a much-needed break

My husband, younger daughter, and I left on Sunday afternoon to drive to the Sacramento area to begin the search for our new home.  Our older daughter, Lyd, stayed behind.  Our Kindergarten teacher, AM, graciously agreed to stay with her at our house so that Lyd could continue her usual school routine.  We gave Lyd the option to come with us, but since it was “Spirit Week” (aka. dress-up week) at school, she opted to remain behind.

The house hunting process will be another post in itself (a one-word description: demoralizing), but when we returned safely to our current home 48 hours later, we returned to a Lyd who had had a wonderful time.  JJ and I were wondering if we had made a mistake in not bringing her with us, as she had never been separated from both of us for so long before.  However, it all worked out very, very well.

AM, the Kindergarten teacher, needed to be at school by 7:30 a.m. in the morning, so Lyd also had to be there at that time.  Getting Lyd to school by the start of the school day has … well, never been our family’s strong point.  We tend to get her there at the last minute, even though we live right next door!  We’re just not good with that morning routine.

However, with AM as her “second Momma” (as Lyd called her), Lyd did very well getting to school so early on the two mornings we were gone.  This morning, she wanted to be to school early again.  She laid out her outfit last night, and this morning she did great at getting up and going on her own – without an alarm!  She had time to eat her breakfast at her own pace, review her memory work with me, brush her teeth, and give her sister (and me) a pleasant goodbye before heading off to school – at 8:10 a.m.!  It was pretty neat.  I was very proud of her.

It’s nice to feel proud of Lyd.  You see, she and I have been at outs a lot lately.  It’s not power struggles, but she does things – or doesn’t do things – that she KNOWS she should/should not be doing.  It’s been driving me absolutely bonkers, and in my frustration, I’ve been frequently raising my voice to her.  I must confess, I wasn’t completely sorry to drive off with my husband and almost-perpetually-cheerful younger child and leave my older child behind.  I really felt like I needed a break from her.  I felt guilty for feeling that way, but I was still grateful to drive away without her.

But, it seems the break has been good for all of us.  Lyd had a marvelous time, and she didn’t cry once.  She was almost crying when we left, but apparently when we drove off, she said to AM with a twinkle in her eye, “And now it begins…”  AM cracked up, Lyd cracked up, and it set the tone for the next 48 hours.  Lyd got to go out to eat with AM and a few other people, and she just had a wonderful time on her own.

Plus, with the calm morning I had today getting Lyd ready for school, I had plenty of time to start my Lentil & Ham soup in the slow cooker for tonight’s Lent Supper at church.  I also finally (finally!!) got a walk in with Jujubee this morning.  After over two weeks of not being able to take my much-needed walks, the weather has taken a major turn for the better.  I think our winter of rain, rain, and more rain is finally drawing to a close.  (For you Midwesterners who have had one of the snowiest winters on records, be glad you don’t live in the Sierras: some parts have had close to 700 inches of snow!  Yes, that’s 58 FEET OF SNOW!)

So, things are looking up here.  Hopefully this break provided Lyd and me with a much-needed break from each other.  We certainly seem to be starting off on the right foot.