Sunday, March 22, 2015

Staycation with Abby

This Sunday evening is among my least favourite of the year. March break is over and with that comes the end of my uninterrupted days with Abby. Of course, she loves school. I love her school, programming and her teachers. The alternative of keeping her out of school or homeschooling is not for me, and I know that. I've had such a nice time on vacation with my biggest girl, the one who made me a mama. Watching her grow brings so much excitement. Each milestone is new and surprising, so I soak it in and learn as I go, as it is with oldest children. 

This week we found lots of chances for mama-Abby time, and each day of our spring staycation was made special. Our family: went out for (free!) ice cream cones, chose books at the library, had friends visit for play dates, ate at special restaurants, baked together, watched movies, went to the sugar bush with my best friend, went for walks, made crafts, ate dessert after almost every meal, and indulged in not having time limits on anything. Letting sisters keep playing into nap time, ignoring the clock, answering to hunger cues and deciding to stop everything and make peanut butter jelly pizza for lunch made March break special.

I sat with Abby to work on art projects while she sang made-up songs, and then we'd talk about her name story(she is middle-named after our cousin, Laura). We practiced some kid-friendly guided meditations, and integrated those lessons into times of conflict, worry and disappointment. I listened to her read, and watched her make pizza dough all by herself, start to finish. I saw just how quickly she is growing up, and heard her tell me, in her own words, what she makes of her surroundings. I saw her express herself so clearly and accurately. Watching confidence bloom is pretty amazing (and makes me cry happy tears).

The free play dynamics were made so much more rich by big sister's involvement and direction. Hours, every day, these girls played together, mostly in harmony. I know we'll miss her as she returns to full days of school this week. Maybe I'll have to play hooky, have her stay home so we can soak her in a bit more. She was so patient with her sisters and, honestly, after a whole week of cold weather and mostly indoor play, these girls aren't at all sick of each other. (We took turns cursing out Mother Nature for her false promises of spring. My favourite was when Abby yelled, "spring is for sunshine and green grass, not ugly brown snow!") 

What? You don't reach out your window for icicles to serve for afternoon snack?

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