerusalem on a donkey, people shouting Hosanna. We sang songs. We talked about prayer requests and prayed together. Then I turned on a video that our church’s children’s ministry made. The children’s pastors greeted the kids by name and they sang some songs and all the different Sunday School teachers sent in a video greeting to the kids. My kids were overjoyed! And their eyes got so big when they heard Mr. John calling them out by name. They enthusiastically joined into the song time, dancing all over the living room. And I felt myself getting teary-eyed. These kids have been in our house for a month now. I don’t take them on errands. They’ve just been here. And they miss their friends and church and school, and life seems a little scary to them right now. And hearing their teachers talking to them on the TV just lit up their faces. 

 

After the kids service was done, my husband and I and our teens sat and watched our own church service that our church put out. Worshipping together and hearing our pastors was encouraging. I am so thankful for our church family. 

 

One of the pastors exhorted us to continue to reach out and get together with each other using the technology we all have at our fingertips. I need to do that. I’m so frustrated at all my limitations, that it makes me not want to be creative to see how I can actually still make connections. 

I guess, what all of this is leading to is Acceptance. This is where we are at. I have no control over the situation except to live in my home, take care of my kids the best I can, and see what I can do to be helpful to the world around me…while maintaining a 6 foot distance. 

Anger is Part of the Process

I am really struggling with anger right now. It just seems to be bubbling under the surface, ready to jump out at any minute. I’ve had a lifetime of learning self-control, so I’m not breaking things or saying really mean things, or screaming (too much). But, I hear it in my tone of voice. The impatience, the quick snap backs at my kids. The complete lack of calm. 

 

When I get angry, for some reason or other, I always decide it’s time to clean. I just suddenly can’t handle any more mess or chaos. Then I start passing out jobs left and right and Woe to the child who complains. 

 

Yesterday we cleaned the house and the kids cleaned their bedrooms. After it was all clean, the little kids wanted to have tea in the kitchen. I stood there and watched as they spilled sugar on the table, dropped trash on the floor, spilled ice cubes on the floor from the ice machine. Spilled tea on themselves. 

 

My clean kitchen was no longer clean. I felt like I was about to burst a blood vessel. I retreated to my room. Unfortunately, the children followed me. I explained in a calm voice that I was very angry and that I had come into my room to calm down and I needed them to leave right now. My foster child decided that this was a good time to start a fight with me. Not very good timing. I ended up just leaving the house and taking a power walk around the neighborhood. 

 

And then later, when I had finally calmed down, foster child and I had a long conversation about respecting people’s space when they are angry. Understanding that anger is a normal emotion, it’s ok for people to be angry, but it’s not ok for them to hurt others when they are angry. And that everyone has to develop strategies for how they are going to handle their anger. And we need to respect those strategies. If someone asks to be alone, you let them be alone. 

 

Today, I still find myself on edge. I had the kids clean some more, but I brought a bag of gummy bears. I would give a child two gummy bears and an assignment. Eat the gummy bears and clean. Then when they were done, they would come back for the next two gummy bears and the next assignment. We managed to tidy up all the bookshelves, clean out the hall closet, put away all the winter gear into the hall closet, sort out all of our shoes, sort out all the plastic grocery bags and shopping bags and tupperware in the kitchen, clean out from under the stairs, and sweep the hall and living room. 

 

Then I ran out of gummy bears. 

 

 But then the five year old washed his hands and decided it would be fun to dry his hands on our glass back door. I again almost lost it, but instead handed him glass cleaner and paper towels and told him to get to work cleaning the door. All the little kids thought that looked fun, so they ended up cleaning the back door, then all the other glass doors, and one child even went out and cleaned windows on my van. And while they were all being industrious, I got my room cleaned up. 

 

And I’m sitting in my chair, taking a breather and I am surprised at how angry I am still feeling. 

 

Our school board has decided to start supplying work for the kids to do at home, starting next week. It isn’t mandatory. It’s supposed to be a supplemental, enrichment kind of thing to help your kids not get behind. Great. But all these resources are online. I have one computer for seven kids. Yes, I can pick up paper packets, but then we’re supposed to watch instructional videos on youtube. I have six grades that would have to be sharing our one tv to watch the youtube videos. It’s just not feasible to do this the way the school is suggesting. I will have to be super-flexible and figure out some way to make this work for our family. And I’m kind of angry about it. I don’t want to be a school teacher. 

