Friday, September 23, 2011

Saturday Smiles

For the Bead Soup Blog Party post, please go HERE.

I finally get to start regularly posting Saturday Smiles! Farmer's Market is over and the cold weather is coming, so my life reverts to more indoor activities. Or at least more child directed activities.
Both of my girls are involved in dance this year, and Deborah gets to be a mouse in the local production of The Nutcracker! She is thrilled and I'm a little over-whelmed.

On Saturdays, I try to share 3 to 5 items, people or memories that have made me smile during the previous week. The order is unimportant and sometimes my items are a little silly.

1.) Shamrocks
I grew up with shamrocks in the house. My mom has this incredible green thumb and anywhere we lived we had plants all through our home. The first plant I remember caring for was a shamrock.
Beth found a lovely variegated shamrock at Farmer's Market on the last day, took it home and gave it to our mom. We have all been enjoying it's presence in the dining area.

2.) Abigail likes school this year!!

Abigail HATED kindergarten. With a passionate and unembarrassed hatred. She would cry for at least 20 minutes every school morning before we left the house, and I would end up dragging her through the halls to her class and pushing her into the room. I felt bad, but after talking it over with her & her teacher, and visiting the class (Remember, I work in the school) I felt compelled to leave her in that class.

Her biggest expressed reason for hating kindergarten was, "I hate being told what to do!" While I understand her problem (I don't really like being told what to do either), I'm afraid there really isn't anybody who doesn't get told what to do sometimes. And if we'd chosen to turn it into a teacher issue and moved her into a different class-room, I think Abigail would have gotten the idea that she could cry her way out of anything... Plus, though I don't think her kindergarten teacher was the absolute best fit, I just don't think that was the bigger issue. I think the bigger issue was that she really didn't like having someone else tell her what to do, and that I probably should have held her back another year.

I don't know if that's true, but I do know that Abigail struggles to be still, has a stubborn streak a mile-wide just like her mama and that her Kindergarten teacher would address it head on. Her first grade teacher this year has a daughter who is very similar to Abigail, and instead of butting heads with Abigail she generally chooses to go around her, and give her the opportunity to choose to cooperate.

All I know for sure is that this year is working. Whether she's just old enough now, or more mature, or has a teacher that fits her learning style better, Abigail LOVES first grade. She doesn't have an assigned space, she doesn't have to stay at one desk or one table, and she gets to move a lot.

Sometimes Abigail says "I don't want to go to school" in the morning just like last year, but it's more like she feels that she SHOULD say it. She delights in choosing her clothes, and getting herself dressed, and getting her hair done. She hugs me at the school doors in the morning, and runs off to her class.

And it makes me smile.

3) Deborah is soaring, as usual.

I don't know how this girl got so smart... Some of it from me, and some of it from her daddy. But some of it is just an amazing gift. She's a talented author and illustrator with a delightful imagination, she has an amazing ear for music, she loves to dance and move, she does well in reading, in math, and in science.

Her struggle (just like me and her daddy) is with the social stuff. She struggles to share her feelings, find friends, and express what happened during the day. For the most part, we are able to help her translate those feelings into words. Except for her anger.

Her temper comes straight from her daddy. I tend to internalize anger and stew over it. It blasts out of Deborah, and often ends up hurting her as much as the object of her anger. I want to help her! But I feel so helpless. I know she gets scared at how out of control she feels. Her daddy still struggles with his anger and has a very hard time dealing with his lighting-quick temper.

But oh! Her singing and artistry. Her delight in doing school work well. Those things make me smile. I love watching her grasp and understand the concepts she is working with in her homework. I love reading her stories!

She makes me smile.

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