Thursday, August 26, 2010

Pathways

All over the blogs and overheard here and there..
"Thank Heavens, school starts next week."

I never said or felt this..
I felt "oh no, the kids are going back to school."
I will miss them so much and will miss moments in their lives.
I was always parked in the afternoon lot 15 minutes earlier
than the other Moms to grab the closest spot,
and eagerly searched for those sweet faces coming up the path,
over the rise at the end of their days.
I had initiated a 2 question routine to garner every tidbit of their days.

"What is the best thing that happened today?" followed by
"What is the worst thing that happened today?"
a sure fire winner to get the kiddies talking.

Because I did not have a car when my kids were very young,
(an economic factor to enable me to stay home)
we spent 90% of our days at home playing,
and 10% walking to the market or the library.
I was very selective about quantity and quality of tv viewing.
Only select shows and I watched with them. (no moral or
religious reasoning, I just didn't want their
sweet little heads filled with junk)
Most of the day was spent building with massive
wooden block sets, Legos etc, creating tent cities
all over the house or crafting. No video games until Junior High
(and they still whine about how deprived they were).
We borrowed and bought hundreds upon hundreds of books.
We painted and drew on reams upon reams of paper,
and should have owned stock in Crayola.
No pushing in any direction from their folks,
we just provided all the supplies to stir the imagination,
and waited to see where the paths led.

It didn't hurt that Daddy was an artist, and Mommy read
about ten books a week and crafted in between.
With all the hours of building I believed
Ben might be headed to engineering.
For about seven years we were convinced it would be music,
after the renting of five different instruments and lessons.
Hannah spun and twirled, would she be a dancer?
A physician was a possibility
as she spent hours "doctoring" her dolls and pets.

The blessing for me; I was there at home watching it unfold every day;
seeing the light in their eyes as they discovered and created
and yelled, " Mama, look at this!" I do know it was a blessing.
We bought a very inexpensive home, shared a car,
stuck to a very tight budget, and vacationed only at relatives homes
for many, many years. I cleaned houses where I could take
the baby with me and he/she napped while I scrubbed.
It was no less a word than Heaven.

Dearest Son taught himself to read and entered kindergarten
reading at about a fourth grade level, he is a writer today.
Darling Daughter won the first painting contest in Kindergarten,
she is an artist today.

They've chosen wonderful paths. Mom and Dad are very proud.

Suzan




18 comments:

erin said...

oh honey, i am right there with you...i HATED when the kids went back to school and i always got (and still do get) a nervous tummy when fall comes and school starts. i loved being a stay at home mommy! we only had one car too and i loved learning with and playing with the kids. my grown daughter longs to be a stay at home mommy like me. my biggest compliment...
sweet thoughts here, dear Z.

Jacqueline said...

Like you Suzan, I was fortunate enough to be at home for most of my kids growing-up years. A short stint when mortgage rates zoomed above 20% in the 80s sent me back to the office, but as soon as we could afford to live on one salary again, I stayed home.
I feel privileged to have been able to do this. I like to think it has made the girls and I really close, but perhaps that would have happened anyway.

Razmataz said...

Suzan, I loved being home with my kids too, and hated back to school. Summers home with the kids were magical.

Lovely that they are both in artistic careers......like their mama.

Kit said...

What a wonderful blog! I too was a stay at home Mom and I loved it. The best job I ever had was being a Mom. I count some of the best times we had were making hats out of paper plates and baking cookies. When your kids tell you they had the perfect childhood, I consider myself a success. Kit

Michelle May said...

Bravo girlfriend! Bravo! I don't have children, but I am an auntie and my sister is a mother like you. I see how incredible their lives are and I know how great they will be as they are so great now. Cheers to your kiddo's for all they have become. Cheers to you for knowing how to enjoy the journey. ;)
xx, shell and sugie bunny

Julie@beingRUBY said...

Hey Suzan
Well not having kids I can;t really say how I would feel... but sounds like you gave your kids a lovely home.. and great start in life.. and that's why they so enjoy coming back now!!

