Don’t Blink!

Yesterday was my daughter’s 5th birthday. When her Mema (Grandma on her daddy’s side) called and asked her what she was doing and if she was in school now, she told her that we do school at home, and no, Mummy had not done school with her that day because it was her birthday. I explained that it was the family tradition, to take off birthdays from school. After all, we don’t have snow days. 😉

I marveled at this conversation because there was such pleasure in my daughter’s voice when she talked about doing school at home. Last year this time she was vehemently telling me she wanted to go to school, and did not want to do school at home with her big sister. As if it was the worst possible thing.

Nowadays we spend time in the mornings with her reading book, learning how to read, and coloring and circling large and small objects, tall and short. We do fun activities on the computer like identifying similar letters (of course, with letters that are often reversed, like p and q, b and d). She has a piano lesson with her sister, who shows her how to hold bubbles in her hands to get her little fingers properly curved over the keys, and we build buildings and watercraft with Legos.

As I grade Geometry work and quizzes, I marvel that the time that I spent with my older daughter, day in and day out, is coming to an end. Soon she will be in college, and her younger sister will take her place in our homeschool “classroom” (because we do school on the deck, on the grass, on the sofa, or even lying on our tummies in bed). The days of me writing newspaper and magazine articles alongside doing school with my older daughter have been replaced with ballroom and ballet lessons and visiting colleges and preparing transcripts. It is surreal, because as long as our days were, the years have seemed so short, and I feel like the last grains of sand are draining in the hourglass.

And yet, in the midst of the high school senior year busyness, there is this little one who wants me to teach her to read, and to write like I do, and who giggles and laughs and completely melts my heart. She will stand in the place my older is leaving, and truly, I think it is a wonder that I have been blessed with her, the one who will keep me from crying and feeling lost when her big sister is no longer here with us.

It is a crazy time, an exciting one, and I go to bed with lists of things that I need to do, deadlines, on my mind.

“Don’t blink.” – I have heard this so many times. The long days made me laugh at the statement sometimes. Now, more than ever, I understand.

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