Hello from the Midwest

The kids and I traveled to Chicago yesterday. We are at my dad’s house for ten days for our Thanksgiving Break. The kids and I are enjoying the cool, crisp weather and the signs of fall (almost winter) all around.

We are not going to be doing any formal school while we are here, but the kids are keeping busy with plenty of other projects and activities. Decca is caught up in his new Scribblenauts game, which in my book counts as spelling and vocabulary.

Autry and Tru are busy bouncing on the trampoline and planning their next film that they plan to shoot while here. They are in a Sherlock Holmes phase, so it is going to be a murder mystery. Autry has already recorded the background music, and it does indeed sound creepy.

And I am just relaxing, as that is my theme of this vacation. I have a good book that I am deeply involved in right now, and I am enjoying taking hour-long baths. I am here to visit with family and to recharge my batteries. I am looking forward to the next ten days.

 

 

Reflecting

I have been in a bad mood all week. I am feeling a little stressed, a little down, a little overwhelmed. I started feeling this way even before Monday started because of the over-scheduled week I was about to face. Autry had a concert on Friday, which meant many late nights at OCHSA which in turn meant many late-night drives to and from OCHSA. In addition to this Tru had numerous days at the golf course last week, and Decca started back up in piano. Add to all of this my normal daily drive to OCHSA (every morning it takes me an hour round trip), and I was stressed.

Monday and Tuesday were not as overwhelming as I thought, and I realized that I may just get through the week. Wednesday morning I woke a little more stressed and down, but I still thought I could get through it all. Then Wednesday morning around 10:00 I looked out my back window, and I saw something that I thought I would never see – a crime scene. The whole nature area was closed and there were cop cars and detective cars everywhere. I had a bad feeling that something terrible had happened, but I wasn’t prepared for what I found out.

What I found out was that a young man, only 14-years-old, took his life in the nature preserve the night before. Roughly around midnight this boy died. All alone in the dark he died; in the nature preserve, the beautiful peaceful nature preserve that I love so much. I couldn’t believe it. I was in shock.

The rest of my week was spent thinking about why this happens. Why do kids fall through the cracks? Why do people look the other way when they see bullying (apparently the boy had been bullied at the local high school)? How can no one, not one teacher or parent or friend, see that someone is struggling so much? How can one of the best high schools in America fail one of their students?

Of course I am sure many of us can answer these questions, as situations like this happen all to frequently. But in this day and age, when there is so much awareness of these situations, it should not happen. Children should be able to go to a school and feel safe. Parents should be aware that they have choices in their child’s education and feel confident in their legal right to withdraw a child from any school and homeschool them if they need to. And there should be legal ramifications for those that torment other children, especially when the abuse leads to such a terrible ending.

But this is not the case, and the thought of that had me felling down. And the thought of that poor boy, out in the nature preserve all by himself, had me down. How can a place that means so much to me be the place where one ends their life? How can I go out and walk by the spot everyday and not think about him? Why am I so stressed and worried about my week just because it is a little over-scheduled? Why are my kids so blessed with a life where they can be who they are with no worries of other’s thoughts?

I don’t know the answer to these questions, but I do know that I am appreciative of all I have, all that my children have. I do get stressed sometimes, overwhelmed trying my hardest to juggle the job of raising three wonderful children all by myself. There is only one of me, and sometimes I feel stretched to my limit. But I am blessed, and I know it. I appreciate it.

A day after the boy’s body was discovered I walked by the spot where he was found. It would be hard to avoid it for very long, so I decided to face it head on. At the spot was some flowers and this balloon.

In honor of this boy, who I have never met, I want to get out the word of the new movie Bully. I hope all teens and pre-teens see this film, and I hope the film has the ability to influence someone’s life for the better. I believe it can, which is why I signed the petition to change the rating from R to PG-13. In honor of this boy, and all the children who are bullied, please consider signing the petition also.

Fun Project

We were in Target the other day, and we came across this. They were 50% off, and the kids somehow convinced me to buy one for each of them. This is an amazing feat, as I have a real hatred for crafts, and I usually do not want things like this in my house. I must have been in a good craft mood, for I bought it for the kids. Then we got home, and the kids started decorating their monsters, and I left the house…for an hour…with my dog. (I just can’t be around crafts and the mess.)

Working hard, which they did for two hours

When I got back home they were still working on decorating their monsters. They spent over two hours on them, and I was quite happy about that. As a working mom, who works at home, anytime I can get all three kids to concentrate on a project for a long period of time I am happy. The kits were only $5.00. If you are looking for a fun little project for the day, I highly recommend them.

Their finished creatures

My Juggling Act

I don’t often get too personal on this blog, but I am feeling very overwhelmed this day, and since I do have a blog, I thought I would exercise my right to delve into everything that is going on. I am a single mom, and sometimes I feel very alone in the homeschool world because of that. But I am a single mom, and I have to deal with this fact on a regular basis.

I think single mom is the wrong term though. I am not so much a single mom, but an only parent. I have no partner to help me or to share the burden. I have no partner that I can count on and no partner who works hard because they want the kids to be happy. I am all alone in this area, and it is depressing sometimes. I don’t have a partner, and the kids don’t really have a father.

I am also stretched out quite thin. I am homeschooling, working on my teachers credential and my masters, taking care of three very energetic kids, and trying to balance it all. Some days are good and some days are hard. Today is one of the hard days.

But I look at the kids, and they are playing a game together on the ground in the living room. They are laughing with each other, and they are having so much fun. They are in their own little world, and they don’t know I am overwhelmed and tired. The kids are happy, and I am thankful for that.