Thursday, July 28, 2011
Monday, July 25, 2011
Thursday, July 21, 2011
85. watching my girls play soccer.
86. my husband's caring heart.
87. sunny days (before 9:00 am when it is officially TOO HOT).
88. a respite from Firefly's tantrums.
89. mom's night out.
90. laughing with friends until I cry (at mom's night out).
91. a freshly cleaned house (except for the playroom which is now covered in puzzles--see my other post).
92. time to curl up on the couch with a book.
93. time to curl up on the couch with a book. (I am so grateful for this surprise gift of time that I am listing it twice).
95. a friend deciding to homeschool.
Apparently, Turtle and Firefly thought they would get into the act, too. Let me just say, I'm pretty sure we haven't pulled the puzzles out for, oh, about six months. Hmmm, these kids must be getting bored. Maybe we should start school . . .
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
Friday, July 15, 2011
Is there a difference?
I know a few weeks ago I had been hit over the head and forced to realize that I needed to stop looking for an answer, for a "fix" for my child. I even have gone back and read my post. I was working on the idea that God gave Firefly to me, and me to her, just as He designed. There was a reason we were in this family together.
That idea was re-presented to me today, at our local homeschool convention. (Don't you just love those, by the way? My favorite part is when I keep hearing the same refrain over and over again from different speakers--God knowing just what I need to hear and effectively screaming it at me!) "It is not our job to fix our children." Thank you, Debbie Strayer.
I agree. I really do. And in my head I think that I'm really at peace with that fact for Firefly. In my heart, evidently, not so much.
Because I'm wondering why, between the last post and this one, have we been to an Acupuncturist and an Osteopath? Why are we participating in new nutritional supplementation, cranio-sacral manipulation, foot detox baths, and fig seeds inside ears?
I am back to: what is the matter with me?
Aside from many of the obvious choices, not really totally relevant to this post, I'm not sure. Is this part of being a mom? I remember our (my) relentless search for a diagnosis for her. Years, this took. I just could not be at peace until I knew / was validated. There was SOMETHING going on with her. I just needed to know what it was.
Quite a far cry from my working days when I would continually preach, "it really doesn't matter what the specific diagnosis is. We are working on the symptoms, and on how to help your child navigate through their daily life." Really? Now I'm a parent, and I can tell you, it does matter what the diagnosis is. At least, it does to me.
Now I am more at peace. I really am. Most days, anyway. But then I hear about someone who tried something that I haven't tried, and had positive results, and then I start my litany of "what if's?" Could this ONE thing be the one that would (forgive me, Lord) fix things? How could I not try it?
So, off we go. Decision made. We are going to try this. Now the second-guessing comes in. How long should we try before we decide to stop? If there are changes, how do I know this is causing them? Could any of this harm her?
Why can't I accept that this is the way God made her?
What is the matter with me?
Here's where I need you guys. Is this a mom thing? Will this search really be relentless, or will it just end when I get my own mind right? I know there are other moms out there with their own special kiddos, and I'd love your input.
In the meantime, the journey continues. I'm not really sure which answer I'm searching for, but I think I'll know it when I find it. And while I wait, I still have one more day of our homeschool convention. Wonder what will be screamed at me tomorrow? I'll keep you posted . . .
Thursday, July 14, 2011
Kind of a strange picture, to say the least. Yes, it's a little kid in very adorable plaid shorts and a (not-so-adorable) black ninja mask. Yes, he is holding a duct tape rose that is bright pink (more on the continuing saga that is the duct tape obsession in our house later). Yes, he is barefoot and we have clearly either just gotten out of the van from going somewhere or are getting ready to get into it, and my four year-old has no shoes and a ninja mask (and a rose).
So let's forget about commenting on my parenting prowess and get to the point of the picture. That other guy (the big one) is my dad. He lives about three hours away from us and is up here visiting for the week. That in itself is a gift. I love my dad, and we have had a close relationship for many years.
