Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Attention Introverts: help me understand my son!

(this started out as an FB post, but I couldn't pare it down enough...)

Judah is an introvert, so I address you for help. Although this may be a Judah problem, not simply an introvert oddity. He is quiet, slow, introspective, prefers intimate interaction to large groups of friends. He enjoys and needs lots of quiet alone time with his thoughts and imagination. I "get" all this. He's like his father and there are many things to love in these expected manifestation of introversion. I have learned that my role in his life is to make sure he still occasionally spends time with other people and learns to reach out of his comfort zone to minister to others.

But there's one aspect to this people-phobic child that I do NOT know how to deal with... He hates change.

Now, hear me out. I'm not talking about your typical child who hates to have his normal routine messed with. I mean, if Judah is coloring and I say it's time to go outside and play, he moans and groans and collapses on the floor in despair. If we're going out to a friend's house for lunch, he nearly has hysterics in the car on the way. Once we're there, he has a lovely time and cries when it's time to leave. It's rest time and he doesn't want to listen to the NEW audiobook. He wants the one he's listened to a hundred times already. If I FORCE him to listen to the new one, he loves it (nine times out of ten) and doesn't want to turn it off when it's time to go swim. Once he's swimming, he can't handle getting out of the pool for a snack. If he's doing math, he HATES language. If he has to stop Language to do Math, he HATES language. If he's playing with playdough, he can't stand the thought of riding his bike or getting out the legos..... Etc.

You see what I mean?

My tactic so far has been to largely ignore all this and go on ahead with my plans, knowing that he'll simply be about 20 min behind me all the way. But I'm starting to wonder if this is something legitimate that I need to consider. Do we simply need LESS variety in our day? Do introverts have a REALLY HARD time switching focus? Is it better to cater to that? Or gradually force him to be able to move from one thing to the next? Should our homeschool look more like one subject per day, instead of 20 min per subject each day?

Saturday, August 17, 2013

My Almost-Not-Quite Big Girl

I had to disappoint my girl today... Something she has been long anticipating with much pleasure is not going to work out this year. She has to wait another year. She took it well and very quietly. She trusts us.

I knew she would....

For all her drama-- and I know I complain about it a lot-- she is actually a pretty happy-go-lucky kid. All the bluster and fluster, all the brouhaha is but a surface storm and tempest. Underneath all that she's so mature, so still, so stable. Like her daddy. Her tears and hysterical laughter are momentary and fickle, but my Sofi-Chicken is such a good girl underneath all that.

And herein lies my hurt today. The very silence and calm that commends her response lets me know how deep in the disappointment may lie. I no longer claim to understand every nuance of her moods and thoughts, but I suspect that this one stuck in.

But I know, too, that she'll soldier on and she might throw a fit tonight about something trivial like bedtime, or how she's The Only One Who Can't whatever, but that will be all we'll see of the little girl inside who got her feelings hurt and was soso disappointed this afternoon.

Growing up hurts.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Just Write: Being Mother

I often wonder at the miracle of the existence of my children's bodies in real space and time...

Sofia's graceful, statuesque beauty. Judah's lanky, lean limbs-- all flop and wiggle, but with a growing hint and shadow of muscle and wiry strength. The round-headed, never-still bundle of kinetic energy that is my Jamie. I sometimes find it hard to imagine that all those things were once contained within my own body. The shock of chubby squish-balls of cuteness slowly morphing over the years into real, live people takes my breath away.

As I watch them run, wrestle, dance, dive and explore; I am also made breathless by the Gift of their health. God have mercy, the pain I have heard and seen in the voices and faces of fathers and mothers close to my heart, as their babies struggle and gasp. How is it, Lord, that my children have strength and breathe freely? That their hearts beat in perfect time? Their synapses fire in excellent rhythms and every rounded cheek and limb sings a symphony?

Ah me, I am undone by smile and laugh and scream of righteous indignation. The shoulder blades and sway-backed swaggers stir in me a Sistine Chapel's worth of passion. I delight in the transformation of baby fat into man-muscles, push-ups and cartwheels. The long brown hair, shy smile, and Daddy's blue eyes in her girl-woman face that still has some slight trace of the face I once held in the crook of my arm.

I think I must have somehow become a Mother.

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