Homeschooling: It's not what we do, it's how we live.

Built-in Playmates

Suffice it to say that Monday is not my favorite day of the week. That’s not really true – some Mondays are a relief. This one is just not one of them. I don’t know why, but I am just not feelin’ it today. We have a pretty eventful day planned; this morning we’re finishing up some work  from last week. We went to my brother’s house and spent the night just for the heck of it. We took work with us for the drive (since they usually complain about the hour long ride up there, I figured that would give them something constructive to do). LittleBoyBlue did great – he finished almost all of his stuff. PeaGreen told me this morning that he didn’t realize that there had been more than one page on his clipboard. {insert raised Mom-eyebrow here}. Really?

Once we got past the excuses and owned up to, “Um, yeah. I just didn’t do it”, he has a little bit more to accomplish than we’d planned on – but still in the realm of ‘doable’ since Monday’s normal workload is fairly light anyway. I prefer to ease back into routine some days and plan for flexibility and spontaneity. Last week’s trip was a good example of ‘planned spontaneity’.

There is so much to be said for having cousins of a similar age. My aunts all had kids the same time my mom did, so on both sides of my family, my brother and sister and I have cousins that are ‘stair-stepped’ in age. On one side of our family, there are 6 of us all one year or so apart. On the other side of my family, there are more than 10 of us and I’m in the middle with more coming in at one per year behind me. Suffice it to say that no matter which family event we were at, there were always playmates to be had. I’m so glad that we have that same kind of dynamic with my sister’s and brother’s kids. The ‘Fab Five’  – despite the age gap with the baby,  they all play so well together.

We took an impromptu road trip to my brother and SIL’s house Thursday evening last week. No reason for the trip, it was just because we could. My brother was home, so it was really nice to be able to visit with him; usually he’s working. We talked about doing the TX Nature Challenge for one of the parks up there, but it was raining on the drive up, so we opted to do that another time since the forest would be sweltering and steamy due to the rain. We ended up just having a relaxing time visiting. Friday, we fed the kids breakfast then threw them out in the yard to play.

We must have done something right, because on the way home, the troika was just the tiniest bit tired.

In writing this draft, I came across this excerpt from a book discussing sibling relationships among Latino families in therapy. The article itself is interesting, but I find the description of the relationship between the siblings spoken of to be true regardless of ethnicity, particularly among families that I know. Most of us were raised with a similar sibling relationship – the oldest was by default, the ‘leader’ and therefore responsible for the younger ones. Most of my friends are the oldest sibling, and it shows. With the kids, you can see a similar dynamic at work. LittleBoyBlue is the oldest, but Fred is the ‘most responsible’. PeaGreen is often the ringleader, but Princess has just as many good ideas and often clashes with him. They all work together to take care of LittleMan. It’s really interesting to watch them cover for each other when they get called to the carpet for some reason. You can see the desire to have justice war with the innate drive to look out for the other one fly across their faces – it’s really quite fascinating.

I am so grateful that my kids get to have such a close-knit extended family. Even though I don’t maintain a close relationship with my cousins anymore, I know that if I was in need of something, I could call on them and I think that they feel the same way towards me. There is value in that, and I’m glad that my kids have it.




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