Have a wonderful day.. you must be getting sad that your big kid is about to go back to school.. xxx Julie

Olive Cooper said...

Suzan, what a wonderful Mom you are. I was also all about reading and CC did not know what a video was and still cares nothing for them and she is all the better for it. They are our magnum opus. hugs♥olive

Bead and Needle said...

Our kids were raised the same way, Z...and I find myself getting "depressed" when they start running the back to school ads!

Carole~Maynard Greenhouse said...

Julie and I not having kiddos but still love reading about the joy they have brought you.
It must be so great to have witnessed their budding talents so young in life.

Such a great post Z

xx
Carole

Anne Marie said...

Suzan - it sounds like you are describing our life! (minus the tv though)

I can relate so much to this post!!

xo+blessings,
Anne Marie
(p.s. thanks for you well wishes today on the baby - it meant a lot)

jojo said...

I can't believe how much alike we were/are as parents. I asked my kids the same exact questions every evening at the dinner table, we had some great discussions! We also had dinner together every.nite.
I was always so sad when school started back up because that meant my crazy, lazy fun-filled summer days with them were over. I never had so much fun in my life as I did growing up with my kids ;p

Theresa said...

Oh I just know if we hung out together we would just talk and talk. I had recently started cleaning a couple of houses, so I could do it while the kids were in school. Now the part time job I have is for when they are at school. It is at our cleaners/laundrymat/tuxedo rental in town. that's right all three under one roof... small town america! It's not glamorous, it's a job, but it was available and I can make sure I am home when I need to be. I take my other and more important job seriously. I AM A MOM. I love my kids so much, I don't want to miss a thing. Every job I ever had after I became a mom was either in the house, babysitting, or at their school, reading aide.
I always wanted to be here when they came in the door from school because that's when they will talk about the day. That's when it's fresh and they want to share.
O.k. this has gone on too long, all I really wanted to say is simply "I'm right there with you!"
And don't even get me started about how I feel when they move out... Theresa xoxo

Sue (Someone's Mom) said...

What a wonderful post. I was lucky enough to be home when my kids were young too. It is a time I treasure. I always hated it when summer came to an end. I still do really...I love the sound of kids playing outside, even if they aren't mine!

sandy said...

How wonderful that you made the decision to be a stay-at-home mom. I did that also though I worked when they were older as an RN four days a month ( evenings only ) but then my husband could be with the children while I worked. But my VERY FAVORITE job was being a MOM! We made some financial sacrifices also but it was all worth it! My kids have great memories of growing up! I feel blessed to have been able to do that. And now my VERY FAVORITE JOB is being Gramma! So I can do it all over again! Now I'm making great memories with my grandchildren and I'm LOVIN' IT!

Pooch Morning Glory said...

i like this alot. we led unstructured lives with me a single mom. we were not fans of back to school.
my son is a diesel mechanic, oldest daughter going to teachers college this year, youngest daughter 2nd year university for fine arts. she also wants to teach.
great post suzan
~laura x

Nice and Easy Antiques said...

I always hated the going back to school thing, still do. Even now that my son finished his first year of college and my daughter is starting his senior HS year. I have always been here and I'm happy they are excited about moving with us and sharing the next stage of our lives. How lucky am I??? Very!!!

June said...

Z is it possible for us to have a do over and I can pick you to be my mom? You gave your children all of you and that is something that you just don't see too much of these days. I am not at all surprised to see that they have grown to be such wonderful and accomplished people. They are so blessed to have you in their life.
I adored being a stay at home mom too, and yes, it was so hard to send them back to school every Fall.
thank you so much for the amazing words you left for me today.
hugs

marcia @Child in Harmony said...

Lucky children to have a mom like you. I feel sad when I hear comments of people wishing their children in school or away.
Spending time with them you get to really know them as people.. the wonderful, smart, loving and capable beings they are.
My 4 older children went to school and i have been blessed that my two youngest haven't been to school at all...well until this year that is, my son at 14 wanted to try high school. My daughter is 12.
It has been the most marvelous journey living and learning and spending TIME together and having a special closeness that we will always treasure.

happy day!