Coming off the break

Summer vacation as a teacher means sleeping in. It means a break from the hustle and bustle of setting lessons and grading papers.

For me, most of all, it means enjoying my children full time all day long.

Except when it doesn’t.

Beginning the first day of summer vacation, I said goodbye to my sunrise alarm. I no longer woke up early enough to walk the dogs and do morning yoga before the kids awoke and it was time to be Mama. Well, I figured I would just reallocate my time to the evening.

Except I’m not an evening meditator. I never have been. Ever.

I felt the drain this week. Yesterday, I felt the drain big time. Nothing was wrong, everyone was happy. Everyone was wonderful. Except I couldn’t shake this feeling of annoyance. Everything rubbed me the wrong way. The kids didn’t seem to notice…so I’m glad I hid it well! It culminated this morning with a feeling of fog that I couldn’t shake. I couldn’t think straight. I couldn’t get out of my own head.

Then I said the words aloud to Hubby. I think I need to go back to my sunrise alarm. I need to go back to my yoga and meditation every day.

Go meditate now, was his reply, and then start fresh again in the morning.

I can’t. Once I go upstairs, it’ll be fly your helicopter and play baby and do puzzles.

But that’s why there’s two of us…I still couldn’t get out of my fog, so I retreated to my altar, lit some cedarwood inscense, and went right to work. Within twenty minutes, the fog was gone.

Hubby popped his head in after a bit to check in and also to share the ridiculous hilarity that is our children’s imagination. I again, without thinking and without filter, said aloud, I went on vacation from taking care of myself and that’s stupid.

He chuckled and affirmed- quite stupid.

Being full time mama fills up my cup in many many ways. But I have many facets and I was neglecting one of them. Night time I use for purposeful Magick or divination, but true grounding meditation is best met for me in the early hours.

Slightly unrelated, I found a photo challenge app and I’m enjoy it a lot. Here is my idea of silence (one challenge) as well as my idea of calm and serenity (a second challenge).

That’s the cedarwood surrounded by Frigg prayer beads and vibrational cleansing bell from Box of Shadows.

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What they know…

Children are what they know. It’s nature.

My kids speak English because they’re parents speak English. They sing songs in Spanish because that’s what they learn in school. Witchlette recognizes me in a croud when I give her the I-LOVE-YOU sign, because that’s my second language.

And, so it seems, that any word or phrase with “guard” in it, for Witchling, gets an “As”.

When playing sword fighting, and adding fencing rules, the kids now start with “En garde… Allez!” Except Witchling hears, and so shouts, “Asgard… Allez!”

At a friend’s pool the other night, he noted all of the “Asgards” around. And he asked when the “Asgards” would blow their next break whistle.

Asgards, keeping everyone safe, one pool day at a time.

Talking about language

Language is one of the best evolutions of humanity.

Language is an amazing connection that bridges worlds together.

Language is awesome.

Every fucking word.

Now that we have kindergarten settled, and after school dance registration complete, I can think about other elementary school topics.

Both of my kids know the phrase “son if a bitch” thanks to Modern Family and, hilariously, Ant-Man.

The school Witchlette is going to is a K-8 school. My understanding is that the school is broken into three wings and the kids transition between wings every three years. K-2, 3-5, 6-8. I don’t think Witchlette is going to be around the middle school students much, if at all.

But she is going to be around order kids. And kids seem to be getting older every year.

And she’s going to hear some things that she doesn’t know, some words she’s never heard before. Some words she doesn’t have context to.

Last night, I laid the foundation for now and for years to come.

When you’re in big kid school, you’re going to hear some older kids say grown-up words. Like son of a not-biscuit.

You mean \whisper\ son of a bitch?

Yes. And other grown up words. I want you to know that if at any time at all you hear a word you don’t understand, you can come and ask me. Even if it’s a grown-up word. You can say it to me and we will talk about what it means. And if it’s a grown up word, you have to wait until you’re a grown-up to say it.

Ok.

Remember when I said precisely and you asked what it meant, and I told you?

Yes.

Well, you can ask me about words other people say, too. And we’ll talk about what they mean. Even grown-up words.

Mommy, what does /whisper/ son of a bitch/ mean?

Bitch is a word used to describe ladies in a not nice way. It’s a very insulting word for ladies. And by adding “son of a”, it’s insulting women and their sons. So it would be insulting to me and Witchling, Ms. K, C, and T, G and his mamas…

Daddy and Nana.

