Trailer Park Unschoolers

Because you don't need to be rich to unschool!

One More Week (Give or Take)

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It’s not going to be long before the bigs get home. It could be as little as a week. I’d love it if they could be home in time for co-op, but that may not happen. I have no idea what the plan is yet.

I’m a bit nervous about picking the kids up. My ex has requested we meet half way, which is a long drive. That’s me in a car for thirteen or fourteen hours. It also means loading up the kids and their stuff in limbo, not where they were and not home. It would just be some location on the road after the kids have all just had a long ride. Working the timing would be hard too. How do you arrange two six and a half hour drives to line up, meeting at the same time? That’s going to be next to impossible. There’s a slight problem with child support this month, which has ended with me being less than thrilled by the idea of spending that much money on gas. On top of that, it states in our agreement that my ex is responsible for all transportation costs for visitation. That’s a lot of miles on our car, our tires, the oil life, and all of that. It could turn into a very expensive trip. It’ll just be the littlest and me the first half of the drive and then four kids and me the second. I really would feel more comfortable if Oz could ride along with me. The whole thing really stinks.

It’s not just logistics that have me worried. I also have to worry about the kids. I haven’t talked to them since Friday. It’s been like this a lot of the visitation. I worry that the kids will be upset about coming home since their dad had gotten them so excited about staying and going to school. I worry that they won’t be happy to see me. A month is a long time and they haven’t really talked to me much. What if they aren’t happy to see me? In a way I think they might be happier if seeing me didn’t mean another six or more hours on the road. They’d probably be happier if they knew they were almost home and could relax. I just don’t think it’s fair for my reunion with my kids to be tainted by the long drive ahead with two younger siblings that will probably be pretty done with being on the road by then.

I really miss the kids. I miss all of Corde’s random questions that I can’t answer. I miss Beekee’s strange stories when I ask about what he’s playing. I even miss packing all the kids in the car, as much of a hassle as it is. I thought the easier time going places and the reduction of chaos as we try to get ready to leave the house would be a relief. For a little while it really was nice to just worry about the littlest, but I started to miss it. I heard songs I would want to tell Corde about on the radio. We always talked about the songs I heard when I was a teen when they came on the radio. I saw things I would have loved to point out to Beekee as we drove by because he would get excited. I thought of all the natural lessons that we missed because of the things we saw or did without the bigs. It’s been hard. The days seemed to crawl at first, and while it still feels like a painfully long time, it’s not as slow going as it was. I’m almost worried that I won’t have everything done and ready for them to attend the first day of co-op if they can. I had all but counted on them not making it. I doubted my ex would have them back in time. I still have books to get. We don’t have Corde’s Latin book. We don’t have the history book. I’m not sure we can afford to purchase them before the co-op. Again, the child support problem is really kind of damaging my ability to do for my kids as I was assured there would be no gap. I should have anticipated this and prepared accordingly. It will all get done, just maybe a week or two late. I almost wish I had more time to sort it out, but more than anything, I’m excited to have my kids coming home soon. I really miss them.

I also worry about how much they may have changed. I know it’s just a month, but they’ve been living with an entirely different lifestyle. They take baths there, not showers. Corde blow dries her hair and I don’t even own a hair dryer. She’s been getting used to shampoo and conditioner. I don’t use conditioners since they make her hair flat and greasy in Texas humidity. Generally we use a two-in-one instead. They probably eat very different foods because their step-mom is ten times the cook I could ever be. They have a different bedtime routine. They’ve even been hanging out with school kids instead of mostly homeschool and unschool kids. I hate to admit it, but there is a difference between the two. I worry because Corde’s step-sister said something I didn’t quite catch about makeup, and I think Corde’s too young to even be thinking about that. I don’t even wear makeup. She’s had a little eyeliner and eyeshadow put on when going out with her aunt to get her hair cut, but it was a girls’ day out. It was supposed to be special. I don’t want her to judge me because I don’t wear makeup like her step-mom or use conditioner. I hope she’s open to hearing why I think makeup and chemical hair products are bad, or why I don’t use a hair dryer. I worry about the clothes her dad bought for her. I don’t know what he’d let her pick. She likes really short shorts, to the point where I think they’re inappropriate. I don’t want to be the bad guy and take the clothes she picked away because her shorts are too short. I already had to weed out a bunch that were given to her for that very reason. My ex asked about whether she needed bras before he picked her up. She’s only ten! I could easily have gone without a bra until I got pregnant with Corde. I’ll be shocked if she has reason for a bra before she’s sixteen and even then I’m not going to make her wear one. I would never wear one if I could be comfortable without one. It should be a choice, just like my choice to wear shoes as little as possible. I know I’m probably worrying way too much over nothing. It’ll probably be fine. I can trust Corde to make good choices. She’s got a good head on her shoulders, and if I give her good reasons, she’ll understand. If I don’t give her reasons that resonate with her, well, that’s part of the experience of letting go. She’s old enough to make decisions for herself, even if I don’t like all of them. I can get her conditioner if she wants it. Baths take longer and tend to waste more water, but we’ll see. If she really feels she needs to blow dry her hair she can save her allowance and get her own hair dryer. I don’t think she’ll be interested in makeup that much since she’s not into boys yet, and since her friends here aren’t boy crazy, I can imagine that will put some positive peer pressure towards being a kid and not a teen just a little longer.

But I’ll have all my answers soon enough. We’ll have it all figured out. The books will get here when they do. The transportation will work out somehow. Corde and Beekee will be home before long. Everything will be back to as normal as can be expected with everything going on. We’ll catch everyone up on that later. Right now I just want to focus on the good and we can talk about the bad that’s swiftly moving into the past when I catch up and catch my breath!

I hope everyone has been having a fabulous summer. Enjoy what little there is left. I know the end is fast approaching (or maybe already here depending on your state and if you adhere to the school calendar or have kids in school!) It won’t be long before we’re talking harvests, new school projects, and fall holidays. Enjoy the pools, water parks, beaches, and other summer activities while you can!

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Author: Fox

With four kids in the house, who has time for much? Well, we're trying to make it work, trying to get as close to our unschooling roots as we can while state restrictions and family pressures try to stand in our way. Every day is a new adventure.

2 thoughts on “One More Week (Give or Take)

  1. Hey, you! For some reason your blog posts haven’t been showing up in my reader. Hmmm…. I wonder why. It’s great to find you again and check in with how things are going.

    I’m sorry to hear there are so many worries headed your way. You’ll definitely be in my thoughts. Trust in knowing that your children love you and appreciate you for who you are. Yes, things were different there, but different doesn’t mean either good or bad, just different. While they may like some of the differences, they probably also like coming home to what is comfortable and familiar.

    Keep us posted in how things come about. I would strongly advise talking to the ex and reminding him he is responsible for travel expenses. If he wishes to meet you half way, consider finding a decent hotel and picking the kids up there. This way you can spend your first night visiting and swimming in a pool; then head home the next morning and enjoy the drive! If he is not okay with fronting the cash (hey, travel expenses, right?) then perhaps he would then be willing to make the full drive? Just a thought….

    Either way, it has been great reading how things are going with you all. I have gone ahead and followed you, so I don’t have to worry about my reader working properly. Hooray for technology!

    • It’s good to hear from you again! You’re always so thoughtful and insightful. You’re right, the kids will probably be happy to be home once they settle in. It’s going to be rough at first, I’m sure, but life will eventually get better again. It’ll be good to have them home.

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