the winds of change

A new season of our lives begins tomorrow. Livi starts her first day of 5th grade. I know it really hasn’t hit me yet, because the notion of me having a 5th grader is just nuts. I remember 5th grade vividly. (ish).

After preschool, kindergarten, and first grade at a Christian school, then 2nd-4th grades being homeschooled, I started 5th grade at a public school (then moved the following summer and did 6th-12th at a new public school).

(I also graduated from college in three years, spent my last three months of it teaching in Japan, substitute-taught in Ohio half a year, got married, subbed in Indiana half a year, taught in Indiana for a year, taught in Cleveland for a year (minus two months), subbed in Columbus for half a year, had a baby, and moved 10 times in our first 10 years of marriage.)

Does this put my restless spirit into a bit of perspective?

Where was I?

Oh yeah. I remember 5th grade. And now I have a 5th grader. That’s crazy talk. Livi is excited about her first day, and I’m excited for her. I’m not looking forward to watching her walk to the bus stop without her sister though. I’m a big proponent of sisterly togetherness, and I’m already feeling the pang.

She says she wants to be homeschooled next year. I think I like that idea. But, for now, I know that this is where she’s supposed to be. And she’s gonna do great.

Ava. Her online classes don’t start until August 29, but we’re going to jump in tomorrow morning with some school stuff. Our goals? Work on multiplication facts, spelling, and she’s going to read out loud a bunch to Mom.

I’m really looking forward to this year with her. Out of all my girlies, she’s the hardest one for me to figure out. And, ironically, she just might be the most like me. Go figure. Just goes to show that I just don’t get me. And after all these years.

She’s excited to be taking French. A foreign language was optional (it takes the place of Music–glory hallelujah!!), and she could choose from Spanish, German, French, or Latin. I was all about the Spanish, but she wanted something more exotic, so French it is. The cool thing is that Cambodia used to be a French colony, and some of the older folks still speak some French. (The guy I sat by on the plane last year spoke French.) Maybe she’ll get to put it to use.

And Nina. My baby. She starts kindergarten on the 24th. Goodness. She, too, wants to be homeschooled next year. We’ll see. I can’t decide how I feel about her going to school. I don’t feel super-emotional at the moment, and I think it’s for a couple of reasons.

1.) It just seems temporary. Two-and-a-half hours each afternoon (practically preschool) and then she just might be back home with mama next year.

2.) Her co-teachers are absolutely unbelievable. I mean, seriously. Like, I know they’re human and everything, but in my eyes, they can do no wrong. Livi and Ava loved them, and Nina and I volunteered in their rooms last year on Wednesdays. And I feel like I’m just loaning Nina to two dear friends for the afternoon so she can socialize with other little people and be a complete teacher’s pet (did I just say that out loud?).

So, yeah, that’s what’s going down, starting tomorrow. I’ll be honest. There’s a little twinge of regret that I may never, not ever, get that alone time I kind of crave. I was all set to have three hours to myself every afternoon, and my 9-year-old decides she wants to stay home and keep me company.


But I’m so grateful. I love my daughters. I love my husband. And I’m excited to see how this school year unfolds for us as a family. We leave for Cambodia in four little months and have lots to keep us busy until then. God is good.

Counting my blessings tonight. And praying for a good start tomorrow.

Anybody else starting a new season sometime soon?

15 thoughts on “the winds of change

  1. Pingback: Marla Taviano » will purge for food

  2. Marla

    WE ARE!!!!! Brinley starts Kindergarten Sept 6th, yes we start after labor day here in NJ and Paxton starts preschool!!! WOW!!!!!!! Talk about change!!!!!! After two years of working from home full time, looks like I am heading back into the office a couple days a week. My husband will be done grad school in October – after a few years. EVERYTHING is changing at the same time, including my hair color which is showing more gray lately!!! I am anxious about sending Brinley to a public school (8 minute walk) after being at a Christian preschool for three years. Some of my fears were subsided when we found out a girl that babysits once in awhille, her mom will be Brinley’s teacher. I am still nervous!! I toy with homeschooling but I am not sure I have the patience and Brinley listens so much better to others then her own mother!!! All in Gods hands right??? Love ya Marla!! (always sounds like I am talking to myself)

  3. kendal

    i hope your kids do great this year! the newest thing for me is my older is driving himself to and from school this year. i really miss my morming ride into “town’ (we live way out in the country) with him. i feel like we never talk anymore….letting go is hard, huh?

  4. Nadine

    Marla – Praying for you, girl! Yep, it’s written across the top of my lesson plan book so I don’t forget. ๐Ÿ™‚ We began our new season on Monday. Three home-school days down, lots to go, probably will be ‘wet behind the ears’ for a while but already feeling a sense of accomplishment and God confirming that this was the right thing for our family. Blessings to you!

