Well, yesterday did not go as I had hoped. Even though we did have a family meeting and said family members (or some of them) agreed to help with a few things, it turns out that actions truly do speak louder than words. Some children conveniently forgot what they had said they would do to help (which was even more irritating when they announced "I have nothing to do"). Some took their time - my goodness, did they take their time! The things they chose to help with were truly their choice and ripe with intrinsic motivation (or at least I thought). Like putting the leaves and grass in a pile so we could jump around in it. Or cleaning and chopping up home-grown and kid-chosen celery for a winter full of celery-filled soups (yes, soup is a motivator for one of our little ones - our "old soul" little one).
I had promised myself not to nag or give reminders - I know that my children are bright children and they can remember vast quantities of information. I also wanted to do my best at providing a positive example. So, my lips stayed clamped shut for most of the time that we co-existed in the same space. When I felt my frustration and disappointment get to me, I thought about what life would be like if they were not in my life. That brought about a sad heart and stinging eyes. I reminded myself that we will get to all those lofty goals we set earlier in the year eventually - that we are pacing ourselves in a marathon and not a sprint.
Nevertheless, we did work together to get a few things struck off the list. And we had some nice surprises too. Like when I accidentally disrupted a bumblebee's slumber while I was raking the yard - we had the opportunity to observe it and hear its faint buzz as it worked to find adequate shelter again (it did not like the bedding at the bee hotel, even after we decorated it with a sunny yellow flower). We saw flocks of geese fly overhead and watched them veer around the skies as they moved to be closer to other groups. Jaelyn wrote a love letter to her father. All good things, I remind myself.
Today, we enjoyed a morning outside - our spirits needed to feel the breeze, smell the wet leaves and see the sky. The sun was playing hide-and-seek with us and we knew it was only a matter of time before the rainclouds joined the party. We played catch with the football. We climbed trees. We swung. We flew down the slide. We rode our bikes. We laughed. We enjoyed one another. To be silly, we took some "class pictures" that will be shared with family during the winter holidays. Enjoy!