It is interesting how the family dynamics shift when one member is away. It has been interesting this week to see how everyone is a little different without Reagan here. I think being a homeschooling family we spend a lot more time together as a whole. On a daily basis we are just used to being all home. I mean we all have our own activities, but the kids are not gone to school during the day, etc...
I have had fun with Jake and Lizzie this week. I think on a whole I spend a lot more time with Lizzie, as she is the youngest. Then generally Reagan and I go quite a bit of places together, like shopping, etc... Jake tends to like to stay home alone if we are all leaving...he is a bit of a loner. He does NOT enjoy shopping with Reagan and I, which is no surprise. I have really tried to purposefully do things that Jake enjoys this week with him. It is really fun to spend time with him and he has been more receptive with Reagan gone. He LOVES to play cards - so we have done that a lot. Also, I have let him pick what he wants for meals, and he has helped cook. By the way, we made a crispy fish with a white chocolate sauce that was to DIE for!!
I guess as a mother of three I don't realize how hard it is at times to actually see each kid individually and try and connect with them on their level. Actually, the little ones are so much easier - Lizzie is content with anything we do as long as I am there with her. Reagan is a little harder at her age, but Jake seems to be the toughest for me to truly connect with. I don't know if it is mostly because I really am clueless about boys. I didn't have any brothers and didn't spend much time with my dad as a kid. Maybe it is partly because in our culture it is acceptable for a girl to desire and seek out her mom, but teenage boys feel they shouldn't want or need that so much. The truth is, I think they do desire it. I am kinda just blabbing here - I don't really know what I am talking about...maybe Citizen can give more insight here.
All I know is I have a very few short years with Jake living in the same house, and even less for Reagan. Even though Lizzie is still young, I know first hand how quickly she will be on the verge of her own life - because these years with Reagan and Jake have really gone so fast. I just want to lay the foundation now to have healthy, fun relationships with my kids for the future! I think this week was one step closer to that for Jake and I.