Life always changes, it never stays the same. Some changes are small and insignificant, others are life changing.
Today, our world was forever changed. It was rocked and shaken to the core.
This morning the phone rang. I answered it and my world changed. My sister-in-law was telling me that my father-in-law had suddenly passed away. To say I was shocked would not even be adequate!
My father-in-law was that only on paper. He was always “Dad” to me. He accepted me unquestioningly as another one of his children, from the very first time we met. He will forever be “Dad”. I was blessed with an absolutely amazing birth father, but I was also blessed with an irreplaceable dad who chose to love me, his son’s wife, as if I were his own child.
Dad had a smile that lit up the room! He may have tried to put on a rough exterior, but anyone who knew him knew he had a huge heart of gold!
My children were his first grandkids, and my daughters were his chance to have a little girl! He loved his grandkids. He spoiled them. He always had treats for them! He took the kids fishing when they were younger and they loved it!
Anytime we had car trouble, which wasn’t infrequent…the first person Jason would call for advice was Dad. Dad could figure a way to fix pretty much anything mechanical I think! Although I wouldn’t say that it was always done “by the book”. Sometimes it was pretty creative, but it usually worked!
Dad had this crazy soft spot for their dog Babe too! That dog was spoiled rotten! His love was poured abundantly on her and she sure never complained about it!
Dad was wise and caring and always eager to talk about the grand kids! Even this weekend when Jason asked him about some art on the fridge from the younger grandkids, dad’s face lit up and he just couldn’t say enough great things about the 2 grandsons who had given it to them!
I will forever miss Dad! I already miss his smile and big strong hugs…and I just saw him 3 days ago!
Better late than never….
This year has been an eventful one!
(Kieran is missing from this picture)
It has seen our children grow and mature. It has seen new schools and new friends.
Kieran is 16 and grade 11. Katarina is 14 and grade 9. Karyssa is very very soon 12 and 7th grade. Kianna is 9 and 4th grade and Keilan is 7 and 2nd grade.
Kieran is eager to complete high school and is a working man now. He works at Cineplex and quite likes it.
Katarina is enjoying the last of her time in Jr High and is gearing up for High School. She will be going to a different High School than her brother. She is eager to take IB classes.
Karyssa has made the transition well to Jr High. She has many friends and loves her new school. She has joined Katarina in playing percussion in band.
Kianna is going strong in her school. She is unexpectedly the last one left at her school from our family. I wasn’t sure how she would take that. But she loves it. From now on, she will be alone in all her schools. No older siblings to help her or bug her. She is our funny girl. She keeps us laughing at the most unexpected times!
Keilan has struggled greatly this year. We have finally pulled him home for school. The funny thing is, he is super smart. Just super distracted. So he’s already learned more science and social studies and spelling and cursive and storytelling in a week at home than he has learned all year in school.
It is an adjustment for me to give up any free time I may have had so that I can teach him. But it’s worth it! I have to find a new way to balance house work and exercise and teaching time and work. But I’m confident with a bit of time keilan and I will be able to find a routine that finds balance for us both.
Jason is working like crazy. This economy has definitely affected his work. His work is in some ways busier than ever as he’s doing the job of previously 4 people. In January it should be down to 2 or 3. But it is always day to day if the company is going to survive. It is more stressful on him than me.
It has been a good year. We’ve had our ups and downs. But more ups than downs. We are looking forward to 2016 and all the new and exciting things it will bring!
Merry Christmas everyone!
May Christmas be full of remembering Christ’s birth and not be overshadowed with commercialism. May you each get the opportunity to experience the immense blessings that come with giving!
Last spring my son’s teacher wrote on her evaluation of him for his ADHD that he was anxious.
Our psychologist asked us about it. Jason and I both were like…she’s totally off on this one. Not sure where she got that idea from.
Yesterday I was given a book to read.
And my friend and I discussed some theories about children with explosive tempers actually be extremely sensitive and sometimes quite anxious.
Our son is actually both. I’d never looked at his behaviour from the perspective that he’d put up a coping self defence wall and that I needed to take that down and examine his behaviour without it….from the other side of the wall.
