My dear squirrel has wings. She is the butterfly of all social butterflies (flying squirrel?)....the friend to all....the one who never needs a break from groups to "regain her composure" or, like her mother, to calm her social anxiety. She has none. When I'm in a store with her, people are drawn to her like a bee to honey, she's easy to talk to and pretty easy to love. She's always been compassionate and pretty patient - exactly what I needed at the perfect time. She is the best sister to Brady because despite there little arguments and him being overly blunt and almost always mean to her - she loves him and she perseveres in having a friendship with him. She pretty much embodies "unconditional love."
Brady gets to go to school because of many many reasons that I don't care to explain over again. I had it mentioned to me that I could home school him and that God would help me do that, and I'm going to say what my *sista* Cari has taught me to say - "YOU ARE ALLOWED TO FEEL THAT WAY." So, because of him going to school, I naturally just figured that I would need to send squirrel too. I mean, I know she would thrive there in so many ways. She loves to please and would have friends, she would learn well and she would also have structure to her day...all good things. She would get to be with a teacher that knows exactly how to teach a 4 (almost5) year old. She would come home to a refreshed mother each day.....or maybe not.
I started thinking, in my typical realistic Alyssa fashion, about that last *perk.* I started recalling the time of day that Brady would get home from kindergarten, and then I remembered how strung out he would be on most days. He would try so hard to do well at school, that when he got home he just needed to be crazy. So, in between taking care of the little boys, cooking dinner, trying to help with his homework and giving kids baths - I wouldn't say that I was "refreshed." And that's what Trin would come home to if she went to school. She would be away from me ALL day, and then when she comes home I would most likely need to be concentrating on Brady and his needs. The weekends are usually planned around Brady and his schedule and his mood....so is the summer...so is ANY time that we are together as a family.
I'm not ready to give her up. I want to take her along with me throughout the day and teach her to do simple things like fold laundry, bake muffins, sweep a floor. I want to read out loud to her "Farmer Boy" and "Anne of Green Gables" - I want to teach her about God throughout the day when I'm not acting insane like I often am at 5 pm. I want her to have unfrazzled attention, and I hope she won't despise me for it when she's older or feel like I was playing favorites in letting her brother go to school when she would love to as well. I don know though, that when Brady started going to school, we missed him terribly when we would go for family walks or we would go to the zoo or have family picnics...but the truth was, that if he wouldn't have been in school, we wouldn't have been doing any of those things (and if we would have done them, it wouldn't have been a *peaceful* time, that's for sure.) Zac and I loved that time with the three younger children...then when Brady came home we could listen to him and calmy help him in the ways that he needed. Sending him to school is an answer to prayer.
Plus, if she were gone all day who would take care of poor dear Beth? Who would make a pot of tea and a pan of blueberry muffins for us to nibble on in between wiping Beth's fevered brow? So, we'll see how long I can keep her here with me.
I'm not making plans for my distant future, because I won't know what she needs 9 months from now or 5 years from now. I've learned that it just isn't wise to have expectation in life, except to love and be kind and to serve. I do know though, in August, she'll be at home getting some much needed one on one time. She'll be with me baking. She'll be with me hiking...she'll be with me reading and coloring and writing letters and playing with her little brothers. And then hopefully when she's older, and in school or even an adult with her own home ....she'll remember me and what I taught her and she'll know that I intentionally made time for just her, not because it was easier or made my *load* lighter, but because I loved her and she was/is wanted.