September is a visual month in a way. A season of seeing things change. It can be a time of seeing something planted bear fruit.
So, one week in, here is what I see.
Our very full and busy summer left all 5 students ready to return to school with good attitudes and high hopes and real goals. Home work and study are being done matter of factly, without complaint and attitude. Work is being done with attention to detail and awareness of deadlines. I am breathing a small sigh of relief.
I know. Week one. It will change. But I have hope too. What if I spend my energy praising their efforts and rewarding their work?
Here and there over the summer we put some major efforts into changing some things around here. I am seeing the payoff. Organization and all that comes with it, are not a natural for me. I struggle to make it happen. Most of this around here I didn't think of. I just came along for the ride, but I am very happy I did.
We de-junked and de-cluttered a bunch. We created quiet rooms and a study area. There is a computer area for at least 2 to be able to work at once. The toys are all in one place. We made a TV room for lounging. Half the bedrooms got a make over. A third got some nice touches like a new desk, chair and lamp. By new, I mean picked out of someone's trash and re-styled by Chicklet, complete with chalkboard surface for easy homework figuring and side cork board for artwork and important notes.
The weekly heads up schedule is on the chalk board wall in the kitchen. I gave in and have started a central notebook to keep all the information for all the kids about their classrooms, friends, sports, activities and so on. I hope it helps me. We will see. I have a mini white board monthly calendar to help us meal plan. With football season, school and everything else, we are often eating dinner in shifts. Dinner lasted from 5 to 10 last night. Not unusual and not complaining at all. The trick is to keep it organized so that I don't stress when I'm needing to serve dinner for the 5th or 6th time in a night.
We assigned laundry days and set bed times. I started keeping a running shopping list on the fridge.
What I see from all of this is less stress and more "free" time. It is not easy getting it going. Getting organized and sorted and all that stuff is time consuming and tedious, especially when you've been wildly free in the other direction as I am.
In September I watch the land change. I love to see fall flowers and colored trees. It's my favorite season. The food is delicious. This is when lettuce smells like grass when you pull off a leaf. This is when tomatoes taste like sunshine. Squash. Mmm. What else is there to say? Burning leaves, back yard pit fires, getting out all your favorite sweatshirts, all seem perfect.
In September, when everyone goes back to their school routines, I go back to my words. My eyes get screen weary. My carpal tunnel arm aches. My brain wanders in the quiet hours and the stories take over the time.
That's what I see in September.