Tag Archives: missing my kids

Home Again…

home again, jiggity700-milejig.

Please extend a warm welcome-back to Aidan, who turned 14 on the 15th (and is excited about his “golden” next year):

and Nigel, who acquired a hand-me-down laptop and iPhone this summer:

I don’t even have an iPhone, but anyway, my boys are back, and I am complete again. I remember a few summers ago when I was lamenting to an acquaintance of mine (who did not have children) about how much I missed them. He said, “If you miss them so much now, how are you going to manage when they go to college?!” I bristled and tried to be diplomatic when I pointed out that they’re supposed to go to college when they finish high school, not preschool, as Aidan had the first summer he spent away from me. Leaving home is “supposed” to happen when they’re eighteen or nineteen, not when they’re five. It’s not supposed to be like this, I would moan every summer. They’re so little! They’re supposed to be with me now. But that’s not how it happened for us. I’ve had to get used to not seeing my children for several weeks at a time, since they were very young. Sometimes it’s been outright surreal, year after year. I would liken it to how it might be if I were in the military, but I have no experience in that area, so that’s merely speculation. I do know that these last nine summers have been yet another lesson for me in letting go, in trusting, and in being open to something outside the typical parenting experience.

In any case, we are now in the midst of the end-of-summer shuffle: the filling out of registration papers and standing in line to turn them in and pay fees, the scheduling of IEP meetings, the inventorying of past school supplies and the shopping for what’s needed, the getting back in touch with friends, therapists, and teachers to let them know what happened, or rather what didn’t. But it’s good to have them home. It’s good to know that they’ll be comfortable when they start school in less than two weeks. It’s good to have things settled. It’s all good.

And for the record, I’m still going to miss them when they go away to college. But oh, when and if that day comes, I will be one proud mom.

Of course, I already am.

End of an Era

With the school year ending, it’s time for me to hang up one of my hats – for good. For the past year and a half, I have been homeschooling Nigel, and in September he will attend the high school for a full day, so I will no longer be his academic teacher. When he started back at the middle school in March, it was only part-time, so I continued to homeschool him for language arts and social science. He made some amazing progress in those areas, writing a total of five essays, including a comparative analysis of Ancient Greek and Roman cultures. His case manager at the middle school was so impressed that she took a copy of that essay to give to his future teachers at the high school. I’ll have to make sure they realize how much of an effort it was for him to complete that; it took him weeks to write it. They need to be aware of that before they expect him to produce more work – or at a faster pace – than he is capable of doing.

At any rate, come September my academic responsibility will be limited to helping him with assignments and encouraging his organizational skills. I will no longer be designing his curriculum, preparing lesson plans, or teaching the material. It was doable in middle school, even though it took me a while to get used to the idea, but I don’t think I could do it for high school. I mean, I consider myself to be fairly intelligent, but there’s a lot of high school knowledge that I would need to relearn in order to teach it to my son. It would take quite a bit of effort and time, and as a single parent of two, I’m in short supply of those items. I also had to radically reduce my work hours so that I could homeschool Nigel for the amount of time that I did; as a result, my bank account is in sorry shape. So continuing to homeschool is really not an option, and I’m glad that Nigel no longer needs it. We’re both looking forward to his return to full-time regular school, for many reasons.

But there’s something else that happens at the end of every school year, and has for the past eight years: Nigel and Aidan go visit their dad in Los Angeles for several weeks. LA is nearly 700 miles away from us; it’s a long drive. And another world away. They get a taste of big-city life, get to bodysurf on warm beaches, and Nigel gets to go to the day camp for autistic kids. These are all things they get to do that they can’t do at home in southern Oregon, and I am glad that they have the opportunity.  I’m also glad they get to spend time with their dad, whom they miss so much during the school year. But I miss them while they’re gone every summer. It’s just consuming, this missing. It’s not like when they’re gone for a week at Spring Break. One week is nothing. But seven, eight, is a daunting expanse that cannot be filled. Maybe I’m being melodramatic – I mean, after all, we go through this every year. But it never gets easier. I walk down the hall and see their empty rooms. I can’t watch a movie or eat ice cream without thinking of them and missing them. True, I’m keeping busy, especially since I’m back at work full-time, thanks to my wonderful employers. Life is full and good, but there’s this void with the boys gone. It doesn’t feel natural. I feel disjointed without them. And I’ve got a long summer ahead of me.

Since it’s impossible for me to go more than a month without seeing them, I’ll be visiting them next month, so that will break up the time, make it a little more bearable. For a while now, Nigel’s been requesting to go to the Grand Canyon, so three weeks from today, that’s what we’ll be doing. I can’t wait to share another adventure with them, but mostly I can’t wait to see them, hug them, to be in their presence. Of course, until then, I have phone calls to look forward to: “Hello, Mom. This is Nigel [insert last name] speaking.” Or perhaps a conversation like this one. Oh, well. I’m just happy to hear their voices.

So summer begins. And it just dawned on me that I’ve essentially combined two separate posts here – the end of homeschooling and missing my kids. Correlation? Nada. Let that be a testament to how disjointed I feel with my sons being away! I can’t even write!