I really couldn't have predicted how busy our lives would feel after starting Elementary School. An older mother once told me that the older they get, the MORE your children need you and I thought, "Pshhh! How can someone possibly need me more than my 1 year old needs me?" But now I know exactly what she meant. It's not harder (in many ways it's easier) but it IS more complicated and varied. Thankfully, all of this is made possible when you have a child old enough to predictably sleep all night. I may not be following Edie around, making sure she doesn't stick her finger in a light socket, pull the cat's tail, or put something that shouldn't be in her mouth, in her mouth. But in the place of that constant physical vigilance comes swimming lessons, emotional needs, reading and math practice, class volunteer opportunities, remembering to pack her library books on library day, helping her learn her lines for drama class, near constant playdate and birthday party invitations (and then shopping for birthday gifts, and hosting reciprocal play dates), and not to mention making sure you sign up for the best summer camps before they fill up and all her friends are at camp together without her. And those are just the things I'm managing TODAY people.
Thankfully, my work schedule is not as manic panic as it was this time last year, so this all feels manageable, sometimes even fun to strike the right balance. And 6 is hilarious. I am not one of those parents that long for the baby days. 6 is pretty charming - except for the times she decides she's NOT sweet, then she is decidedly rotten. But mostly, she's sweet.
We spent the weekend at Mount Baker in a big VRBO house with college friends and their kids. Edie was the oldest and all the little kids followed her around like the pied piper and she did GREAT. She read them stories and made up games and taught them all how to play kitties (UGH - but sweet in principle).
And at the optional Science Fair presenting her research project on Lemurs and Meerkats:
She loves her older second cousins at school and they have her back all the day long. A blurry picture after movie night with cousin Sam (5th grade), holding his crested gecko Phil:
I've signed her up for swimming lessons starting in April in the hopes that she will one day put her face under water.
I just finished organizing the first Lowell Movie Night which was super cute:
And I'm currently coordinating the install of the new school garden next week with my two co-chairs, one of whom is named Rainbow, because duh, we live in Bellingham. We are gathering parent volunteers, collecting enough cardboard to abate 1,000 square feet of grass, and crafting a giant giving tree to solicit donations for garden tools for the kids. I've thrown myself into PTA projects to meet new people and feel connected to the school and it's working.
Some of our closest friends just bought a house in Bellingham and are moving back this summer. While having their house inspection, Reid and Sam came over. Here they are being cute and leafing through the illustrated Harry Potter we are currently reading as a family:
Things are good in Bellingham. It's still weird to be here, but part of the weirdness is how easy the transition has been. The restaurant scene is definitely lacking here, but on the bright side - we are taking an Indian cooking class tonight at Ciao Thyme - taught by the chef from Vij's in Vancouver. Cheers to mid-week date nights and butter chicken!