 

We have been in our house since March 9th. I took the kids to the playground once that first week, but realized there were too many people there. We didn’t go back. The next week I tried to take the kids to a wilderness kind of place we have in town, again there were way too many people there. We didn’t go back. We have taken walks around our neighborhood and walked around a nearby park a couple times, staying away from the playground. And we have been home. I have gone grocery shopping and taken kids to the emergency room twice for genuine medical emergencies. And then one doctor’s visit this week. We go and pick up the free meals that are being passed out at our school and my kids all wave enthusiastically at the teachers and staff that are standing in front of the school. And that’s it. Those are our social interactions. 

 

I miss people. I miss church. I miss hugs from friends. I miss teaching piano lessons. I miss all the self-care rituals I have set up so that I can do this humongous job of having a large family. 

 

And I’m angry that I’m having to completely re-work my life. Come up with completely new rituals. New survival methods. New routines. New schedules. New parenting methods. 

 

And then I have to remember what I told my foster child yesterday. Anger is normal. It’s ok to be angry. It’s something we have to process. If we don’t process it, and instead try to ignore it or stuff it down, it’s just going to pop up again later. We just need to come up with healthy ways of processing it. Make sure that we aren’t hurting others or ourselves with our anger. Find ways to help ourselves calm down. 

 

Me, I need alone space. I need to read scripture and spend time praying. I need music. I need my home to be clean. And mostly, I just need time. Eventually, I hope to be in a place of acceptance. This is the new normal. Accept it, embrace it and start looking at ways to make life good where we are at. Here at home. But, I’m not quite there yet. I’m still simmering a little. And that’s ok. 

Observations on SLOWING THE SPREAD

We have had an interesting couple days. On Sunday morning I had three children complain of sore throats. Since then I have rode the roller-coaster of wondering whether they could possibly have gotten THE VIRUS. Could we be CONTAGIOUS? My husband is still working and we wondered what we should do about him going to work if there was a possibility we were actually SICK. 

 

I spoke to the nurse for our insurance’s call line. She said there was no way of knowing whether we had strep, flu, covid-19 or some other virus. We waited 24hrs. My husband took a day off work. In that time one kid got completely better, another kid developed a cough to go with her sore throat and the other had a fever to go with her sore throat. I looked on our county’s Health Department Website and it said if you suspect you are sick, call your doctor.  I called our Pediatrician’s office and spoke to the nurse. Yes, she said, those could be possible early signs of the covid-19, but all they could do at their office was rule out flu and strep. If I wanted, I could go visit a walk-in clinic to rule out strep and flu instead of visiting my pediatrician who is located at UT hospital. I asked her what she thought about my husband going to work if we didn’t know what our kids had. She had no answer. I asked if there was any protocol we were supposed to follow. She said, if you are sick stay home. But as far as other family members who are working? Well, that’s your own call. 

 

I went back to the Health Department’s Website. They had a phone number you could call. I called and they said that they were looking specifically for fever and cough or fever and shortness of breath. Wheww. We didn’t have that specific combination. All was well. 

 

Then later that day I asked my daughter how she was doing and she said she was feeling achy all over and her chest was tight and she needed to use her inhaler. Great. Now we had more symptoms and they were the ones the Health Department had said they were looking for. (The other daughter’s symptoms had turned into something that was obviously allergies.)

 

Now it was Tuesday morning. My husband took another day off work. I had checked on my daughter several times during the night, taking her temperature, but I realized that the thermometer that I had bought at the store (the very last thermometer in the store) was not working. It consistently was saying that each person I checked had a temperature of 96 degrees. Good grief. 

 

I called the Health Department number and told them my daughter’s symptoms and her history with asthma. The lady on the phone said we should probably get tested. She asked what insurance we had (State Health Insurance) and she gave me the name of three walk-in clinics we could visit and their phone number. I called each walk-in clinic and all three said they did not accept our state insurance. One of them said that my pediatrician could probably give me a referral to a place that could test. So, I hung up and called my pediatrician again. I spoke to the receptionist who makes appointments and she said I had to talk to the nurse to schedule sick appointments and sent me to a voicemail where I had to listen to a 5 minute long message before I could leave my information. 

