Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Back to school. . .

It's the end of January, which means back to school here in Oz.  It's been a very long, very wet summer.  With the weather being less than beach-worthy, we spent a lot of time at home.  We still swam, even in the rain (if you're wet, you might as well get wet) as long as there wasn't lightning.  There were a few moments when I thought my children were going to drive each other crazy, like those mice in that study where they put them in close proximity for too long and they eventually started killing each other.  So, I was very excited to have school start again.   It has been three days of school and I feel strangely lonely.  I miss my children.

Caleb started Prep (kindergarten.)  For the first time in 13 years, I am home alone.  Six hours of peace and quiet.  Please, do not ask me what I'm going to do with my time.  In case you didn't notice, there are still 24 hours in the day, and I still have meals to cook and laundry to do.  Sure, someday maybe I'll go back to teaching science, but for now, I'll just keep doing what I've been doing - without children.  Maybe I'll actually get something done for once.

So, there's an echo in the house.  I turned the TV on so that it wouldn't be so shockingly quiet here.

I love all of my children, but I'm particularly noticing Caleb's absence.   I've found that the best gifts are the ones you never ask for.  I think God knew we just needed him in our family.  He made it whole.  I already had 4 small children at home, my oldest being only 7 when Caleb was born.  Personal space and sleep were both in short supply.  So, when I heard a sister in Relief Society talking about how she missed waking up with her new born, and those quiet moments when it is just the two of you in a rocking chair, I thought she was crazy.  I swore I would never feel that way.  Caleb is the snuggliest child we've had yet.  I earned him.  He leans in.  He has been holding hands from the moment he could hold hands.  He practically pulled Shon's pinkie finger off from holding onto it constantly.  He would (and still does) walk up and take my hand and just rub it on his cheek or put it on top of his head.  Even now, when we tuck him in bed, he will call several times for us to come back and give him one more hug and kiss.  How could I say no to that?  So, I know what that lady in Relief Society was saying.  Now he is gone during the day, off playing with his "mates" and I miss his little hand.
Phone picture on the way into school.  Who is holding onto whom?  
Here's a blast from the past.  The kids 4 years ago.  


Sorry, I didn't mean to get all drippy and sentimental on y'all.

Back to school shopping is very different here than what I grew up with.  Really, I only have to buy a couple uniforms for each of the kids.  The kids haven't even grown out of their uniforms yet, so I only had to get new shoes and some socks.  Caleb needed a couple sets of his uniform, a hat, a backpack, a set of long socks, and some navy blue sandals.  Thank you, Keen, for making comfortable, cute, durable sandals that happen to come in navy blue!


Bryce goes to school a bit early, so he's on his own for his back to school photo.


I love uniforms.

8 comments:

Laura Beth said...

Those uniforms are priceless Juli! Your kids are going to look back and laugh when they are older wondering what the Australians were thinking making them wear those! I would love it too though if I had 5 kids going to school! Time flies. I still remember the last time I babysat for you guys when Sarah was just a baby. She was all about the cuddles that night and I loved just rocking her to keep her quiet and happy. You have cute kids. I sure do miss you guys.

Kimberly said...

I am so jealous of the uniforms even if they do cost as much as my kids entire wardrobes... At least laundry is simple and everything matches!

Emily said...

So cute! Love the pictures! Way to go Caleb!

Julie said...

I sure wish we had uniforms-- your kids look adorable in them, too! Your post gave me a pang in my heart and all my kids aren't in school yet! I think that I will have to turn on the TV, too:)

beck said...

Look at cute little Caleb! I like when he's standing with his sisters that he still has to be touching someone. I noticed that about him when I watched him for a bit (last summer?). He loves touch.

Juli said...

Beck, the flip side of loving touch is that if I were to spank him, it would REALLY hurt his feelings. Not that I would ever do that.

Kendra said...

Josh really misses his "friend" Caleb. They're a lot alike.

Liz said...

So sweet your little Caleb. It is bittersweet to have them all at school, isn't it? Enjoy your free time.