In the past two weeks a lot has been going on at our house. The kids have been in full swing with their extracurricular activities and we went back to school shopping; I do not like shopping. Then last week the 2009-10 school year began. It’s been really nice having the kids home with me every evening again instead of the hit and miss each week we tried out during the summer. We won’t be doing that again next summer; at least not to that drastic of an extent. It was too hard for me. I felt like a divorcee Dad who only gets to see his kids on particular weekends and various holidays.
Dealing with grief is nothing like I imagined before August 6, 2008. It’s not something that you get over. It’s not something that just passes by. It’s an event that happens, like your own personal Pearl Harbor or 9/11. It redefines your life and, much like these National tragedies, it takes a while to recoup and reorganize into something that resembles a normal life. I do mean resembles as it’s only the outward perception that you display that ever resembles anything normal. Losing Mindy has given me new perspectives on relationships, marital and otherwise. Her effect on my life in the short decade we had together has forever changed me, and for the better. I think I’m a more attentive father compared to my ‘life of before’. Sometimes this attentiveness appears as over protection when it comes to my children, but so be it. As far as I’m concerned my children have endured enough to last well into adulthood, if not all of their lives. I’m certain they will have more pain as they grow we all do, but if life were fair they could skip over the rest of it and just enjoy the everyday miracles in life. I spent my 31st birthday ‘back to school’ shopping with my kids (because the middle school students don’t get supply list until after school starts and everything is sold out!) thinking how much fun Mindy had picking them out backpacks and pencil boxes.
The week school started my Princess got her first pair of glasses. Now she doesn’t squint to read and watch television. She’s a little behind in her reading because she had such a difficult time seeing, but she’s a brilliant little girl so we’ll more than make up for it very quickly. She loves her new glasses. She picked out some High School Musical themed frames and couldn’t wait to show them off at school. I’m glad she’s excited about it, I don’t know if I would’ve had the energy to fight her over it like my parents had to with me when I was young.
At the end of the previous school year I sent off several letters to various school administrators and did not get a reply back from any of them. I at least expected an acknowledgement of the letter, but there was nothing. So this year I expected to again have issues and I was pleasantly surprised that I have had none so far. They put my Princess in class with Sugarbear’s teacher from last year as I requested (Yeah Mrs. H!). My Teen got an acceptable schedule, which was turned in late by me instead of on time by her, with the majority of the classes she wanted. I assume by compliance of those two requests that the other letters were at least read by someone in the school district. It looks to be a promising year even though I’ve heard horror stories already from other parents in our district. To be fair I must say that I’ve only had an issue with one teacher at the middle school level. The other teachers have been great for my kids, it’s the administration that frays the last remaining threads of my sanity. It’s pretty apparent that I’m not the only parent with that experience in this district.
My Teen has shown some remarkable growth in the past few months. She even made dinner one night last week without any prompting from me, and it wasn’t just spaghetti or some frozen dinners. She made roasted chicken and it was really good. She has on a couple of occasions taken it upon herself to do some laundry and as much as I sternly remind her of areas that need a little work I also remind her that she is a wonderful young lady. I think some of what I’m saying might been sinking in…just a little bit. Only time will tell but I’ve been impressed with how they have all dealt with the crazy schedules and non existent routine this summer. It looks like a promising start to the year. I just wish Mindy were here to see what a wonderful little personalities our kids are growing into.