 

We finally got an appointment scheduled, drove to the hospital, went through a checkpoint where my daughter was handed a face mask and we were given name tags to show we had been screened. We walked through the nearly empty halls to our Pediatrician’s office and got checked in, being very careful to touch NOTHING. After the nurse had collected the samples she needed to test for flu and strep, I talked to the Nurse Practitioner. She explained that they could test for covid-19 but it would take 14 days to get the test results back and our entire family would need to self-isolate while we waited for those test results. It was up to me, did I want to get her tested? Yikes. We sat and stared at each other. What a crazy predicament. She knew it was crazy. I knew it was crazy.

 

My question is, how on earth are we supposed to be containing the spread of this virus when we apparently have so little tools to do so? When you read about the steps they took in Wuhan, China to stamp out the spread, and then compare it to what we are doing, we have no right to be amazed that our numbers have already exceeded those of China. Here in the US, the average citizen isn’t sure how to proceed if they get sick, and there doesn’t seem to be any organized system to get answers. If you are prepared to get on the phone and track down answers, you will eventually find out what you need. But there are a lot of people who would struggle to do that. People who don’t have internet access to look up the info they need, or don’t have phone service, or don’t have a personal doctor they can call. These aren’t made up people. I know them personally. 

 

And then, when you throw money into the equation: you can get tested and automatically miss two weeks of work, or you can just hope that you don’t actually have the virus and keep working…It is not an easy decision to make. And for some people, that decision will mean the difference between having food to eat, keeping phone service, starting the long downhill slide into eviction…There is very little motivation to get tested or self-isolate. 

 

The good news is that my daughter has Strep Throat. For which we are rejoicing. 🙂 I can treat that. My husband can go to work without worrying about spreading it around. I know how to deal with strep. (I do have to ask, how on earth did a kid, who has only seen four people besides her family in the past month, get strep?) 

 

I have to admit though, I’m not feeling a lot of confidence in our ability to slow the spread. 

Quarantine Update #9078

This morning three of my kids woke up with sore throats. 

 

Hmm. What does this mean? In our current safer-at-home way of life, where all we can think about is viruses and not spreading sickness, I must say that having three children present themselves with “SYMPTOMS” was a bit alarming. 

 

I called the nurse line for their insurance and we talked about it. Well, they could just have a sore throat, they could have allergies (all 3 at the same time, the same morning?), they could have a cold, or be starting to get a regular flu. Or they could be having the mild symptoms of covid-19 that seem to be typical for children. 

 

My husband is still working. His job was deemed “Essential” in our county, though I’m not quite sure why. So then we have the question…does he go to work or stay home? 

 

If he stays home then we don’t get paid. If he goes to work and it turns out the kids actually did have the virus, then he would be spreading it everywhere. Or at least to his job site. 

 

This is not fun. 

 

We have decided to give the kids another 24 hrs and see how they are doing tomorrow. Andy will take a day off while we wait and see how this progresses, and I will probably consult a doctor via telehealth (as instructed by our insurance’s nurse line) to see what they have to say about it. 

 

In the meantime, I am understanding more and more, the article I read on grief and stress which said that when we are under stress we tend to revert to a less mature version of ourselves. We go for simple and easy. 

 

Tonight I went out and bought Corn Pops (a sugary children’s cereal made by KELLOGS) and ate them for supper. Yep, this is reverting to childhood and college-level nutrition habits. 

 

That was today’s stress. Two days ago we weathered a rather large crisis with one of our children. Three days ago I brought my son home early from his Bible school (and then the day after he got home, the school announced they were closing). Each day has felt like a big blow. And I keep getting up and moving forward. But I’m eating Corn Pops while I go. 

 

But, in the middle of all the stress, I’ve noticed a couple things.

 

The sun came out. The temperature has been at that amazing, “Just Right” upper 70s. My husband cut the grass for the first time this year, and the yard looks vibrantly green. The trees are budding full force now.  I saw some blue skies with beautiful white clouds sailing past.

