A Wedding, A Goodbye and The First Day of School

So we have had a busy ten days or so. On August 8th at 6 p.m. in a beautiful park close to their home, my daughter Emily was happily married to her fiancee Matt. It was a wonderful day weather-wise in the mid Atlantic and we were favored with no rain! We all had adjustments to make because of the Pandemic, of course. The food for after the ceremony was BYO. Everyone also brought a lawn chair and wore a mask. These slight deviations from normal life did not tamper in any way with the true joy we all experienced as we watched the two of them pledge their love and their lives to each other. It was easily the best day of 2020 for me and I am thrilled to have added another son to my family. I feel so blessed!

Betsy and our dog Rose in front of our house. Credit to Betsy for teaching me how to use wordpress!

On Saturday the 15th of August my daughter Betsy (who also writes her own blog, (check it

out at booksbackpacksandabassoon.wordpress.com) left for her junior year of college. She had been home with us since March when her school shut down for covid. It is incredibly difficult to send a kid off to college. It is heartbreaking to send a daughter like Betsy back . Betsy is truly an amazing person and I am not just saying this because I am her mother (well, maybe that does have something to do with it). She is a joy to have at home because she constantly thinks of others first. She helps around the house, is a fabulous cook, and is a wonderful listener. I will miss our daily chats and tea time! I am glad that she gets to at least start the school year up at college. She genuinely loves to learn and even though I will miss her terribly I am grateful that she gets to study in person at school.

Today was the first official day of school at our house! Kris and I were up EARLY this morning to start the 8th grade. We made it through all of our scheduled subjects without a hitch. The beginning of the school year is nice because the first few lessons have a lot of introductory material in them, so it doesn’t take as long as it soon will. Everything is fresh and new as we begin. I love this feeling and I am clinging to it because it will get harder and more time consuming quickly.

The end of homeschooling is a thousand times easier than the beginning. It is the gift of the long-time homeschooler to get to that last student. I am no longer juggling four grades worth of curriculum, a toddler and a baby! I don’t have to pick up toys, tie shoes or give people baths at the end of the day. This, in comparison to the early years, is easy street!

What I am struggling to deal with this year is the range of emotions that comes with having a family that is growing out (not up anymore). Just this week I experienced all the tender emotions of a family wedding (she is my first daughter to marry!), the melancholy feelings that come when someone moves away, and the bittersweet excitement that starting my last year of teaching at home has brought. I visited with both of my married sons’ families and enjoyed seeing my beautiful grandchildren (all 6 of them!) but I am still unable to hug them (for safety reasons during the pandemic) and I worry they will wonder why we can visit in their backyards but I cannot touch them. Life is just difficult to navigate these days.

So even though the intellectual strain is less for me this year, I feel like I am carrying way more emotional baggage around. This baggage slows me down and makes me distracted. It feels like it takes a little longer to accomplish everything. Maybe some of you feel the same way. I would love to hear how you are dealing with the extra challenges that growing families, homeschooling and covid 19 has thrown our way!

Cheers to new beginnings, good starts and stamina for the school year ahead!

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