Tuesday, August 07, 2012

we live and we learn

i have spent every spare minute over the last several days planning my pre-school/kindergarten daily schedule and theme unit schedule for the year.  well...not EVERY minute.  but a lot of them.  i am  part of a home school co-op this year and i am the teacher for the pre-school/kinder class.  i'm excited about it.  i mean...who wouldn't want to do things like make snow, have puppet shows, and play with blocks?  on the serious side...it's been fun to plan for the year.

annslee will be 1 of 6 kids in my class.  we went to get her school supplies the other day...and let me go ahead and tell you that a spankin' new box of crayola crayons probably excites me more than just about anyone.  i've been known to just look at them because i didn't want to mess them up.  and we all know how i feel about freshly sharpened pencils.  don't even get me started on toddler scissors and art boxes.

every day, she pulls out her art box and neatly sets out her new crayons, markers, scissors, glue stick, and water-color paints.  she comes and gets me and points at them and says, "mine for pre-school."  she is also fairly excited about her new nap mat...although i'm fairly certain that when it's actually time to use that sucker...she won't be so thrilled with it.

more and more often, i find her being mama.  in this case...it was to her "baby" the glow worm.

i mean...the child has 28 dolls...one of them being one of those ridiculously expensive ones that rhymes with flamerican paul...but she insists on using a hand-me-down glow worm.  i'll never understand that sort of thing.

the boy has started football.  i'm not thrilled about this.  i tried on his helmet and couldn't even hold my head up.  i don't know how this is a good idea for anyone who doesn't out-weigh the equipment.  but chad insists that it's "fine."

we'll see how "fine" it is the first time he gets hit in a game and his mama runs out on the field and levels the kids who did it.  i'm not making any promises about controlling my emotions and flare for the dramatics.  ya knew me when ya married me.  that's what i say. 

there are 2 kinds of kids:  the kind who's muscles are always firing and the kind who's aren't.

aiden had her best friend spend the night tonight...and she is, most definitely the first kind of kid.  if she is not bouncing...she is pouncing.  she was trying to get aiden to kick up into a hand-stand and then flip over the couch.  aiden is the second kind of kid.  she is cautious and her muscles don't seem to fire quick enough to actually enjoy things like that.  it was the same thing with her learning to ride her bike, swim, or play soccer.  her muscles just don't like to do it.  so...she was doing that whole..."want to because it looked fun/not want to because she was afraid she would land on her head" thing.

i really wanted her to do it.  i think i wanted her to because that's what i used to do when i was little, and it's a magical feeling when you see yourself in your children; when you can say, "they got that from me."  i was the first kind of kid.  if i wasn't flipping...i wasn't awake.

i also didn't want her to let fear stop her from doing something that she really wanted to do.

i watched her point her little foot out and stretch her arms up in the air and count to 3...

and then chicken out.

every single time.

so i started offering encouragement and instructing her how to do it and telling her i would spot her.

i've never seen a child with such mixed emotions.

i heard her tell her friend,

"i'm not strong enough.  i'm too weak.  i'm not good at this kind of stuff."

and i saw her feeling bad about that.

after she had tried and cried several times, she got mad at me and ask me to leave the room.

so i did.

and that was hard.  then i overheard her tell her friend,

"i don't know why she wants me to do it so bad."

and then it hit me.

the reason she was so upset was because she honestly thought that i would appreciate and love her more if she was good at "that stuff."  and i had a flash of her watching me go nuts over the olympic gymnastics and flipping on the trampoline in front of her and talking about signing her up for gymnastics.  and i thought about how she has heard the stories about how much i loved gymnastics and soccer and swimming as a child.  and those are the very things that she has been trying to do...but fearing.  and she was feeling like a failure.

it really sucks when you realize that you have failed your child in some way.  but realizing it is the only way to fix it.

i couldn't get to her fast enough.

i knelt down in front of her and took both of her hands in mine.  i looked strait into her tear streaked face.  and i said,

"aiden...i love you.  and if you never learn how to do a cartwheel or flip over the couch...it's okay.  i will still love you just as much.  it does not matter to me if you like the same sports that i like.  i want you to figure out what you like...and then have fun doing it.  you are strong.  you are talented.  you are capable.  you can do anything that you put your mind and heart to.  and i don't ever want you to not do something that you really want to do because you are scared.

she threw herself into my arms for a hug and said, "thank you."

and then she stood up, pointed her little foot out, stretched both arms in the air, counted to 3...and kicked up into a handstand.

she didn't make the flip and her arms gave out and she landed on her head.

but i cheered.  and she smiled.  and her eyes watered...but she got up and tried again.

and i believe........

she will keep right on trying.

and there ain't nothin' wrong with that.


she went to bed with a wet head.  remember when people thought that you could catch a cold from doing that?

with the girls all tucked up...the boys got to enjoy some star wars in mama's bed.

lucky dogs.

No comments: