Friday, September 21, 2007

New Beginnings

As anyone who's been keeping an eye on Joy's blog will know, September has brought a lot of changes for our family. The biggest change is that Joy is now in training to become a computer machinist. She's doing really well at it. Every day she tells me of some new math she's learning or a new piece she's making with the machinery, and I'm just totally in awe of her. She's facing her challenges and even though she's nervous about it she's meeting them head on and winning. After all these years she continues to be an inspiration to me.

Mylene's back in school too, and now in the second grade. She's still struggling with her spelling but as usual she's doing great in math. We've started playing hangman with her spelling words as a way of reinforcing them, and I think it helped a little this week. She's also been bitten by the theater bug! She was in a performance of The Jungle Book over the summer (she played Kaa), and has still been pursuing acting and singing lessons twice a week now.

As for me, well, I'm settling in quite comfortably in my new full-time role as Mr. Mom. I get up with Joy somewhere between 5:30 and 6:00 AM, help her pack her lunch and spend breakfast with her, and then see her off to class. Then I have about an hour until I have to get Mylene up for school, which I usually spend either getting little things done around the house or checking my daily rounds on the interweb tubes. Then it's time to get Mylene up and ready for school and out to the bus in time.

From there I try to make sure the place is clean and everything is in order for everyone; Joy's got so much to focus on, I don't want her to have to worry about the house, and I want her to have a peaceful environment to study in. Anyone who's been a regular visitor to our house knows what a challenge that is! I seem to be doing okay with the housework; the really tough part for me is all the social aspects of it that Joy used to coordinate. Making sure that doctors and teachers and other parents are all called as needed and everything's good to go, that kind of thing. Having to step outside of my shell and take the first step to contact people isn't always easy for me, but it's good for me to have this pushing me to do it now.

Mylene comes home first, and she tells me about her day and we go over her homework, and I start getting dinner ready for when Joy gets home. And no, it hasn't been pizza every day. ;) I'm actually learning to cook some new foods. Mostly simple chicken dishes, but since we all like chicken it's worked out well for us all. And luckily for me Joy is very easy to please when it comes to dinner. It's been really great though and each successful meal just inspires me to want to learn how to cook more.

Then we all sit down and have dinner together around the table and talk about our day. That may not sound like a big deal, but it really is for me. I really liked it when my family started doing that when Mom & Jim got married when I was growing up. Until now we've always just kind of winged it in our family, with each of us having whatever we wanted for dinner whenever we wanted. A lot of dinners in front of the TV, that kind of thing! Which worked fine for a while, but now that we're spending so much time apart I really feel like this helps bring everyone back together.

I've really been enjoying the whole experience. It's a totally different direction for me, but I think it's been the most rewarding thing I've ever done.