Tuesday, June 15, 2010

I do a lot for them

As a working mother, we are always under the gun to get out of the house.  I have always found it easier to do things for the children as opposed to letting them do it for themselves.  But since we took our personal finance course where we discussed and learned that the kids need to work for money, we are working on changing that. We do not give them allowance; they have to perform work in order to receive money. Just like their father and I work for our money. Simple concept really, but I still sometimes have trouble executing. They are all old enough for responsibility; perhaps Ollie isn’t as much as the older two. But this weekend, albeit frustrating for me, we got a lot done.

When travelling for work, during the teaching season, it is a stress on my family. Jer leaves for work at about 6:30 a.m. Merri’s bus doesn’t come until 8:15 a.m.. So we enlist the help of our friends and our babysitter. Jer drops Merri off at a friend’s house and she takes the bus to school with her, the boys get dropped off at our babysitter’s house. This week Will is missing his last two days of school, although his end of the school year celebration was last Friday, I am thankful for that, assuaging my mother’s guilt.

Jeremy worked all weekend long and while he was working, I set about organizing things so his week wouldn’t be so stressful. I cleared out the breezeway and put winter clothes away, donated seven bags of clothes to Good Will and got the back door cleared for use. All the while the kids played in my car. They pretended it was a limo and Merri was a movie star, with sunglasses, of course. Then we relaxed, ordered dinner and watched a movie.

On Sunday, we organized the laundry. They each made piles of their clothes, then they made piles of like clothes, after that was all done, we began to fold. The real responsibility came when they had to pick out four outfits, one for each of the days I am going to be away. Then Merri wrote on pieces of paper the days of the week so that each of them knew where their clothes were.

We told them Sunday night how the mornings were going to go. Jeremy would wake them up early, they were to come down stairs and go into the breezeway and collect their outfit for the day. Then each of them would get dressed, by themselves. A feat we have yet to master, by the way! And then they would brush their teeth and adorn their socks and shoes.

So Monday morning, it was go time. Ollie, of course, had come into our bed in the middle of the night and was quite restless, getting up early for him was a little more difficult. Merri awoke exclaiming that she felt as though she had just gone to sleep and proceeded to lie on the couch. I followed Jer downstairs, while he carried Ollie down, I headed to the freezer to grab the ice pack for Merri’s lunch. While I was putting her lunch bag into her backpack, I saw him. I hadn’t seen him up until this point.

Will emerged from the breezeway with his Monday outfit in his hands. He marched into the living room, then realized he wanted privacy and headed into the bathroom. While I was assisting Merri, Will appeared, fully dressed with his shirt tucked in. He proclaimed that he needed his belt and set about getting it for himself. He slipped it through his belt loops, buckled it up, grabbed socks and put his shoes on. He was the first one dressed with teeth brushed.

With all of his little idiosyncratic rituals, he has a quality that warms the hearts of all who love him. His thoughtfulness and intentions are genuine, more genuine that the average 5 year old, I suspect. He is not compelled to do these things for any adoration, although he does receive it, he is compelled by his mind. It is wonderful to see the whirring of his mind and I am excited to see how he will continue to grow. But more than anything, I am the luckiest mother in the world, that this charge was seen fit to be bestowed upon me.

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