We are nearing the end of the fall holiday season, Sukkot being the last big holiday until Chanukah, which is actually around the corner. Because the Hebrew calendar is on a lunar cycle and this year is a leap year, Chanukah is early, landing square on Thanksgiving. Fried turkey anyone? Just an idea!
We have been really enjoying the holidays this year. Last year we had just moved to Miami with a baby and we didn’t have many local connections. The weather was hot and we felt a bit adrift This year we were total champs about the hot weather, because it turns out that anyone, including a devoted Northerner like me, can get used to Florida, and we even have friends! During this years holidays we have mostly just been spending a lot of family bonding time. It is the first time I have really had a chance to reflect on the homeschooling experience so far, and to notice how it is affecting all of our relationships.
I find that Ben and Ella are significantly closer and more interested in each other. I think this is partly because Ella is getting older and more interesting and able to engage with Ben, and partly because they are together pretty much 24/7. It has been beautiful to watch them start to enjoy playing with each other independently. As Ben becomes more invested in his relationship with Ella he has also become less likely to bully her or be annoyed by her. He still gets frustrated when she does certain things like pull his hair and he is sometimes jealous when she nurses. Because we have so much more time together overall, I find that he is getting more engaged attention from me and is more satisfied in general. I feel proud of myself for being present and engaged more of the time. It can be a delicate balance, because when one of us is having a hard time we all struggle a bit and compensate for the stress by checking out or with other behaviors that create sort of a ripple effect of distance and frustration. There are definitely ups and downs, some days are easier than others. I also feel like we are all getting in the flow of our basic schedule, even with all the holidays, which brings a certain ease and comfort to everyone.
Before I sign off for another several day holiday break (the last days of Sukkot) I wanted to share a quick story and some photos from the past few days.
Scene: Last night I found a marker with no lid. Ben looked for the lid and couldn’t find it. It still hadn’t been found this morning.
Me: If you can’t find the lid to this marker you are going to have to throw it away.
Ben: (standing next to the garbage, talking to the marker) I’m so sorry…..I did my best…..See you…never again….Goodbye. I loved you….I love you marker. I’m sorry.
I was hysterical on the inside but I didn’t want him to think I was laughing at his moving farewell!