Janey is off to a good start to the school year. That makes me happy, although I do always keep in mind that the start of almost every school year has been good for Janey. She loves being in school. I think she hates the summer and the lack of structure almost as much as I do. But that being said, every year it is a wonderful relief that her love of school still holds, and a tribute to the teachers and staff and students that make school enjoyable for her.
This year she is going to afterschool every day. That was a hard decision for me, but I'm not sure why. I kept thinking a GOOD mother would not put her child in afterschool unless she absolutely had to, or if she did, it wouldn't be every day. However, what I wasn't thinking about is that a good mother also takes into consideration what makes her child happy. Janey did not like it last year having an inconsistent afterschool schedule, and she never liked the 2 hours before Tony got home on the days she had no afterschool. When I pick her up this year, she is always extremely happy. The principal helped me get over my final worries, by saying "Look how happy she is! This is where she should be after school, if she's that happy!" That helped a lot. It's all part of the process, realizing that Janey is not my other kids. She needs more people, more support, more activities than I can always realistically provide at home, with the other duties I have. So she is happy, and I am happy, getting more work done than usual.
I'm noticing the one time she does fall apart now is right before bedtime. When she gets tired, like almost everyone, she has trouble holding it together. I am starting, when that fussy time hits, just quitting all else and lying down with her, and singing and talking and just spending some alone time with her. Often, she drifts off after a while of that, but if she doesn't, she's at least calmer.
The other day, after a grocery store trip, a Beatles song kept running through my head, the lyrics that say "I have to admit it's getting better,a little better all the time" It isn't always, but that trip made me see how far she has come. Once we got in the store, I barely held her hand. She stayed with me, and the few times she got a little further than I liked, she came right back when I said to. She picked out a few things she wanted from the shelves (mainly BBQ chips in 2 different sizes) and she hummed to herself and was very cheerful. When we got to the car, she wanted her chips, but I told her they were for after school (this was before school) and she accepted what I said without a tantrum. I didn't feel drained or out of it after the trip. I am sure people looked at Janey, and wondered what was up with her, but I really didn't notice or care. It's not just her who is progressing, it's me, too.
And so a cheery post for once. The fall is my favorite time. It feels like a return to regular life after the summer. It always gives me hope, as the spring seems to give other people hope. Janey is growing up, little by little.