After reading this book I am totally convinced that 2 of my kids are quite anxious.
Last night I had the chance to have a deep talk with my son. We talked about his emotions s and feelings and I used words from the anxious book. And a light bulb went on. His face lit up. Between our morning conversations and evening ones I believe we made great strides yesterday.
Not that he will have less melt downs but at least he feels understood and not alone. And we are learning his language!
I stood cleaning my bathroom, totally annoyed that a child was still showering in the other one. It was after shower hours. And this meant it was eating into MY schedule.
Then, I thought of a lovely mother across town. Tonight she would throw a party to have her son showering too late. Her son had brain cancer. Her son fought and won that battle. BUT it came back.
So, tonight she cannot get annoyed at him or frustrated or happy. Tonight her heart is broken. She has spent everyday of the last few months knowing his last day was soon. Far too soon. And dreading it.
Tonight my son sits upstairs not sure what to do with his own grief.
And I’m annoyed at a shower.
Time to re-prioritize. What if that mother was me….I don’t want to spend my time being annoyed at my kid….I don’t want to waste my precious moments in those feelings.
So, I took a deep breath and let it go. I shed some more tears for the bright, happy, cheerful, athletic, polite young man that we used to carpool with to volleyball and that came to my son’s birthday parties….and I thank God for the time I have right now with my son and my other children….
Today we made the very difficult decision to change schools for Keilan.
I had thought that we would be home-schooling. I had thought that our options for his unexpected behaviour were few.
As it turns out…we have an option we never knew existed. He will be in a program called “Starting Points.” They have 6 classes around the city and each class is 6 to 8 kids. He is child 8 in his class.
We thought we had no options in the Catholic system because we weren’t Catholic. For years we have loved our schools, but didn’t know we as non Catholics had choices too. We’ve felt like the tolerated cousin.
This week we have felt loved and cared for. We have seen our son’s needs being addressed and it has lifted our spirits.
This program is everything we have been trying to do for him. They start everyday with activity. They have a climbing wall in his classroom. He will slowly be integrated into a regular grade 2 class. I wish that class was smaller. It’s 29…he makes 30. But he will have his needs met here. His class has a teacher and aid and woods home worker in it. For 8 kids!
So tomorrow we go officially make him a student here. And then probably the next day he’s back to school. He’s been at school 7.5 days so far this year. After tomorrow he’s missed 7.5.
Although we’ve been working hard at home on other things…it’s time to get him back in school. We’ve been working through his curriculum called Zones of Regulation about learning and managing your emotions. And beat of all this class uses this too. It’s all over the classroom.
So I’m still sad about his changing schools and leaving French immersion (at least for now…grade 7 he could return) it is clear to me this is where he needs to be!
Today marks yet another milestone in our lives.
Our kids are growing up. Today is the first day of: grade 2, grade 4, grade 7, grade 9 and grade 11.
This morning went off without a hitch…or meltdown. At least for the youngest 2 who ride the school bus with me!
Our son, who struggles the most with mornings…did fantastic today!
We made sure absolutely everything was ready for him. His clothes chosen last night and laid out. His lunch made last night. His school supplies all ready to grab and go.
We have tag teamed calmly talking him through the morning. And for once, no melt downs. He met his teacher on Friday and now is excited to go to her class. We hoped that by allowing him to premake his morning decisions we would avoid his delays and long decision making. And for today anyways, it worked.
Kianna, despite her severe lack of sleep….managed to be happy and helpful this morning. And she was ready to go with time to spare!
Our oldest gets to sleep in. He doesn’t go to the high school until after lunch. As for our jr high daughters. …still sleeping. That’s Jason’s department. He always drives on the first day of jr high. So katie gets a ride with karyssa today.
Karyssa is excited and nervous. But I know she will thrive in jr high. She is just ready. Ready for more kids and more friends and more experiences!
Katie wants to see her friends again. She had always thrived at school and that won’t change this year. In fact she wants to try out for more sports teams his year!
So, here’s to a new year!