I wrote this during the school year and it didn’t get posted.
Beth’s last day of school is tomorrow. She has a month at an internship and then she graduates. We made it!!! Wooooo hooooo!!! We made it! It is such a relief. This is the time that I have been praying for for a long time. The road was bumpy from the very beginning. I never thought that we would get William out of kindergarten. We didn’t realize that he had attention deficit and needed a lot of extra help. It was a really long year of conferences with the teacher and principal before we got him settled into school. He has now been out of high school for at least five years and has had some college. He is working in a factory and wants to go back to school to be able to get a different job.
Maggie refused to do anything when she was little. She refused to talk, scoot, crawl, play with her toys… I could go on and on. She would just sit wherever I put her. She was very happy not doing anything. When she finished a bottle she would hold it up and grunt…I would fill it because I knew that that is what she wanted. Sometimes she would slip up and say a word. Then she would look very embarrassed and look around like she was saying…you didn’t hear me say that.
When Beth was born about a year after Maggie, Maggie tried to get Beth to grunt and not talk. Beth said no I will talk. So Maggie said all right I can talk too. Beth wanted to run as soon as she was born. She came to me at the age of four. I had just told William that if he took care of more responsibilities he could have more privileges. William wasn’t interested. Beth was. She wanted to know what responsibilities she needed to take to be allowed to work at the mall…she was four…she was so determined. Her fists clenched, she could see herself working there. Maggie was standing behind her, I am guessing for moral support because Maggie didn’t want a job, Maggie didn’t even want to talk. I explained to Beth that she couldn’t get a job, she was too young. I didn’t want to say that it was because she couldn’t read, I was worried that she might want to learn to read that week, then I wouldn’t have an excuse. Maybe she could go and play with her dollies for a while. She said OK. Maggie looked relieved.
Now we are in a totally new area, no more high school classes, dress code, Valentines day parties, chaperoning dances, driving the kids and all of their friends around. They were good years. One of the best things that we did was to stay in church. I always told them that as long as they lived at home they needed to go to church on Sunday. Keeping us there has strengthened us in our spirit. It has given us good Christian friends. We also had dinner at the dining room table every night…well almost every night…with no TV on or electronic devices. We did spend a lot of the meals disagreeing with each other, but that face time together helped us to grow as a family.
I read with the kids about four nights a week as they were growing up. Two of the kids were behind in their reading level so the teachers all said to read together. I read with all three of them. They all did catch up. When they were young I read to them. When they got older we both read. I read with each one separately for about twenty minutes, four nights a week. First I read from the Bible. When they were little we used the Toddler Bible. It has one big picture and few words on each page. And a question, like Who was in the garden of Eden. A lot of the questions I knew the answer , but some I didn’t. There was no answer page. When they got older we used the Bedtime Bible. It had a small picture on each page and then a paragraph. And a question or two. We went to the high school Bible when they got to high school. Then, after reading from the Bible each night, we read a book together. I had a separate book for each of the kids. Then they couldn’t tell each other what was going to happen next if one got ahead of the other. And they couldn’t tease the one that was behind. One of us would read a page, then I asked a question about what was read, then the other one would read the next page, and I would ask questions. The teachers said to do this to help the kids to start to be able to understand what was on each page.
We volunteered at church some. I took a lot of pictures of the kids. One thing that I wish that I had done was to tape record them. There is still time. When they all move out I will probably listen to the tape of their voices a lot. The best thing that I told the kids as they were growing up was that I would love them forever, no matter what they did or who they became. My love was not dependent on their actions. They have all of my love forever. I may be really upset at times about things that they are doing and talk to them endlessly about why I feel that they are wrong, but they will still always have my love. It made them feel very secure. I got this from a Sunday school class.
We did have a lot of crazy times, busy times, times when we didn’t get along and everything fell apart and good times.
I like to only write about the good times. This blog is my place where only good happens. It is safe and quiet, I know that you loose a lot of flavor because the disagreements, fights, train wrecks etc. don’t ever get talked about. But for me it is nice to have one place where everything is running smoothly. So, yes, even though I didn’t write about the times when we didn’t get along or when everything fell apart, they were there too. It definitely wasn’t all good, but we made it through and we all had a great time getting here.