BulgingButtons

Not bad for a fat girl


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Well This is Embarrassing

I’m so sorry, September. I missed you completely. August, I didn’t do much better with you, and October, you’re nearly over. It’s certainly been a blogging dry spell, but I’m back. Back and better than ever? Maybe not, but at least I’m here. Showing up counts for something, right?

Halloween is in a few days, and our decorations are still in the “attic” space above the garage. They’ve been there for a while, since I’m pretty sure we didn’t get them out last year either. We were still reeling from my sweetheart’s hospitalization (or as he likes to call it, his visit to camp). This year we’re just busy, I guess, and less motivated than it takes to climb a ladder and hand down a big plastic tote or two.

I think we’re both waiting for the dust to settle, literally and figuratively. Literally because our master bathroom has been a work in progress since the end of September. Realistically, it’s not that long, but it feels longer since we haven’t been able to use our shower since months before that.

In order to accommodate the new bathtub, vanity, countertop, and sink we moved the bed out. I also had to completely empty my walk-in closet. It was a good excuse to weed out some things I don’t need. My son’s room was conveniently empty since he moved into his own apartment in August, so it became the temporary bedroom.

The tub has since been installed, as has the vanity, but the shower isn’t quite done, the medicine cabinets aren’t yet up, and the closet doors still need to be installed. Finally the towel bars go up, and voila, it’s done! I love my new tub. I love the new tile. I love the new vanity. I’m concerned that the paint I chose might be a little bright. A more grey hue would have been better. Live and learn. At least paint is easier to change than practically anything else (new towels would be easier), but it’s not impossible down the line if I really don’t like living with the current color. I love the color, but it might not be quite right for the space.

Then there’s work. Busy, busy, busy. Which is why I’m pursuing an advanced teaching credential, because if you want something done, give it to a busy person. It’s a lot of work, and I’ve barely begun, but I can do it, especially since I have wonderful teammates alongside me.

So that’s a quick update. I’m sure I’m missing tons, but hopefully you’ll hear more from me soon. For now, though, I have to get back to work.


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Keep on Dancing

 

So Mr. Google and I have been seeing a lot of each other lately, as I try to figure out some of the cool features he has to offer. Why a he? No idea. Moving on.

As I was sorting through photographs (on Google Photos) I came across a cool feature that probably everyone else in the world already knows about. Google sorted my pictures by events or objects, like boats, castles, graduation, etc. Well, the category that immediately caught my eye was dancing.

I clicked over to that group and was greeted by not only photos, but some short videos I had taken. I got to see my son dance around with intensity at his summer camp performances (I think choreography is a talent of his). It was fun to watch him “Bernie” with his friends and totally get into it.

I also took a trip down memory lane to watch my niece Whip and Nay-nay (I don’t have a clue how to spell that one and frankly don’t care enough to find out). She was a little smidge of a kid at her oldest brother’s Bar Mitzvah. In a few months she’s having her own Bat Mitzvah. She’s grown up a lot.

And then there was my brother and his wife. It was a short clip, but it was lovely to see the two of them enjoying themselves surrounded by family and friends. Finally, and maybe best of all, was the clip of my son dancing with his grandmother. She has about two dance moves and they both involve pumping her fists at her sides at though she’s running. It’s awkward, but she loves to dance, and he loves her, so there you go. It’s sweet, and I’m glad I got to see it today.

It’s funny how something unexpected can transport you to another place and time. I wasn’t expecting to think about any of those events today, but there they are. I’m grateful for photos and videos. I know many people take them but never look at them. I look at them. I like to remember. I also like to dance.

 


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Learning Patience

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How do we learn patience? How do we learn that sometimes things don’t happen as quickly as we would like them to? Is patience a trait that can be taught or does it develop naturally?

Infants, of course, have no patience. If they’re uncomfortable, they let you know. In return we take care of their needs. I think it’s natural that asĀ  kids grow they still have their needs met by adults, but perhaps not as quickly. Does that teach patience or just lead to irritability? I think it can go either way.

If I want your attention but you put me off brusquely I will probably feel hurt. If you tell me that you’ll give me your attention shortly, I’m likely to be satisfied. Does it work that way for kids too? I suppose it depends on a lot of things, like who the kid is, what they want, and what’s going on around them.

I’m thinking about patience because of our state testing. Can kids who are nine or ten years old patiently go through all of the questions and possible responses and evaluate all of them before choosing? Can they be expected to sit quietly for multiple hours at a time? How much patience are they supposed to have?

Some of my students are quite impulsive. Some of them are extremely high energy. Sitting quietly doesn’t come easily to them. They’re trying, though, and for that I applaud them.

I do think it would help kids learn a little more patience if we didn’t drop everything to cater to their wishes. I see it a lot. Out at the mall a kid whines about being hungry and out comes the bag of Cheerios. At the restaurant there’s a wait for the food and out comes the technology. A student leaves a paper at home and a parent drops everything to run it over to school.

I know this rant sounds all old and “in my day,” but I assure you my mother never carried around sippy cups and snacks, and if I forgot my violin or my homework? Well, that was on me. It would never have occurred to me to ask her to bring anything to school (or even to call her from school–only the nurse did that– and only if I was throwing up).

But did I carry snacks around when my son was small? You bet. We’re much more mobile now. My mom and I didn’t go far when I was a kid. Maybe to the grocery store, or the bank or the beauty parlor or the dentist. Wherever it was, we always went home afterward. We didn’t live out of some rolling second house on wheels complete with snacks, communication systems, and entertainment. Jeez, in those days there weren’t even cup holders. Can you imagine? Barbaric.

I’m not suggesting a return to the dark ages (I love my cup holders), but maybe we could use a little more patience and try to teach it to our kids. Maybe we can take our time on a project and not expect instant results. Maybe we can engage kids in something that isn’t instant and takes work. How about planting a garden or building a backyard obstacle course or writing and illustrating a book? Maybe even just reading a long book together, one chapter at a time. There is value in delayed gratification, and there is value in persistence. I wish more kids had opportunities to experience both on a regular basis.

When our kids mess up, we have to let it happen. No, I’m not suggesting you allow your child to set the house on fire, but you paving the way so that your child never experiences any discomfort is a disservice to your child. I know you want your child to be happy. I know you don’t want him to be uncomfortable. But do you want him to be independent? Do you want her to be resilient? Do you want them to be self-reliant? Or do you want to fix everything for them for the rest of their lives?

The “pay to get my kid into the college of my choice even if the kid isn’t qualified” folks don’t. Their message to their kids is, “Whatever you might be capable of on your own isn’t good enough, and you need me to step in so that you can have success as I define it.” Ouch.

Maybe it sounds cruel to a modern parent, but the phrase, “No, I won’t play with you right now, go find something to do, without technology,” can be a loving response to your child. Let kids explore and use their imaginations, and they will discover worlds that aren’t found in any app. Stop trying to fix everything for them, they will be okay as long as you let them fail from time to time. Being uncomfortable in the short run can have great benefits in the long run. And parenting isn’t instant. You have to have patience.