Right. And Daddy and Nana.

Why do people say it?

It’s become something that you say when you’re frustrated. But its meaning is insulting. That’s why we say biscuit. Biscuits are yummy and delicious foods and you can’t insult a biscuit.

And biscuits don’t have sons.

My ultimate hope is that last night I laid the foundation for the teenage years. For the mommy, I went to a party and now I’m buzzed and uncomfortable and please pick me up and please don’t be mad. I hope I have set up the continuous constant flow of communication that will keep her safe and whole for all her years to come.

Roses

My work roommate became ill this year. While she is certainly on the mend, to say it was an easy time would be an understatement.

To thank her cohort for their support, she crafted a vase for each of us. Mine sits on my front entry table, which is slowly being refined into the common-area family altar space.

After Witchlette’s dance recital, we got some roses and they have been sitting nicely for a little over a week. Just a few days ago, they started the really show signs of wilting.

The kids realized something beautiful happened to the felled petals when they were put in the stream of the oil diffuser.

Needless to say, felled rose petals became plucked rose petals and before I knew it, there were no more rose petals.

BUT

The Littles had a surprise for me waiting in my bedroom.

They used the rose petals, along with a few silk petals, to decorate my Frigg totem “because Allmother likes pretty things.”

I am so beyond blessed.

Observations

Yesterday, driving home from school, the kids and I passed an abandoned church. Witchlette saw it, and the cross sitting high above it, and the three of us had the following conversation:

W4: Mama, is that x a Jesus x?

M: yes it is

W4: why is it there

M: the people who follow Jesus as their god go to that church. They know it’s a Jesus church because of the cross on top.

W2: the star?

W4: no that’s an x for Jesus

W2: who’s Jesus?

W4: another god but not our god. What other gods are there?

M: lots and lots of God’s from lots of different places

W4: like who?

M: Thor, Odin, Frigg are all from Germany. I wonder if Ms. S (Pre-K teacher) holds Ganesha, Buddha, or Jesus as her god. Or maybe she doesn’t have a god.

W4: who’s Ganesha?

M: a god from India

W4: like Ms. S!

W2: I think her has a yellow Buddha like we have a blue Buddha

M: maybe

W2: who’s Jesus

W4: the x god

W2: I like Heimdall

W4: I like Skadi

“…so, I meditated…”

With parenting, most of what Hubby and I imbue on our children is a team effort. We share 99.99% of the same values and want our children to have them as well.

Typical parent stuff.

Be kind. Be respectful. Be patient. Be confident. Give effort. Have fun. Be silly. Embrace your smarts and use your powers for good.

The 00.01% where I differ from Hubby is with spirituality.

We are on the same page that we do not want our children brainwashed and indoctrinated into an organized religion. We are on the same page that we do not want our children exposed to Yahweh for as long as we can help it.

Hubby is on board for me raising our children as Pagan. They care for their environment. They have personal accountability. They believe in the old ways. They enjoy hearing stories of their ancestors. My kids also have been exposed to my yoga and meditation practice.

Yesterday, after school, Witchlette informed me that she was troubled by not being able to go to her preferred center during free play yesterday. She then went on and explained how, rather than get upset and frustrated, she sat down and meditated. “I didn’t get what I wanted and I was upset. But I didn’t want to cry, so I meditated.” Then, she went and read a book in the cozy corner.

I heart burst with love and pride from this little girl.

I must be doing something right.

Lastisms

Witchling is my last baby. And he’s not even a baby anymore 😭

This morning, I was having a bout of the lastisms. I have “baby fever” every so often, when I miss the teeny tiny snuggles that having a baby completely reliant of you entailed.

But I don’t miss anything else that comes with having a baby. At. All.

When Witchling bounds over to me and asks me in his super sweet big boy voice to scoop me up and snuggle him, my heart just melts.

This morning, we’re sitting at breakfast at our local donut and biscuit shop, when I start sharing with Hubby some of my lastisms. I’m between misting and crying, and Hubby jokes that I should hold onto these until Witchling is 12…or 30. Witchling then jumps up and declares potty, so Hubby takes him.

As if on cue, his lullaby, Everlong (Foo Fighters) begins playing on the radio in the shop. Witchling and Hubby emerge between the first and second verses and before the first refrain. Witchling realizes what song is playing, gives me the biggest hug, and sits with me, singing along to the rest of the song.

These moments. These are what matter.