Here catch! New sibling, new house, new school

– Posted in: family business, motherhood, parenting


New sibling. New house. New school.

We are rocking our way through a pretty good staycation spring break, but already I’ve got my sights set on SUMMER. I don’t mean to jump ahead in time. Spring is great as far as seasons go. I’m always so appreciative that spring comes back around and saves us all from the clutches of winter.

But yeah summer. That’s where my mind is because—-new sibling, new house, new school.

So much newness ahead for my gang. My posse. My crew. My brood. My gaggle. Eh, I never know what to call them. My family? That works too.


I think a lot about how my wants and my decisions affect my family. My children didn’t particularly ask for a new sibling. They didn’t start a campaign to move us and be uprooted for a year+ to build! build! build! And they have friends and familiarity at their current school. It was we who wanted to switch them into a new one come Fall 2015–into a lovely little parochial school within walking distance of our new house. Yep, these were mostly all my wants (and Mitchell’s) and I feel it’s up to us to be as empathetic as possible in the coming months. We’re responsible for seeing these transitions through.

New people. New places. New things. SO MANY NEW NOUNS TO DEAL WITH.

That’s a ton to throw at anyone, let alone a seven, an almost six, a four, and a two-and-a-half year old. Are you ready Leo, Gus, Matilda, and Oscar?

HERE. CATCH! Hand/eye coordination, kids. Look alive! CATCH ALL THAT NEWNESS, now.


But that’s just it. I don’t want to sling that newness around. Heap it on them like that. Bury them in it for goodness sake.

And so summer. I’m thinking about it. Getting ready for it in my mind. How can I make these changeovers go smoothly for them? There will certainly be bumps and we’ll all learn and grow from those bumps. But a mom can aim for smooth can’t she?

I believe she can.


After some time, I’ve come up with a plan. A simple plan. Let’s call it PLAN STEADY. Because I like to name things.

I read a piece on the Huffington Post recently called I’m Done Making My Kid’s Childhood Magical. I’ll admit, as a lover of magical things, the title was initially off-putting to me. But I clicked and I read and I then I audibly exhaled.

These are the parts spoke to me:

None of this negates the importance of time spent as a family, but there is a huge difference between focusing on being together and focusing on the construction of an “activity.” One feels forced and is based on a pre-determined goal, while the other is more natural and relaxed. The immense pressure that parents put on themselves to create ethereal experiences is tangible.


A childhood without Pinterest crafts can be magical. A childhood without a single vacation can be magical. The magic we speak of and so desperately want our children to taste isn’t of our creation, and therefore is not ours to dole out as we please. It is discovered in quiet moments by a brook or under the slide at the park, and in the innocent laughter of a life just beginning.

Magic in the small, uncontrived moments? Oh yes, that’s something I am definitely standing behind.


Like when we’re just sitting around the table and Gus says to me Mom, you can a picture of ME, but DON’T LOOK at what I’m making…. YET.

I’ll admit;  I did peek.
DSC_4382And just like that I had a beautiful new Gus-creation. A red heart with yellow orbs and lines criss-crossing all through it. To Mom. From Gus.

I loved it. I love it still. I love everything about it. That. Sitting at the table with my kids. Listening to them talk. Watching them make things on their own. No prompts or pushes or constraints.

I don’t know if you do, but I see/feel the magic in that.

And those are just the kinds of experiences I want all summer long while we take in, breathe in, absorb, adjust, shift into the newness around us.  While we take it the new in our arms and envelop it. I want to cradle the new, like an egg in my palm, and pass it along to my kids. Spend the next season laying low and listening and talking and listening and doing seemingly small things.

Comfortably walking into the next part of our new life.


That is Plan Steady, and I’m sticking to it. 


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I'm a mom of five, wife to one, life-long Louisvillian. Six years ago I put down the key to my middle school classroom and picked up a camera instead. Now a pro photographer, writer and activist, I blog to share with you those passions and to spread good feelings through the words and pictures you find here.

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10 Comments… add one

April 3, 2014, 2:51 pm

I love Plan Steady! And I think that article on HuffPo is great.
I know a thing or two about big changes and uprooting the kids because of our wants and needs. When we moved to Canada we made that decision for them, and despite predictions from the Old Country their childhood has not been ruined. Canadian campfires are pretty magical 😀
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April 3, 2014, 9:15 pm

Yes. Awesome. So much new, the new that is cool and exciting and can be fun! May you have smooth sailing on into summer, my friend.
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Kim April 4, 2014, 12:30 am

I like the sound of Plan Steady. The magic in those quiet and unscripted moments – that is the stuff, right there. I love that.
Can I also say that I am kinda jealous of the shoes (no boots!) and no jackets. Could you send some spring weather up north, please? :)
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April 4, 2014, 1:05 am

I am definitely rooting your Plan Steady because that’s what we need around these parts come 6 months time! May your next few months be smooth and beautiful.
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April 4, 2014, 2:09 pm

Love this plan. I think we could all learn a little bit from you.
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April 8, 2014, 1:23 am

Plan Steady sounds awesome- even though kids (yours especially) are so darned resilient. And I felt the same way about that article!! It’s really stuck with me…
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Andrea April 8, 2014, 11:23 am

Your plan sounds great. I appreciate the newness in the everyday, the ordinary. When we go searching for the magic! and amazing! we often miss the quiet moments that take our breath away. You’ve got it right, and your family is better off for it.
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Tamara April 9, 2014, 3:04 pm

This is my first time here, and I’m coming back! We seem to have many mutual blogging friends and the whole mother/photographer/blogger thing in common.
Gorgeous photos and words. I come from a family of five and we didn’t always go on vacation and my mom was an art teacher, but sometimes she focused more on her actual paying clients than having us make the perfect everything.
There are pieces of magic everywhere. And you’re capturing it too! (camera and words)
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Emelie Abing April 12, 2014, 2:59 am

sounds a great plan, really useful, might think of a plan too.. in few months well see whats gonna happen….
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Max Arthur April 29, 2014, 4:33 am

Plan Steady sounds awesome. Might do the same.
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