Just like the previous “new start months”, January and June, August gives us a chance to reset our schedule, make new goals, and find a new family rhythm for the season.
Unlike my resolutions in January and my summer bucket list in June, I generally don’t write down any goals in August; I just make more promises to myself…. ones that I have really good intentions of carrying out through May. I’ll always put a handwritten note in her lunch. I’ll take the girls outside everyday, even when it’s snowing. I’ll volunteer in her classroom so I can get to know her friends. I’ll occupy Bea’s time with manipulatives and busy boxes so she will learn this school year too.
And then by September, those promises sound a lot less golden and take some mustering to execute.
Finding our new rhythm always takes some floundering too. MG is off to school two early (for us) mornings a week. And it makes sense after I drop her off that I do my errands while I’m in town. So I’ve had to readjust our schedule a bit to accommodate. Bea is adjusting (rather quickly) to life as an only child on those days, and I find I’m really enjoying my solo time with her. For one thing, the house is a lot more peaceful without any bickering or fighting over toys and for another, my mind isn’t being constantly occupied by questions, so I have more space to devote to her ever expanding vocabulary and communication.
As far as MG and school, she is transitioning slowly (her general M.O.), but well. When I drop her off, I get the I don’t want to go to school today schtick. But by the time we get there, she is eager to carry her backpack in, hang it on her hook, and jump right in to playing with her friends (only one of whom she can ever remember their names….progress…). She takes a nap every single day which seems a little strange for my non-napping 4.5 year old, but I think it’s good for her brain to rest after all of the new stimulation.
Speaking of naps, can I get a hallelujah that Bea is still a great napper?!? When MG was the same age, she had already been consistently skipping naps on a weekly basis and it was a struggle for both of us. Bea still sleeps a solid 3 hours in the middle of the day and not only that but I lay her down and I don’t hear from her again for that time. The two days a week when MG is at school, this time is especially golden. Three solid hours of uninterrupted time! I can tell I am especially refreshed on these days and have much more energy to tackle whatever the evening holds.
I would be remiss if I didn’t post something of the heartache August has also brought us. I lost both of my living grandparents (dad’s side) within three short weeks. They both lived till their nineties and a few health issues between them, their loss to our family still feels like a cold shock. I eulogized them on FB and IG but it was especially sweet to spend time at the funerals and hear others’ eulogies of them as we sat and mourned together. Right now, I’m saving up some sweet stories and memories in my heart. Maybe someday, it won’t feel so raw to type them out.
Less noteworthy, but also sad, we lost Teacup this month. We played with her on a Saturday morning, left for an hour, and when we came back, we saw her body, unmoving, on the side of the road (thankfully though MG was in the car with us, she didn’t). With the kitties being outdoor cats, we knew this was a possibility, but it still felt especially tragic to lose her, like this, on the day of my Grandfather’s death.
While I distracted the girls inside, N recovered her body and buried her in a special spot in the yard, with a handmade cross. We took the girls outside and explained (to MG really) what happened. We fumbled our way through it, trying to use gentle words, but direct the conversation as she began to ask questions. It took her a few minutes of asking questions and processing before the wave of grief overcame her and she sat in our laps, bereft, for over an hour. Her first broken heart.
Like a sweet sister cat, Birdie sat attentively on her lap as MG sobbed into N’s shoulder, and she has been good to her ever since. I had no idea what to expect her grieving process to look like but after a good day of sadness, she seems to have emotionally moved on. She still asks questions every once in a while, and she asks me to check on Teacup (her grave) while she is at school. We concluded that since my Grampy loved animals so much, perhaps he is spending his first few days in Heaven taking care of Teacup.
I sure hope September gives us a break because our hearts are a little tender over here right now.