When he was small, my youngest son had a habit of filling his pockets with treasures he encountered in his daily adventures. I didn't always understand the value he saw in his chosen objects -- really, how many rocks and sticks could one boy keep? In his eyes, though, each one was beautiful and important. Life is just like that on a larger scale, isn't it? We gather up the precious bits of our experiences and save them all to learn from and enjoy later. Perhaps you'll find a little something here that you'd like to keep in your own pockets. Thanks for visiting.

Friday, September 11, 2015

A new dance

We ended our summer with a collection of not-so-very fun things that needed to get done: orthodontic-related dental surgery for Noah, an appointment to have him fitted for orthotics for his shoes, and a thorough cleaning out of our garage, which has been our catch-all storage space over the almost nine years we've lived in this house and was starting to become a rather scary sight. It was as if I had subconsciously decided that I was going to march into a new school year with determination and purpose, rather than being pulled along into it reluctantly, as I'm entirely sure I would have been had I left myself too much time to sit and think on the last weekend of summer holidays.

The dental surgery went very well, Noah's feet are much happier now that he has proper support for them, and our garage has never looked tidier. It was certainly a productive Labour Day weekend; I also spent a day baking to stock the freezer with good (and good-for-them) snacks for the boys' lunch bags. And while I still felt a little reluctant about the end of a wonderful summer as the boys headed back to school earlier this week, now that we're all settling in nicely to a new reality, I'm starting to enjoy the return to routine and the promise that the month of September always suggests to me.

Things are different for us this year, with Noah being in high school full time now. He is up and gone from the house quite early in the mornings to catch a school bus; most days he is on his way out the door just as Will is getting ready to have breakfast. I thought I'd miss our usual habit of the three of us eating and chatting together while we shared stories and the morning paper, but the change in schedule has uncovered a new niceness: I have time in the morning with just Will, and then in the afternoon with just Noah as he arrives home quite a bit earlier than his brother. I appreciate the opportunity to talk one on one with each of them, to hear their thoughts and feelings and the interesting details of each of their lives in those particular moments, without anyone interrupting. It's as important to me as ever in these tween and teen years to connect with my boys regularly, letting them know that I'm here for them even as they find more of their own way in the world.

The boys are both really enjoying their new adventures this week. Noah has already found many things he likes about high school life, and is eager to start training with the school cross-country team next week. For Will, going back to school seems to have lit a fire of ideas and ambitions within him. I found him poring over stock advisor newsletters early this morning and wondering what time the stock market opened so he could check the status of the companies he had selected yesterday for their potential. (This is one of his own ideas for a math enrichment activity this year -- if anyone knows of a program or app that lets kids play the stock market for learning purposes, without actually investing money, I'd love to hear about it!) He's constantly got Rubik's type cubes in his hands that he's solving while walking around the house, and he often speaks to me in html code, all while eagerly awaiting the start of a new dance class season.

Life is a kind of dance itself, isn't it? We're learning new rhythms all the time, trying out different combinations, sometimes stumbling and getting back up, sometimes feeling as though our feet can fly. While we practice the new choreography in our family's life this month, and the boys delight in their next steps, it's a perfect time for me to think about my own aspirations for this year. I find myself eager to make something new and different happen, all while staying true to what I value and love. Here's to September, and the hope of fresh beginnings.

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