Book Ends and Transition

We have a teen and a toddler creating the book ends in our family. I have been so behind in jotting down our family triumphs and tribulations in part because of the exciting journey of raising these two and of course everyone in between.
LuLu & James

This morning I woke up early to see James off. He is in Jr high now, seventh grade, and leaves an hour before the rest of the kids. He is self sufficient and we rarely get up with him but today I just wanted connection time. I made him waffles and hot cocoa and got to hear a bit about school, his week and winning the basketball championship in Duluth this past weekend. He gave me a big bear hug before he left. Almost the same size as mom and the doc said he has just started growing! He hugged me and said, "Thanks for everything mom, love you" and heads out into the cold morning to walk the couple blocks to his bus stop.

In a big family it is rare to have quiet one on one time, it is also rare to have mom wait on you. That said all the kids are so grateful and expressive with their love and it makes all the hard work it takes to raise a big brood doable for me.

This has been the best start to a school year we have ever had with our eldest, I think more responsibility and independence has made him think about what kind of man he wants to be (other than on the court, watch out he ain't pretty and his manners go out the door, just saying) and his role in the family.

The book ends continue to have an amazing bond. We had a rare date night (we have GOT to get back in the habit of getting out)! And James babysat the crew as usual. We got home and he was passed out next to Lucy with a barbie on his head and hand resting on LuLu's back as she slept. He has already said he will come home from whatever college he attends to see her play games or have school concerts, he visited her nursery school group, well all the kids did, before Lucy started.

LuLu at Children's Circle Waldorf 
The new house!

We have had a massive time of transition. The children all started new schools. Lucy a Waldorf nursery group, Daisy, Mark, Nate, Mickey, John and Annie a new neighborhood elementary and James the local Junior high. We also moved and are attempting to sell our old (lovely) home now. There are moments of stress and balance each day. The new school was the right choice for us and the children have made their way very gracefully and happily into the new friendships and classrooms. The new house gives us more family and personal space and makes daily tasks simply more manageable, like cooking and laundry.
Daisy is Thankful for her dolls
Halloween 2013
Nate & Mark celebrate being 9 & 8 with mama

As we move into this Thanksgiving week I am reminded to focus on the amazing gifts of each of our kids. How raising children is really raising people you want to hang out with for life, and to focus on the joy not on the stress as we kick off our holiday season.


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