I feel like it was only a few months ago I put a toddler, preschooler, and first grader to bed. Then I woke up in the morning and I have a fifth grader, second grader, and kindergartener. I think it has hit me harder this fall because we turned a page and transitioned into a new era. With any change, you look back and mourn the past a bit. While at the same time you embrace the future and the new opportunities it brings.
Even though fifth grade is not junior high, the oldest child gets to do more with the 6th, 7th, and 8th graders since it is a small private school. She can play on the school sports teams (and it is incredibly awesome they are free!) and has multiple teachers for classes. But she is still a kid in many ways. I am glad she does not feel the pressure to grow up too quickly. It is strange to come home from Bible Study or youth group and she is still awake. We extended her bedtime to 9 PM. Back in the day I would come home from things and the kids had been asleep for two hours already.
No one told me how different blogging with older kids is completely different versus having little ones. Sharing about the perils of potty training, toddlers temper tantrums, and sleeping through the night is acceptable and therapeutic. But blogging about older kid issues like bullying or being bullied, bad report cards, girl drama, puberty issues, or child anxiety/depression is harder. Not that I have any major secrets to hide, but my kids ask for privacy. I want it for them as well.
So this child hit double digits this fall…technically still summer. Her birthday is a few days before the actual beginning of the fall…though often it still feels like summer here. We celebrated by going roller skating with a few of her friends. I can still skate pretty well though playing Shoot the Duck is a stretch. I think “Couple’s Skates” are a thing of the past and I am perfectly OK with that.
At the end of September we went camping with friends from church at the coast. The weather looked questionable after a rainy couple of days. Weather.com was accurate and the rain held off the entire weekend. It was beautiful!
We barely got up the eight person tent and the poles on their last leg. I did have some anxiety the tent would collapse in the middle of the night and then what? This lovely tent was our wedding present from back in 2001 and it has served us well–maybe time to replace it?
The second night was colder than the first, but it was not unbearable. We spent the majority of the time hanging out with our friends, learning to skate, sitting on the beach, drinking coffee, sitting by the fire etc.
I love to camp and being outside in general. It is more my thing than the husband’s but he is a good sport about it.
A few weeks later I chaperoned the kid’s trip to the pumpkin patch. It was third time doing it in the six years we have had kids in their school. It is one of my favorite field trips. Thankfully the weather cooperated again.
This fall season was a bit unique because one week later I headed by myself to Chicago. I was home 36 hours and the husband left for Kiev, Ukraine for a week-long ministry trip.
I cannot remember the last time I saw the Midwest in October…probably since our last fall in Michigan in 2005. I loved seeing all the deciduous trees in full color.
My main purpose for the trip was to see my 90 year old grandma who recently moved to assisted living. I was grateful I could help my mom with the move as it was quite a bit of work. It was a treat seeing my siblings, their kids, cousins, and my aunt and uncle.
I took the Red Eye out there. I have had bad experiences flying Red Eyes such as not sleeping at all, muscle cramps in my legs (especially if I have been running long distances), and general fatigue which triggers out of control emotions. I was quite surprised I slept almost the whole entire flight from Seattle to Chicago. I woke up a few times, but I have never slept that much on a flight. I still felt messed up sleeping wise, but it did not affect the trip too terribly.
I thought I would come home and be overly exhausted and I have been known to not adjust well after trips. But I was fine. Even the week the husband was away, I did great taking care of the day care kids, keeping the house running, getting my kids to where they needed to be etc. You get on an autopilot mode and go.
We probably ate too much pizza, hot dogs, and ice cream among Halloween candy. It was a little weird celebrating Halloween without the husband. On Sunday we were all cranky and tired (some decided to nix the extra hour to sleep in courtesy of Daylights Savings and get up super early) and ready for the husband to come home.
Now we are all together again and it’s November. We have two birthdays to celebrate, a home bazaar to run, Thanksgiving, girl’s basketball games, and much more. There is always something to look forward to.
I have to remind myself that because November is typically when the rain, dark afternoons, wetness, etc hits Oregon. We do have pockets of sun and sometimes a few dry days in a row. For the most part it can be a hard time of year for those who crave outside air and sunny days. I try to get outside anyway even if it means running in the dark or worse getting drenched in the rain.