February 19, 2010
Well it is still winter in Minnesota. Something about snow arriving in October and staying white until April is depressing. It starts to get to me right about now. If I walk outside it still looks like a winter wonderland. The snow is so high I need snow pants to walk across my yard and we are running out of room for places to shovel the snow too. Our mailman recently stopped delivering mail because our mailbox was not cleared out enough. I am ready for it to be done. At least it is warm, only 7 degrees tonight but it will reach nearly 20 tomorrow :)
This is an important time to have friends and to remind each other that yes homeschooling is worth it. Yes you like your life and do love your children and someday we will all be outside again and it will be better. Everyone is cooped up and growing weary of winter. The kids are picking at each other sometimes just for the sheer fun of it. Today while driving around town I seriously thought for a moment about just heading my car south and not stopping until I hit the beach and shoreline, which would take about a solid 24 hours of driving but you start to think that is worth it at some point :) I am still here wrapped in a warm afghan wearing a heavy wool Irish knit sweater unable to sleep.
Still for all my momentary complaints I truly love my life. I love my husband and my children and they love me. Today we brought Serona an orchid for his office and I thought about how blessed I am to have a wonderful husband. The kids and I went to the Mill City museum for just a few hours and I thought about how blessed we are to be able to just pop into a museum for the afternoon any time we want with our memberships and not living too far away. Ciaran had a group of boys over today and as they were having loudest burping contests and trekking wet snow through my house I thought about how blessed we are to have great boys for him to be friends with. Today while listening to Maria complain about doing her logic problems I thought how glad I was to be homeschooling her and have the freedom to add in a subject that she may not get at a traditional school. Tonight while tucking Sirah in listening to all the ways she comes up with to extend her bedtime when I am ready to be done I thought about how glad I am that I am home each night and able to tuck her in and read her a bedtime story. While working on my lesson plan late tonight for the class I teach tomorrow I thought about how much I love our coop and how glad I am that my kids are there and that I have the opportunity to work with some other students as well.
My mind runs from complaints to blessings in the same moments and that is truly what life is made up of challenging moments and the peaks that come along with them. It is easy for me to focus on the challenges in the long Minnesota winter when I am very ready to be done but it is so refreshing to think about all the many positives I have going on in my life right now. I need to keep that perspective right now. I have always been a fairly cynical person. I am not convinced I will ever be optimistic but I am learning to look for the positives that come alongside the challenges.
Today I was drinking a cup of coffee in this mug when I realized how unreasonable that really is for I never fill my coffee cup all the way. In fact today when "full" it was just above the pessimist line of half empty and I got to thinking that it is all about perspective from where you start and where you finish. Then I wondered why sunshine and green grass affect my perspective so differently than cold air and feet of white snow? Bloom where you are planted even if that means you freeze or lie dormant for a few months :) This New Yorker is learning to thrive in Minnesota. This mom is learning how to move from survive to thrive in the winter all while understanding more and more the title of Laura Ingalls Wilder's book "The Long Winter".
Soon I will have mud being trekked through the house, never ending rain and then the heat and bugs of summer. With that comes the beautiful flowers, hours of free time, bike riding, swimming outdoors and long nature walks in the park. So for those of you struggling with homeschooling at this time of year remember soon we will be scrambling to finish all those books. In the meantime I think I am going to read to my kids more, make them hot cocoa and tea, get in some more sledding and spend time in those books while they don't want to be outdoors so we can go outside when the thaw finally arrives.
I will leave you with this thought
Posted by Tenniel at 1:25 AM