I cleaned my little fish tank and it now looks amazingly clear and beautiful, as my two little fish swim around. My husband finally installed the new ceiling fan in our bedroom, the one he bought over a year and half ago, and which has been sitting in its box in our room for that amount of time, just waiting for that magical moment when he felt like installing it.

I got to take my kids to my parent’s property and let them run around in the woods and play in the creek for several hours. My husband’s family has started doing Zoom calls where we can all see each other on the screen and catch up on each other’s news. Since we are all literally spread all over the globe, it was really fun to have a group conversation. I’ve had some good text and voice conversations with other friends. 

 

God’s grace has been sufficient. 

 

Life is hard, and life is good. 

 

And we’ll continue to take it one day at a time. 

 

I’ll keep you all posted on how the kids are doing. Praying we aren’t sick. 

 

Grace and Our Mental Health Crisis

This morning the sun is shining. It feels like it’s been a long time since I’ve seen sunshine, even though I know that’s not true. It was raining yesterday, and yesterday seemed to last about three months. It was a long hard day. Last night our schools announced that they would be staying closed at least through April 24th. Even though I knew that was going to happen, hearing the announcement on the phone felt like a door that I had held cracked open in hope, had been slammed shut in my face. Well shoot. I really AM stuck with figuring out how to school my kids for the next month. 

 

Right now, I am mostly worried about the mental health crisis that has hit our family. I have several children receiving mental health services. I have been receiving mental health services. As life has gotten more overwhelming, my personal doctor offered for me to see their in-house psychologist and we started meeting. It has been helpful to have someone I can talk to in confidence about the challenges I’m facing and who can ask pertinent questions to help me figure out how to proceed. 

 

This week she called me on the phone and said that we would need to do our sessions on the phone for a while. I agreed. Yes. That makes sense. But, it’s sad. I don’t do well talking on the phone. I’m not an auditory person and I find it a bit of a challenge to have phone conversations with anyone except the closest friends and family. I also know that having a private conversation in my home will be next to impossible. And, I know that being able to see someone face-to-face speaks to my soul in a way that phone conversations don’t. 

 

I’m not the only one in the family that is being moved to TeleHealth.  And I know that expecting a child to be able to get anything out of a video conference is ridiculous. It’s not going to be effective. And that is overwhelming to me.

 

At this time, when life has turned upside down, we need these services more, not less. 

 

It’s not anyone’s fault. I understand. Seeing patients face-to-face is putting both patient and provider at risk for exposure to the virus. I understand. 

 

I know that our family isn’t the only one in this boat. This pandemic we are in the middle of is stressful for all members of society. But I think the foster kids and foster parents are being especially hard hit. Strict routine is one of the most valuable tools in the toolbox for helping kids who are processing trauma and hard transitions. It’s also a giant tool for kids who have special needs. There are a lot of families out there whose kids simply can’t handle wearing PJs all day and just doing whatever seems like fun. It just doesn’t work. 

 

As a parent in this situation, I am feeling the urgency to establish a good routine for the house to help give ALL the kids a sense of security. But at the same time, I am so stressed out that I am having a hard time establishing that routine. Are these stay-at-home orders going to affect my husband’s job? (Not yet, thank you Lord.) Are my parents ok? What about my husband’s grandpa in the nursing home? Did my oldest daughter sort out her health insurance? What if she gets sick? Our court case involving our foster kids got delayed because the courts shut down. What is this going to mean for our situation? I heard that covid-19 has reached Haiti. What is this going to mean for our friends and family still there? What will it mean for that country? My friend who lives in Bush Alaska and works in the hospital there told me they only have 7 respirators. What is this going to mean for the town where I graduated high school? What if they get hard-hit? I’m in the process of bringing my son home early from his out-of-state school. How do we get our plane tickets refunded? 

 

All of this is going through my head, and then it’s raining outside, and the kids are fighting with each other, and I feel like I am the last person in the world to be able to handle this situation well. 

 

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 2 Corinthians 12:9

 

I guess this is going to have to be my go-to verse. I’m not feeling it. I’m not feeling God’s power. I’m not feeling super-spiritual. All I can see is my weakness and my need right now. My family’s need. So, it becomes an act of faith. I will keep taking one step at a time, exert my tiny bit of strength, and trust that God is going to magnify that effort and turn it into Enough. 

