On Monday, I showed up to see if there was a way I could help. I know, after all that saying how I needed a break, I felt a little guilty and like I should do something to contribute, if only for a couple of mornings. There wasn't any pressing need that anyone was aware of when I checked beforehand, but our pastor said that if I showed up, there would likely be something I could do. But when I arrived and one of the directors asked me if I could help in the kindergarten room, I said no. I actually said that I would rather take my three right back home than be in a classroom with twenty like my middle child- nothing against my middle, just that there were twenty (this could be a slight exaggeration, I didn't count). I think she was slightly alarmed by my strong reaction, or maybe I was just that uncomfortable saying no, but there ended up being work for me in the kitchen. What a wonderful place to put me! However, my sweet friend Ami, who lurks around here on occasion, had seen my post about my need for a respite and ended up bumping me out of the kitchen and off the hook completely! I got several errands done, and enjoyed the silence!
Yesterday, I didn't have a car, so our very kind neighbors, the very same neighbors who let us live in their house rent-free while we try to get on our feet, picked Amabel and August up and brought them home. I spent the day doing a little unpacking, organizing, and tidying. Elspeth was a good little "helper." She followed me from room to room and wore her fleece butterfly costume from last Halloween. She always flutters around like a butterfly anyway, but she was super sweet without siblings to squabble with, and that little lavender hood with the heart shaped antennae sticking straight up made her look more like a fairy than an imp- it's all in the presentation, you know. I was amazed by how much I accomplished in one morning. Oh, how I miss dropping my children off at school!
Today, I had a car again. I had kept Elspeth home yesterday because she can be a little bit of work to get acclimated to a new environment, especially a mommy free environment. Dropping her off today confirmed yesterday's decision to leave the transitioning to me. She did alright eventually, and then I was able to run off with a friend for a coffee. My sister-in-law had shared a Barnes and Noble gift card with me. She's a first grade teacher and gets lots of little presents; and because she is quite generous, sometimes the presents trickle down to me. So, thanks to sweet Katie, I was able to get my friend and I both a coffee and a sweet treat. And we, as homeschool moms and wives of men who have weird work schedules, enjoyed what may well be the last chance to have a real conversation for quite a while.
And tomorrow, I have another coffee date with another sweet friend! Hurray for VBS!
I think we all would agree that it is hard to be served. You know what they say, "it is easier to give than to receive." And the past year has really forced me into the role of recipient way more than I am comfortable with. But judging from my shameless freeloading this week, I may be learning that lesson. Or, at least, that's what I tell myself to keep myself from feeling too guilty! But with this much needed break, I feel like I've won some undeserved honor, and this post is my acceptance speech, and a thank you to all who made it possible. To Ami, to my neighbors, to Katie, to all the sweet ladies keeping my children in their classrooms and feeding them snack (hurray for a break from making the morning snack!), to all the teenagers running recreation and telling stories and helping with crafts, pretty much to anyone who is doing anything that I would be doing this week, a humungous (virtual) hug and great big grateful "Thank you!"