When Seasons Collide

One thing about Florida that I find a little off-putting, beside the bugs that are as big as my head, is the fact that we really don’t have 4 discernible seasons here.  Typically we have Mild, Hot, and Africa-Dear-God-I’m-Going-to-Die Hot.

We’re experiencing the Mild Season right now, which is probably my favorite.  We’ve spent a good deal of time in our front yard, trying to undo a good year or more worth of lawn neglect.  I find myself wandering the aisles of Home Depot, hoping above all hopes that I’ll run into the host of HGTV’s Yard Crashers.  Wherein I will throw myself prostrate at his feet and beg him to come home with me.

Hey, it worked with Fiddledaddy.

Anyhoo.

The passing of the seasons is foremost on my mind because of a Bible Study that just recently started for homeschool moms from our homeschool group.  We’re studying Sally Clarkson’s “Seasons of a Mother’s Heart”.  Our first meeting was last Thursday night, and I sat marveling at the 13 women that sat around the room with me.  We’re a diverse group of gals that all have a heart for homeschooling our children.  Some are homeschooling moms with babies, all the way up to moms of high school teenagers (cue scary music).

We’re able to watch Sally Clarkson on a DVD, as she hands out nuggets of wisdom, lessons learned, and encouragement.  This is the first Bible Study I’ve been actively involved in since I’ve had children. I had no idea how much I’ve missed studying God’s Word with other women.   And I could tell from the very first meeting that God’s hand truly was on me as He shoved gently guided me toward this study.

It comes as no surprise that as women, we set the tone for our households.  If I’m going down in a ball of flames, likely I’ll be taking the rest of my family along with me for the ride.  And that just never makes for a good day.

From what I have gathered about this study thus far, is that it is of paramount importance that I stop to enjoy the season of life that each of my children are in.  I was totally convicted about the number of times during the day that I’m too busy to stop and listen to a good knock knock joke, or too busy to read the latest in Backyardigan’s board books, or play a game of Princess Checkers with a certain worthy opponent with fiery strawberry blonde hair.

I know that in a blink of an eye, their childhood will be gone.  And I will give anything and everything to have one day back with them as children.

I’ll be honest with you, I have moments when I’m thinking BOARDING SCHOOL, NOW THERE’S A GOOD IDEA.  But at the end of the day when I’m tucking them into bed, praying with them, and nuzzling their neck, I wouldn’t trade these moments for anything.

I’m making it a point to slow down, try to find more ways to say “yes” to them, and savor this season.

One thing I’m reimplementing into our schedule is reading to my children just before bed.  Somewhere along the way I stopped doing that, and oh how we’ve all missed it.  What are some of your favorite ways to connect with your kids?

March 14, 2011

12 Responses to When Seasons Collide

  • Must be in the air…cause I’ve had similar feelings in the past few days. Only about my grandsons. The oldest of whom is turning 13 (ACK) later this month. Very hard to hold your children close enough to get every last drop out of the seasons…yet lightly enough to let them go.

  • I’m guilty of not stopping to enjoy my son as much as I should. Since I work while he’s at school my “free” time is when Charlie’s home from school so after snack and homework time I tend to head to my office. I really need to be better at managing my time and priorities.

    On the plus side, we rarely skip bedtime “stories” and I have started to incorporate night time devotional reading this year.

  • I’ve been convicted about this a lot lately. I’ve started filtering everything through my list of priorities: God first, my husband second, children third, then ministry/work/etc. And I’ve begun putting playtime on my daily schedule. It is too easy to be with my kids all the time without ever really BEING with them.

  • Hi, DeeDee! I am a several-months-reader of your blog. I LOVE this post. I am one of those moms who gets to look back with fond memories of our 3 sons’ homeschooling days and childhoods. Yes, I homeschooled all 3 of them K-12 and am happy to report that the youngest will graduate from college in May. All three are fine young men and I am extremely proud of them.
    One of their favorite bedtime rituals when all were young was to pile up on one bed, sing a few songs together, each tell our “favorite thing” about the day, and have our nightly prayer time.
    When they were older, each day after lunch, I would read a chapter or more to them from a book. It was a great “quiet time” that we all looked forward to!

