Sunday, August 29, 2010

Back To School Feast, 2010 Addition

The Sunday before school starts is quite possibly one of my favorite days of the year. We focus on the kids from start to finish, I make our annual Back To School Feast, the kids have a special blessing from their father and all feels right with the world.

I was particularly looking forward to yesterday after the monster week we've just had. Working the She-Market for hours on end immediately followed by a major overhaul of the duplex has left me feeling exhausted and disconnected with my kiddos, so a day at home was just what I needed.

Sort of.

We started off beautifully.


I came home from church and immediately got to work on the feast. This year's menu? Not-so-surprisingly similar to last year's menu but it's one meal that everyone enjoys and asks for seconds on. I figured why risk it. No arguing about who has to eat how many bites, etc.

Farfalle with Chicken, Brocolli and Alfredo
Garlic Cheddar Rolls
Strawberry Punch
Raspberry Cream Cake

I set the table using one of my mother-in-law's gorgeous quilts as a table runner and it all came together beautifully. I also framed our newly formulated Family Motto (stolen from here) and felt excited about the memories we were creating, the conversation that was surely to come, and the calm feel of our home that would be a result of all my hard work.

Ahem. So not what happened.

I would love to say that it all went beautifully. And I'm half-way tempted to fib my way to the end of this post so I can keep up the appearance of having it all together.


I hardly have it all together.

First this happened:

It turned out to be a false alarm but it's hard to focus on your yummy dinner when your youngest daughter is head down in the toilet.

Then Brad left the table for a run to the bathroom, a run that turned into several, several minutes with him pecking away at his phone.

Cue highly annoyed Mama Bear.

Then Spence, my normally right-on-track son, left the table with me MID-SENTENCE, to go outside and check on his tree. Cause nothing else of importance was happening.

Sienna got up to kick a ball around the living room because A) we totally allow ball kickage in our living room and B) NOTHING ELSE OF IMPORTANCE WAS HAPPENING.

This is where I got up, eyes filled with tears, and started doing the dishes.

Here's the part where I'd like to say that Brad and I totally recovered and carried on as originally planned.


Our mis-communication turned into a major mis-communication and we spent the better part of the afternoon in separate rooms of the house. The girls rallied around me, Spence played the Wii and Austin slept through the whole thing. (Lucky boy.)

We did manage to recover (somewhat) late in the evening. Blessings were given and I sent the kids to bed feeling a wee bit better. But I ached for the day I had created in my mind. I longed for the feeling of peace that I so desperately wanted to usher my kids to bed on the eve of a new school year. I waited to be understood, to be validated as a mother and appreciated for my work.

And I hate writing it all down here, flaws ablazing, but if I'm only writing about the good then I'm not writing about life. My life. Crappy days happen. Plans get changed, people interfere and things don't play out as we imagined. It's ok. You've got to roll with the punches. I'm still a good mom. I still love my kids to bits. I still did the best I could and that might be the best thing to take to a new school year. Probably more valuable than anything I else I could have tried to teach my sweet kids. I'm not the mother or wife that I'd planned to be, but if I was, my journey would be over and I'm hardly ready for that. I've got a thousand more Back-To-School Feasts in me and I'll keep doing the best I can.

With less bathroom breaks.


Mimi said...

It was certainly REAL. I so appreciate that about you. You are right, crappy happens. You know they are going to remember the feast and not the messing around part because tradition sticks with you.

I loved the "addition" part. I hope your school addition loved her first day of kinder:)

Heather said...

oh, it was real. love that about you.

and you've gotta have the crappy in life to appreciate the awesome, unfortunately. so look out cuz next year's feast will be the best ever! right?

GS said...

3 stars for effort. We just can't force a memorable moment. Who knows what your kids will actually remember. I just know that they are loved and cared for in a way that makes them feel secure, even on the not so good days.

lindsay>boo said...

I, too, appreciate it when you are REAL. That is life. When your kids are older, they'll look back on their childhood and remember it full of traditions, full of fun and laughter and parents that always give/show them love and teach them.

And hey, if it makes you feel better---When I was making dinner yesterday, Carson said, "oh, we are having a back-to-school feast, huh. Did you get that idea from Karen?" See, even my kid knows that you run a household full of traditions and love.

Sarah said...

I totally get this post Karen. We had similar plans for yesterday afternoon and half my family ended up sick and throwing up so that pretty much went out the window. But - like you said it's the fact that we care enough about our kids that we try to plan fun things like this in the first place that really matters.

Kate said...

That is what happened this morning in our house...beautiful breakfast, fun memories....and not one thankyou...just kids arguing and not caring.
Totally life :) gotta just smile!

I Blame the Droid said...

The raspberry yumminess is perfection, even if nothing else turned out to be. :)

Amy said...

I guess at least it was memorable, if not what you planned. And you know what? You're kids won't remember this day for all the stuff that went wrong, they will just remember that you have this tradition and be grateful. Eventually.

Michele said...

Meth kills...the moment.

You may have Droids but your kids are not. I grew up in a house like yours. They will get it and remember it later, I promise! (I can't speak for Brad though:) Then they may do it for their kids.

tharker said...

My dear Karen, can I just say how much I love you? Because I DO! And I'm thinking this is my very favorite post you've ever written. Because it is so real, and SO very relatable.

It stinks going to so much work, and not feeling appreciated. But, I also know that your kids WILL remember this and these traditions you're creating. And they will love you all the more for it.

I love the new family motto!!

Camie at "Home is where they love you" said...

You are incredible parents and your children are so blessed to have you. Beautiful meal!

hatch said...

It is true sometimes the most memorable moments are not they way we imagined them to be.

dandee said...

i don't think the point is how the day turned out, the point is that you tried. and essentially, that's all we can do. try.

you're a great mother and it made me so happy to see your pretty cake. :)

Jenn said...

Ha Ha! I am the worst at having expectations. Thats why I don't plan anything anymore ;) Just kidding, kind of. You did a fabulous job and your kids are so lucky to have such a fab mom!