 

My prayers for all of you today as we push through this crazy time, one day at a time. 

Are You Ready?

Last night I dreamed that the sun didn’t come up. The sky was dark, covered in clouds. I kept waiting for things to start lighting up. And they just didn’t. I finally realized that we were in the middle of the day and it was still dark. Wasn’t this one of the things they talked about in the Bible in the book of Revelation? Wasn’t this one of the signs that Jesus was going to be coming back soon? In my dream I felt this shock. It’s happening. Do people realize this? I need to tell my family! I was trying to rush off to tell everyone I knew when all of a sudden there was a small break in the clouds, a little hole, and I realized that on the other side of this extremely thick, unusual cloud bank, the sun was still there! Wheew. Thank goodness. 

 

I’ve had several of these dreams lately. 

 

Each time, I am convinced, This is it. Jesus is just about to appear. And then it turns out it was a false alarm. But, each time, there is a little space in between, where I am convinced. And in that little bit of time, I start looking around me. I’m ready. I can’t wait for Jesus to be here. But most of the people around me aren’t ready. And there is a sense of running out of time. There’s no more time to tell you about Jesus. No more time to get everyone else ready. This is it. Game Over. 

 

Every time something big happens on a global scale, we Christians tend to pull out the book of Revelation. Is this a sign? Does this line up with what we’ve been reading about all our lives? Are we in the End Times?  While I can read Revelation and say, hmm, it sure does seem like a lot of this stuff is happening…I do know that, historically, Christians have thought they were in the End Times for a really long time. I think back in the year 999, people were convinced that the year 1000 was it. The end. All done. So yeah, we have a long history of being wrong. But here’s the thing. Everyone is going to meet Jesus. Either he’s going to show up in bright living color here on earth, or we are going to die and stand before him in judgement. There is no escaping it. So, the urgency of wondering whether people are ready or not is very real. Very necessary. 

 

Even if I don’t know what day Jesus is coming, I do know that the Coronavirus is coming. On Friday, according to the news, as of Saturday morning, 627 people died in Italy from the Coronavirus. I was talking to my husband last night about whether we should put our two daughters, who have asthma, in a closer quarantine. He was puzzled. What is that going to do? Do you really think you can keep them from ever getting exposed to the virus? Social distancing is slowing down the exposure of everyone to the virus, but in the end, I don’t know how we can avoid all getting exposed to it. And a small percentage, right now they are saying 2%, are going to die from that exposure. This is real. Not made up. People that we know personally are going to die. And, let’s say you totally avoid the virus, you are not one of the 2%, all is well. Well, hey. Statistically, 100% of all people die. Eventually. 

 

As someone who holds the key to life in her hands, I am feeling the need to share what I know with you. 

 

First. We are all created by God. Human life is not a biological accident. It was planned. We are God’s creation and he created us in his image. 

 

Second. We all have sinned, done the wrong thing. In our humanist way, we say, Well, I’m not perfect. We can all acknowledge that we aren’t Perfect. Right? Here’s the thing. God IS perfect. And he is perfectly Holy. He can not have any sin in him. Our sin keeps us separated from God. 

 

Third. There’s going to be a punishment for sin. The Bible says that the Wages of Sin is Death. Our punishment for sinning is death. There isn’t anything we can do about that. And I’m not just talking about the death of our body. I’m talking about eternal separation from God. 

 

Fourth, God loves us. He loves us so much that he came to earth, fully human, fully God, to die for our sins on the Cross. Jesus lived the perfect life. He didn’t sin. He did not deserve death. As a perfect person, he was the only one who could voluntarily take our place. He willingly died and took the punishment for our sins. So that our sin no longer had to separate us. 

 

Fifth. If we believe that Jesus is God and he came to earth and died for our sins, and if we openly confess that He is now our Lord, and that we want to follow him and let him be the one who tells us what to do, then we can know that we are saved. When our earthly bodies die, we will go to heaven and live forever with Jesus. This is what we call Being Saved. 