  • The read aloud time is where we connect. Making sure that at least one meal a day involves all of us at the same table talking and laughing. We also travel together for soccer games and use the car time for hearing hearts. One of the main reasons we brought the boys home was because of the heart clenching thought when they were in third grade that time was short. Now they’re in seventh grade! My goodness, time is short!

  • Mine were both homeschooled in the UK.
    Things that really still echo with me are reading aloud every evening and not saying NO. When I say ‘not saying NO’, I dont mean EVER but even when they were babies,I always thought ‘is there a good reason to say NO’? and often I discovered there was not.. It really helped over the years ,stopped me becoming illogically controlling just for the sake of it. Let them have independence of thought.
    I have a ‘drop in the ocean’ philosophy..I mean,we are all very small and there are so many of us…why make a fuss about the little things? A broken cup or a grass stain..in the big scheme of things,those things are of no importance . Hugs and warm words and happy memories..they are the valuable things.

  • I try to find whatever works at the time. For many months we played scrabble every Friday night. I read to my children at night as long as they would let me–even into Jr. High. It was a great sharing experience. Lots of good discussions happen in the car, when they don’t have to make eye contact and they can’t escape.
    When my oldest went away to college I got text messaging. At first I hated the thought of it, but it has turned out to be a wonderful thing. Also, when my son went away to school he and his dad started e-mailing and talking on the phone–totally separate from me. After the very difficult pre-teen and teen years they found their way back to each other. Sometimes it is easier when it is not in person. My son has moved back home and they have remained close.

  • I work from home and my 7 & 5 yr olds are in public school. We’ve also got a 6 month old baby doing her very best to find her way around the house. I don’t sit down for a round of Crazy 8s as much as I’d like. And when I do, I think, “Why on earth don’t I do this more often?” I need to stop letting my 500 task list rule my day so much.

    So we like to play Crazy 8s or tic tac toe. My husband plays video games with the girls, and does the roughhousing (behind a closed door because MY WORD AT THE CONSTANT NEAR ACCIDENTS – I can’t watch!). Sometimes we get a ginormous puzzle and set up a card table. Right now we’re working on a 1,000 piece of The Last Supper. Good gracious it’s hard. But the older two like helping sort the pieces into color & pattern groups. We just leave the table up for however long it takes. It’s been up 2 weeks so far. Whenever we walk past it we try to stick a piece or two in.

    The 5 yr old LOVES to read long books. So she and I are reading Wizard of Oz, with a Little House book on deck. I finally let go of the idea that I needed to read to both of the older ones at the same time – the 7 yr old doesn’t want to do it. So it’s my special time with my middle child.

    Sometimes I get out all of my nail polish collection and provide manicures/pedicures for my girls. They get a footbath, clipped nails, and their choice of colors. Which is usually some sort of multi-colored pattern. I don’t argue, I just paint. Recently one of them got blue & red on alternating fingers, with silver dots.

  • I have really grown closer to my stepdaughter this year as we have started to homeschool. I have started reading with her every night. Sometimes I read to her, sometimes she reads to me. Daddy comes in and is the guest reader some nights (which is a treat b/c he is so theatrical). Our other thing we do is once a week we go to Perkins for her favorite French Toast Tower and we chat.

  • I could not have read this at a better time!! I just told my 7 year old son “no, I can’t play checkers with you I’m busy!!” Guess it’s time to go play some checkers!! Thanks for the reminder!!

  • Passing seasons is exactly what life is and with my baby just turning 20 and my oldest daughter expecting our first grandbaby, shew the seasons are short…..but when the girls were young they loved to put blankets over our table and make a cave/tent and we got under there and played and talked. One of our favorite things was to lay on a quilt and look up at the sky and see what animals the clouds formed. It was so remarkable what imaginations their minds held. We also connected while we were just driving in the car and singing our songs or making up songs; just silly songs…laughing and happy times that were wonderful moments of that season. I did not home school but hats off to you moms that do. God Bless you and your little ones !!

  • Okay … this is the third time in past day that I have ready something about slowing down. God, I’m starting to get the message. 🙂