  5. Jessica Y.

    “Thereโ€™s a little twinge of regret that I may never, not ever, get that alone time I kind of crave.”

    I totally get that twinge sometimes… still…

    But it’s totally worth it. (I’m positive of this. Except when I get that twinge.)

  6. valerie (in TX)

    My oldest will be starting middle school next week, and I’m so very sad about it. Even more so than when she left her small private kindergarten and went to “big school” first grade. Not at all excited for her new adventure, the way I should be. Time goes by way, way too fast. ๐Ÿ™ I would love to homeschool (I think), but God has not called us to that – at least for now.

    On the other hand, I was SO excited when I read that you will be leaving for Cambodia in “four little months”! That makes it seem so close!! So excited for you guys and can’t wait to hear all the amazing things God will do on your trip. ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Tarah

    5th grade was my favorite year of school until high school. Here’s hoping it’s a great one for Livi! Now, can I groan a bit too? I’ll have a teenager in two weeks. How is that possible? And, we recently decided to homeschool our boys again rather than send them to middle school. So, I’ll be educating 2 sixth graders, a 4th grader and a K5. I feel like I should be saying goodbye to my friends and the outside world for 9 mos! But, I’m trusting that since this is the decision we have peace about……that God has it planned for me, and I have a feeling it will be a year full of dependence.

    Oh, by the way…..we use the Rural Virtual Academy here. It’s unusual in that it’s a local consortium, so we have alot of personal contact with the staff and students. Not as much online “distance-learning” as the Ohio Virtual Academy from what I hear. But, similar in some ways I’m sure.

  8. Jennifer

    Both of mine are in school this year for the first time. Emma has half-day pre-K, and Ana has full day (!!!) kindergarten. I thought I’d have a harder time emotionally with Emma leaving for school, but she’s gone for such a short time that it hasn’t been as big of a deal as I had anticipated. However, I’m checking my watch every five minutes during the afternoon, wondering if Ana’s school day will ever end! Oh, well. I’m looking forward to next year and the “sisterly togetherness” you mentioned that we’ll have when Ana and Emma are walking into the same big school together. Maybe knowing that they’re there together will keep me from checking my watch all afternoon, right?

  9. Amy

    My oldest started middle school and I can’t stop thinking about her! My youngest started 2nd grade and he says there are too many dictation sentences to write. There are 5. (“There were only 2 last year, mom!”)
    And this part you wrote? ‘Out of all my girlies, sheโ€™s the hardest one for me to figure out. And, ironically, she just might be the most like me. Go figure. Just goes to show that I just donโ€™t get me. And after all these years.’
    I so get this!

  10. Heather Harmon

    Hi Marla;) I’m right there with ya on the kindergarten thing! I can’t believe my lil Kroix is a school kid and my Kaidy is a 7th grader!!! Where oh where did the time go? they were just babies yesterday!!! But I’m doing my best to be positive and excited and I’m am but at the same time I’m sad! Odd emotions to be mixing but I don’t know how else to explain it!! I’ll be praying that all goes smoothly in your neck of the woods and everyone is happy. Prayers appreciated for next week when I send mine to school (with tears) and smiles;)

  11. Suzy

    My baby starts 1st grade this year, the other two 7th & 8th. Like you Marla, I am looking forward to time ALONE, but if it’s like last year, it won’t be like I planned at all. I was a stay at home mom who was never home. God filled my days serving many different families in my church and I loved it. Can’t wait to see what He does with my “spare” time this year. Either way it is nice to transition from the child focused life of a preschool mom into this new season whatever it might look like. Do hope to finish a few projects and maybe join a gym; my butt is one of my projects!

  12. Suzanne

    Yes! Tommy starts school a week from Friday. I’m feeling good about it right now, but I’ll probably be a wreck on Friday!! Have I done enough to prepare him for kindergarten?!

  13. Nina

    Yeah, I started a new season on Monday: teaching at a community college part-time while working at my other job part-time (until recently, I was there full-time). Weirdly, it’s an attempt to have more time with my daughter (and much less income … sigh) because the teaching gig doesn’t require me to be squirreled away in a cubicle 60 hours a week. Plus, my daughter will have a much happier mommy who is following her calling at least part of the time!

    I’ve pretty much accepted that “free time” isn’t a part of life anymore. It’s taken me almost two years to get to that point. I wrote about it on my blog a few days ago–and about how, once I accepted that this life is the “new normal,” I was much more at peace.

    I hope you and your girlies have a wonderful year!

  14. joyce

    Well my ‘baby’ has her first day with students today. She is student teaching in the 2nd grade which I’m pretty sure is impossible since she was just in the 2nd grade yesterday. Sigh. Time does have a funny way of marching on doesn’t it?

    Enjoy this year with your Ava. My youngest (the baby) is also most like me. I tell her I’m not sure if she keeps me young or makes me old : )

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