Monday, March 01, 2010

Let the March Winds Blow

March is here and is always welcome because we know spring is coming soon. Even though we may have more snow storms before the month is over, April will bring relief. Five weeks to Easter someone said today.

The first two weeks of March promise to be busy, so I’m trying to plan ahead and be prepared. I’ve been working on the March schedule for preschool workers during our worship services at church. I posted them tonight but will be making some more changes as I was mixed up on one grandchild’s custody schedule.

She only gets to come with her grandmother every other week, and because of a change due to illness, I figured it wrong. She is very eager to help with the preschoolers, so I want to make the necessary changes so she can have this experience occasionally. This is not the first time I have dealt with planning around every other weekend visits. It is important that adults work to make these rotating weekends as stress free and pleasant as possible for kids.

We staff each preschool room with one or two adults but also have teens and older children assist the adults with the little ones. We try to space out everyone’s turn, so no one has to miss too many worship services. The teens and older children are a great help to pour drinks, sit down on the floor with the children, read books, and help in countless other ways. The little ones love the youth, and the adults can use the help. Most of all, however, this supervised participation in child care provides child care experience to our kids and teens.

Unfortunately, I entered parenthood with absolutely no experience with little ones; and though I read Dr. Spock and all the pamphlets given me at the hospital, I felt very nervous about motherhood. Because I had done almost no babysitting and I was the youngest in our family, I knew nothing about small children and their care. I don’t advise that ignorance. The most important job in the world—parenthood—deserves preparation and training. I like helping our church kids grow up understanding and experiencing childhood development and gaining a certain confidence and even expertise in working with preschoolers.

In addition to figuring out that March schedule, I’ve been thinking through what I will serve when it is my turn to host our church women this month. I’ve set a date, checked it with the one giving a devotional, and have started a grocery list that will include several green foods since the date is two days before St. Patrick’s Day. I’m the song leader, and the books are already in the house and the songs chosen. The reason I am trying to organize every thing early is because I will be out of the house quite a bit the first two weeks of March.

This is also Gerald’s birthday month—in fact several of his family celebrate this month. He and Keith have already made arrangements for Garry’s birthday breakfast this Wednesday. Gerald’s breakfast with the brothers will be later. I can’t remember if they do one in honor of their only sister out in Wyoming or not. It doesn’t take much for them to plan a breakfast.

I was hoping to do an 80th birthday party for Gerald that included more than the just our kids and grandchildren (whichever ones who could make it) going to a restaurant, which is what we have done in recent years. We have wanted to have a cousin gathering for a long time, and I thought this might be the special weekend to do it. I had ruminated about a number of possible larger gatherings in my mind before I approached him.

Gerald, however, had already figured out the birthday treat he wanted. He plans to have the ball tees he is busy making in his shop all complete by his birthday weekend. And the softball games that weekend at Knoxville when University of Georgia plays Tennessee will be one of the closest venues to deliver the tees to Gerry. He can celebrate with Gerry’s family there, and we may have to wait until Easter weekend for the rest to celebrate here with him.

Since it won’t work out to have cousins and extra relatives for a party after all, I won’t immediately need all the extra plates I bought at Salvation Army last week. But there are washed and neatly put away in a former television cabinet that was right there waiting for them the minute I cleaned out some old papers and CDs. I was surprised at how easy my storage problem was solved. Someday I will plan a party large enough to need them.

There are other plans for March, so it is probably good to have one less party after all. As a part-time writer, who has always made my living as a housewife and not from writing, the winter months have often been when I had a few extra hours to write. That has not happened this winter. I have slowed down, and we’ve also had more medical appointments than in the past to keep ourselves in good health. I am trying not to fret about what I haven’t completed. Sometimes it is better to go with the flow of events that life brings to you. Right now I am busy listening to softball games. Maybe I’ll have some extra time this summer. Maybe not.

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