My kiddos adore their Granddaddy. Turtle willingly gives up her room for a week at a time and crashes out on her sister's floor. Bug immediately commandeers Granddaddy to play cars, or superheroes, or some kind of convoluted game of "well, I'll be all of the good guys and you can have this guy, no, I mean this one, and then I'll knock all your guys into the hot lava and then I win." This is another whole set of gifts.
My dad has early onset Alzheimer's Disease. The dad that I grew up with, who took me to baseball games and coached my softball team and drove me to look at colleges, is, well, changing. And I feel like we are in a race against time. How many memories, fun times together, Granddaddy-hugs, can we fit into my kids' brains before the times they have with him will be so different? How long will it be before my dad looks at my son and can't remember his name?
Gee, that's completely depressing. Sorry. I don't let myself go there much. But I do feel the pressure of this race. I do want to give my kiddos the experience of the same kinds of wonderful memories that I have of my dad. I want them to remember what kind of cool person he was / is. (And, to be honest, he's even a little bit cooler now than he was when I was little. He is slowly losing some inhibitions, which sounds scary until you realize that we have had some amazing dance parties in the past several months. And Dad can play a mean air guitar. Who would've thought?!)
My dad's thing is baseball. He really, really, really loves baseball. And not any particular team anymore, but just the game itself. He may have trouble remembering the date, but just ask him A-Rod's batting average, or who the starting pitcher in the All-Star game was. That is probably one of the most defining things about him when I think of him. His dream in retirement was to buy an RV and travel to every major league baseball stadium for a game.
That dream of his has pretty much been stripped away from him for now, and he is OK with that. He has a remarkably good sense of humor and acceptance for what is happening to him. But, hopefully, just that little snapshot of my dad will give you an idea of the importance and honor I saw with the gift that was given to me yesterday.
I was in the back of the house, folding the laundry (surprise, surprise), and when I came out to the playroom I found my gift. My dad was teaching Bug to bat. He was patiently moving Bug's hands on the bat to the right position. He was quietly pitching the Lightning McQueen soft baseball to him over and over and over. He was cheering and encouraging Bug with each swing. He was passing on his enjoyment and knowledge of his favorite game to his only grandson. And Bug will remember.
Thank you, God, for the gift You gave me, You gave my son, and You gave my family. I am in awe of the wonderful ways You show us Your love. I am truly thankful today.
Monday, July 11, 2011
Sunday, July 10, 2011
Trust me. It sounds way more organized than it really is.
But I'm struggling a bit with Bug.
He is four, turning five, this year, which makes him eligible for our state-sponsored Pre-K program. It is offered for three hours a day, and did I mention that it is free? My dear friend runs the school that I would choose for Bug to go to, and I can even have the perk of "non-mandatory" attendance if I need to. Ha. That's good, because we've only been out of the public school system for two years and I am already squirming at the idea of "mandatory" anything.
There is even an afternoon session for him, which means the guilt of "he's in school all morning, we eat lunch, and then I send him to his room for Quiet Time" is gone. (Because, you know, I HAVE to have my Quiet Time!)
Everything seemed to fall in line. It was a sign, you know. He was supposed to go to PreK. And then I would have all morning with him to work with him, too!
What was I thinking?
Who "does school" with their PreK-er, and then sends him off to PreK for three hours?
OK, so does that mean he doesn't go off to school this year? So if he is going to be at home with us, what should I do with him? What curriculum should I use? He already knows all of his letters and letter sounds. But I'm not ready for teaching him how to read (nor for that matter, is he). How do I not pull my hair out with all of the choices? Ahhhh!!
And then I read a wonderful post from Simple Schooling. And if only I could find it again. sigh.
Seems that kids don't actually need to "do PreK". Hmmm. Novel idea, I know.
You know God put that post out there for me to find. I know He did, because the peace that I had once I found it and read it was immense. What if I actually just set aside some time to "be" with Bug in the mornings? What if we read some books, took some walks, built some Lego towers? Wonder of wonders, he might actually enjoy just listening to his sisters' lessons and science "experimenting" with them, too! I think I'm liking this!
I know it's not for everyone. For us, though, our last year of "not school" is going to be enjoyed. We have years (and years and years) to go. We're not going to rush this one.