Facing the new year
I celebrated a birthday this week. Each new year brings new opportunities, unexpected experiences and blessings that brighten my life.
As my last year drew to a close, I went in for an ultrasound. A friend had sent me a call for help: A Woman's Friend was in need of volunteers who would have an ultrasound for training purposes. Happy to be of help and eager to participate, I went, along with my burgeoning belly, to take a look at the new life that will join our family in this, my next new year.
I watched that new life kick and dance and wiggle on the screen. To me, looking at an ultrasound is kind of like lying on the grass on a warm summer day gazing at the clouds. One minute all is abstract and then, from nothing, an image appears. And while the picture on the screen sure did look like a child, it was indistinguishable from any of the previous children I'd watched squirm around at a similar stage in development.
The only thing familiar about that image I saw there on the screen was the feeling of joy, peace and awe that I felt at the sight of the life inside of me. I've been down this road several times, but somehow it all feels new again.
A friend once confided that he was worried that when his second daughter was born that he would not be able to love her as much as he'd loved the first. The oldest child's firsts had been exciting and new, but the second time around, he wondered if the thrill might grow stale.
He learned, as I did, that love makes its own math. True love never divides, it only multiplies.
Back at home on my birthday eve, Sicily burst into my space, singing. "Twinkle, twinkle, little star, how I wonder what you are," she belted out. She grabbed my hand and leaned in close. "Don't you just love that song, Mom? It's beautiful." Her brown eyes sparkled and shone as bright as the stars she sang about.
She twirled off, her tutu flaring out sandwiched in between polka dot leggings and her plaid dress. This combination, with minor variation, has been the standard 3-year-old girl's uniform around here for years.
Whatever answer I might have provided was irrelevant. Sicily had declared her love for the song, so how could I possibly disagree with such obvious logic? If she loved "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star," I must also adore it.
Although she is the baby in a long line of children, I enjoy the wonder this child brings to daily life. She is delighted by everything that doesn't tick her off. I try to capture a bit of her wonder as I face this year ahead.
We come to the start of a school year now in entering our 14th year of homeschooling. To the extent that we do grades around here, we have school-aged children in kindergarten through seventh grade. Each level is new for them.
Fractions and phonics will provide fresh challenges, and each child will learn much of the same information that the children before them have learned but at their own pace and in their own way. New challenges will bring unexpected frustrations and joys.
In the coming year, we will welcome a new child, one will learn to read, another will master multiplication tables and the older kids will all tackle increasingly complex literature. The changes ahead will lead us down paths that are well traveled and yet unfamiliar. Everything old will become new again.
Rose Godfrey is a speech pathologist and homeschooling mom in Meridian. Her homeschool blog can be found on the Appeal-Democrat website at appealdemocrat.com.