We have been re-involving ourselves within the home ed community here in Yorkshire, it comes with its own ups and downs and reminds me that whatever my issues and insecurities are its not about me or how I feel but about the children and their needs. So even when there are times when I'd rather be doing other things I have to see past my self and do what they need me too. Sounds so simple when I say that out loud but its not always quite so easy.
Several different things occurred to me today-all things that are probably face slappingly obvious but as the title of today's blog suggests-sometimes I am rubbish at seeing the wood for the trees..
This morning I woke up to sun streaming through the window (I am trying to wake up earlier at the moment and find I am waking before my alarm which is rather nice, I am also sleeping so much better for getting up at the same time each day), we were supposed to attend another HE meet up for the first time that a friend of mine organises but being indoors just felt wasted today in what could be the last of the sun for a good few days. So, something that is rare for hubby and I, we did something spontaneous! Bailey has been revising hard for his upcoming exams and hasn't been out with us much at all so I thought he could do with a break too.
Having wanted to pay a visit to the outdoor swimming pool at Hathersage in the Peak District for years, today we finally made it there. When we arrived it was quiet but our four were the only children there so we stuck out like sore thumbs. For the first 15 minutes or so the stares really annoyed me and I found myself staring back and feeling very self conscious of the children making too much noise/splashing etc. Before I realised something that I had told myself a while back-these people do not matter to me, I will never see them again, what matters is seeing my children enjoy themselves and be happy. The children or me will not look back in years to come and give a flying hoot what these people were thinking when they were staring at us they WILL however remember being in an outdoor pool in the middle of the Peak District on a sunny May day when the majority of kids their age were in school.
After I had given myself an invisible slap I really started to enjoy myself, the sun was out, the pool was warm, I was swimming lengths up an down with my hubby/best friend and my two funny girls and watching my two boys being silly in the water (neither of them actually do swimming!) and there was nothing I needed to worry about in that moment so I didn't, I just really enjoyed myself and the company of my husband and children.
Of late, and I do think this has affected my ability to blog, things have been more stressful than usual. Life with two teens, nearly three teens, a very energetic 10 year old, home educating, dealing with upcoming exams for the first time ever for Bailey, running a business, anxiety, hormones, housework, finances, family, friendships has been very overwhelming. I think if someone had offered me a home on the other side of the world I would have snapped their hands off-I could have just left it all behind (well not hubby and the kids obviously). I had forgotten what a day could feel like without arguments, door slamming, repeating myself a gazillion times, tension headaches, exhaustion etc, etc, etc.
BUT the last few days I have remembered what it feels like again to enjoy everyone's company and not dread the next argument. I feel more relaxed, less tense, exhausted and overwhelmed by everything.
We headed into Bakewell for ice creams by the River Wye and a game of American Football-which has become a daily activity in this house of late- we were silly, we laughed, the children were all loud and shouty and I didn't care who looked our way all I cared about was how much fun we were having as a family and what wonderful characters my children are turning into.
I noticed something else today, not for the first time, and that is the way in which people respond to children of different ages. I saw the cold stares when we entered the pool today and only 30 minutes later the same people coo over a small baby who entered the pool with her parents. Then in Bakewell I noticed the same thing, stares our way from lots of older people and the *melts* of those same people when they saw a toddler. Sadly, I know this is not just from strangers but within our own family too. I wonder if people realise that they are missing one of the best parts of children? The pre-teen and teen ages are so much fun, I love how they see the world, how they see things I miss, the ease of their company, their ever increasing confidence. Not that I didn't enjoy the other ages and stages because I have loved it all but what a shame everyone else seems to be overlooking it. How much fun and interesting conversations they are missing out on, time that isn't going to be repeated. How I feel so sorry for all these people and I glad I feel for myself that I seem to know something they don't.
I'm going to stop bogging myself down with the thoughts and feelings of people that don't matter to me, its draining my good energy, I am going to enjoy what I have right now.