Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Joey's first field trip, and thoughts on being a SAHM

The weather kept us guessing right up until the last minute, but the rain held off just long enough for Joey to go on his first ever field trip: a bus ride to a farm. Joey would have been thrilled to go on a bus ride anywhere, and in fact when I first signed the permission slip and told him about it two weeks ago, he started looking out the window and asking when the bus was going to come.

So when the big day dawned gray and drizzly, I kept my lips zipped about it even though I couldn't hide my extra air of urgency about not being late.

Knowing that there would be limited space on the bus, I opted to drive separately. His teacher sent me this photo, along with several others. When I put her photos and mine together, I've got the makings for a nice little blog post.
He hasn't stopped talking about the big white bus with two doors.

We got to see ducks, geese, turkeys, cows, goats, sheep, potbelly pigs, peacocks, ostriches, an emu, horses, chickens, llamas and alpacas.
We took a hayride tour around the farm. Joey was fascinated by the tractor's huge wheels.
This is one of Joey's two teachers, Ms. Nikki. She is crazy about the kids, and so sweet to my Joe.
Once the hayride was over, our tour guide showed us the llamas and alpacas, helpfully pointing out which was which. She told us that these ones don't spit, and as if on cue, an alpaca spat on her. Joey laughed and laughed. Farm animals are fine to visit, but I wouldn't want to have one of these ornery things with matted, dirty fur and a penchant for spitting at people, around.
Once the tour was over, the kids played for a little while on the little playground until it was time to leave. Joey wasn't sure what to think about the way the girls fussed over him (look at his fake little smile!). One of their mothers told me that her little girl talks about Joey all the time. I can't blame them; he is kind of irresistible.
I would have just as soon taken Joey home with me after that, but I didn't want to deny him the bus ride back to school.

Looking through the pictures and thinking about what a fun morning we had, has me thinking as I do many times, about how glad I am to be a stay-at-home mom. Tim's career has afforded me the ability to be there for things like this and for a lot of other things, big and small. I can spend a morning seeing a farm through a three-year-old's eyes, or watching my oldest compete in the Battle of the Books. I can be there for the small, ordinary things like books at naptime, yet another game of Uno with a boy who's on an indefinite screen timeout, and running outside to see the baby turtle Joey found out on the driveway. It often feels like drudgery, with the messes, meals, and a never-ending to-do list. But I have all day for the messes, meals and to-do list instead of having to cram it all into a couple hours. To boot, I have a husband who's happy to do errands when he's home, and he'll take a kid or two with him. I can plan my days however I see fit, and in any given one I can allocate time for, in addition to the work, prayer, for rest, for school, for exercise, and for things that recharge my battery like chronicling our life in this little blog. This is a privilege.

I don't know what the future holds. With Tim retiring next summer and everything that comes with it -- getting established in a new place, buying our own house, and getting used to a new way of life (the civilian one😮) -- things are going to change. I may need to go back to work sooner than I might have planned. Maybe I'll even be ready to sooner than I thought. But to have been home all these years, especially through the little years of my kids' lives, is something I wouldn't trade for the world, even though it's exhausting and frustrating, and I'm positive I'm doing things wrong. Making a home -- turning a space into a haven that reflects our personalities and is cozy and at least somewhat clean -- brings me its own satisfaction. This life is the one I always wanted most, and I am embracing it for the time being.

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