My sweet Sam,

As I type you are nestled in next to me, your head pressing into my waist, back against my thigh, your legs in a tangled knobby-kneed knot with mine. Happy Thanksgiving, my little love muffin.

I barely recognize the me who wrote at the beginning of the year. Even with the obvious struggles, it seems she was gaining wisdom daily, really joining you in your life, and enjoying the little things. Today presented and opportunity to revisit that blog, and rekindle an outlet for discovery that I have long been missing. Ahh, to write to you again, my love.

In the last 6 weeks I have: missed your school Thanksgiving dinner, forgotten your lunch or backpack multiple times, dropped you off at school after the bell 80% of the time, allowed you 3 unexcused absences, carelessly let your homework go undone, and sent you in a uniform when you were supposed to go in fall colors and visa versa. Even more distressingly, on two occasions I have sat dumbfounded in your playroom (during our very scattered few minutes of time together) trying to figure out what you like to play these days so I can join you before the next phone call comes.

In case I didn’t see these things happening slowly (think “bring lobster to a slow boil”), life presented a screeching-halt opportunity for me to evaluate my business/career situation. Now, having “sold” – I use that term loosely – my business to the bidder with the highest principles (not the highest dollars), I sit here genuinely thankful for the chance to explore all the options that have been accidentally sloughed off over the last 9 months.

Below, the answers to these questions that I was previously unable to answer due to various interruptions (ring, ring). Please accept them with my deepest apologies.

1. RE: that little brother or sister you recently demanded
Daddy and I say “maybe”, and “we’ll work on it”. As it turns out, neither of us are read to give up the crib that we have carefully packed away in the guestroom closet.

2. RE: taking the dogs and moving in with Oma and Opa
Don’t cut and run just yet, I think it’s going to get better around here soon. Not to mention, Walter (German Shepherd) is easily confused, best to keep him in his familiar 40 acres. No, Nugget (mutt) does not get a vote.

3. RE: your request to be home schooled
I’m not sure what you think “homeschooling” is exactly, but I hear you when you say you are overwhelmed by all the other kids and you want more time with just me. It IS a bummer that you spend more time at school than at home, and I’m sorry that discovery was so jarring to you this year. I also acknowledge that in the last 3 years of day care/school, you have never once ASKED to go to school. Just so you know, it’s not all “Barbie spa day” and “Let’s play on the rope swing”, but it IS tons of “Let’s do an experiment” and maybe even “Let’s build a tree house!”. So my answer is, I will dutifully research it and give you an answer by the start of 2nd grade. In the best case scenario I suppose we make up for lost time, have the best year of our lives and we both learn a bunch about our world and each other. Worst case, we scrape by on rice and beans every day, you beg to go to a real school, and we both agree that mommy needs to keep her day job. If we go for it, regardless of the outcome, someday when you are in high-school and I threaten to home school you, you know I mean it. That’s got to be worth something.

RE: your occasional request to move back to town
I think what you really want out of is the drive. Truthfully, you don’t strike me as much of a suburban girl at this age. Maybe after you’ve grown out of “the world is my sandbox” phase we’ll revisit it. But for now, I am not ready to let you trade creek exploration and bone excavation for a picket fence and .18 acres of sod. Will keep you posted if my mind is changed.

Here’s to the life-long journey of self-discovery and adventure! Cheers to you, my sleeping babe.

Re-energized mommy

P.S. Many thanks to your Aunt Pammy and Aunt Juli for the pep talk over gravy whisking and fruit salad prep…a little perspective and encouragement makes a big difference!

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