The kids are out of school today, a teacher training day...already!
We all have Monday off - The Boss included. But today, it's just me and the kiddies.
Maddy has already started asking me what we are going to do today and to be honest - I am not sure. I thought they would enjoy a day at home without any school to go to and the opportunity to chill and do whatever they want. Apparently not.
I may ask them to help me haul out the fall decorations (and will fall to come)
Oklahoma is once again heating up right now and hitting triple digits every day and whilst we have had quite a mild summer by Okie standards - I am ready for jeans and boots and long sleeved tops again.
I found old pictures from Labor weekend past and these (from 6 years ago) made me smile. I remember how crazy life was back then, being 'on duty' night and day. Catching snippets of alone-time when in the bathroom or on the rare occasion that both children napped at the same time. Now is so different.
They sleep through the night.
They get themselves breakfast.
They enjoy their independence.
I no longer have nappies to change or naps to work around.
Choke-hazzard foods are long gone.
Showers are no longer rushed (or optional)
I expected it to be easier as they grew (and I can't deny that a good nights sleep makes most problems seem more do-able) but, on the whole - its just different and not necessarily easier. Yes they are more independent now but they are also open to so much more than just our four walls. External influences from school and friends, or something they catch on the TV or radio - all make parenting as tough as the younger days.
Maddy is a sensitive soul that picks up on everything she sees. I can't watch the news whilst she is around. The images she sees sink in and it takes weeks of asking questions for her to process the bad stuff.
So for the most part I try and protect her from it.
She hasn't seen anything of the MTV Music awards this week and the outrage that has hit very conservative Oklahoma. She has seen nothing of the heavy judgements that followed from people that we know, venting on Facebook.
But she probably has noticed that her Mama is a little sad, yet has no idea why.
The judgements make me sad, because they are everywhere.
They make me realize that we are far away from home. They remind me that I miss my family and friends and their unconditional love. They make me feel like an outsider here, destined never to completely fit in.
The judgements and intolerance make me feel like running away from the brand of Christianity that is being preached. That love is too often ignored in favour of judgement.
All of it makes me feel very alone.
Instead of just needing to shield my children from the dangers of 'the world' I spend so much time shielding them from the judgement, intolerances and realities of our world.
And it makes me sad.
So, this weekend - I will unplug from the TV and Facebook and shield my own heart. Hunker down with my family and enjoy catching up with family and friends back home. Make sure that those closest to me know they are loved and adored and no matter what happens or who they become, that will never change.