 

When we are saved, Jesus not only becomes our Lord, the one we follow, he also becomes our friend. The one who listens to us and guides us and helps us in all things. 

 

If you would like a much more detailed version of what I just tried to explain, Click on this link The Roman Road .

 

Guys, I love all of you. I’m so glad that you have been willing to read my blogs. We are living in crazy times. I don’t want death to suddenly be looking you in the face, and you aren’t ready. I also don’t want you to have to live in fear. Death is scary. But if you know what is going to happen afterwards, it’s not nearly as scary. In fact, it can be something that you look forward to, in its proper time and place. 

 

I fully intend to live a long full life. But, I know that whenever my time to die comes, I will be excited. Finally. I get to see Jesus face to face. I want each of you to have that same confidence. 

 

If you have any questions feel free to reach out to me. There’s a place to contact me on the blog. 

 

May the Lord bless you and keep you during these crazy times. 

 

Coronavirus, Kids, and Mental Health

Hey Everyone. I’m wondering how everyone is doing right now with the World Pandemic?  I’ve got friends who have been preparing for this kind of scenario their whole lives, and they are READY! And then I have friends who aren’t taking things too seriously, still doing life as-normal as much as they can. I think I’m probably in the place that most people are. I’m taking it seriously, but I’m really not set up to be SUPER PREPARED. I don’t have the storage space or the extra cash flow to have two months of groceries stored up in my house. I live in the city. I don’t have a wilderness hide-away to retreat to in full-blown quarantine. I’m taking it one day at a time. 

 

So…Kids. Let’s talk kids. 

 

My kids are excited about having a super-long vacation. And mad because we can’t go do all the fun things they normally expect to do on a vacation. Can we go to the Children’s Museum? No. The zoo? No. The library? Well, we can go get a book, but we can’t hang out there. Play at the playground? No, way too many families there. 

 

I’ve seen a lot of posts online about How To Homeschool Your Child During Coronavirus. Homeschooling moms are in their element right now, finally, people willing to listen to their experiences!! I’ve told the kids we are going to start homeschooling next week. I’m starting to feel depressed about this. Our school system has said we are shutting down through April 3rd. I have no hope that they are going to be opening school on April 7th. And that makes me depressed. I stopped homeschooling for a reason. It was One Thing Too Many for me to handle. Right now it still feels like One Thing Too Many for me to handle. But, on the other hand, having a household full of children with no schedule and no real structure is also Too Much To Handle. So, I plan to homeschool just so I can give these kids schedules and structure, so we all don’t go insane. 

 

Here’s the plan. I plan to read devotions and have the younger kids choose a sentence from our Bible story that they can copy neatly and maybe draw a picture. I’ve got a cool history book I like called “Story of the World”. I plan to read this out loud to all the kids and give them paper and pencils to draw a picture of something that stands out to them in what I’m reading.  The older kids can write me a paragraph summary of what we’ve read in history. For math, my 3rd, 4th and 5th graders are going to drill times tables, since none of them have their times tables memorized. I’ve got some cool science books that I’m also going to read out loud and let kids draw pictures and write descriptions of what we’ve read. And then, I’ve got a large selection of quality Children’s Literature. Everyone gets to pick a book and read some of it every day. My middle-schoolers and high-schoolers can get online and use resources that their schools are making available. My preschooler and kindergartner can do phonics workbooks that I already own, and I’ll continue to do reading lessons with them. The first grader can read books and all the little ones can do addition flashcards. Then we’ll run around outside and play a lot of games. And watch some of my favorite orchestra pieces on YouTube. And paint pictures. 

 

Or, I’ll lose all patience and tell the kids to turn on the tv and leave me alone. 

 

We’ll see. 

I guess, the point is, either scenario is fine. We all have structure and learn something. Great. We free roam, watch tv and eat snacks all day. Also ok. 

 

There isn’t a script that we are supposed to be following. This is new for all of us. Grace. We just need to practice grace for each other. Sometimes grace might look like stimulating our kid’s brains and giving them lots of interesting things to do. And sometimes grace might look like throwing the kids out in the yard and making them stay outside all day. Or binge watching Marvel Movies. Or getting Happy Meals. Or learning how to bake bread. 

 

Let’s just take it one moment at a time.