Hey there readers...this week has been a whirl-wind!
First things first, thanks for the well wishings that I got. I had fully recovered, and am chock full of the daily recommended amount of blood again, so I am all ready to go!
On the home front...things are...different. Report cards came out this week, and school pictures were sent home at the same time. Its funny...when I look at the pictures of my kiddios, I can see everything that is going on in their live, right on their faces.
Q has this "I'm too cool to smile, because thats just not what 8th grade boys do...but momma said she was paying good money for these pictures, so I'd better not look mean" look on his face. He also shows me that there are lots of things on his mind...gotta keep his grades up, or the drum lessons will become shorter; dealing with girls; trying to keep up with homework; and church things: his best friends go to church with us, and do things one way, while the neighborhood kids he goes to school with do things another way. He feels like he has 2 sets of friends, and being the same person in front of both groups isn't as easy as he thought it would be.
J brought his pictures home, and his face looks like "I want to smile...and I'm gonna...but wait! I'm not ready...doggit, you caught me". J is having some issues right now. What I didn't realize in my own grief is that J (who is named after my daddy) has been hit hard by his death as well. Not only are J and I very close, and he sees what I'm going through, but being a namesake hasn't made things easier for him. His grades are effected. Being a child who deals with emotional abuse issues, he takes EVERYTHING alot harder than his siblings. His grades are showing this as well. He does great on his tests, and does his homework, but gets lazy at the point where he has to hand it in. He is also easily distracted in class. I told him today to let his teacher know that I need to work on an IEP (Individual Education Plan) with her, because I am thinking that he may need psychological help in school. I already sees a counselor, and is in the 'Confidence Club' (a group of students who are shy or have esteem issues, working with one of the school counselors), but he may need more than that. I already knew what his grades were before the report cards came home (thanks to online grade reporting), so I knew what to expect. However, he was crushed when he got his grades. He was reluctant to show me, because he thought he was going to get in trouble, but since I knew a couple of weeks ago, I had already thought about what to do, and without him realizing it, we have already been dealing with it. But those grades! The only thing that he has to gauge himself with...he saw them, and immediately decided that he was stupid. I have to explain to him constantly that he is not stupid, he is not a dummy, but maybe the way he's learning isn't the style that's best for him. I explained that there are 9 different learning styles, and most teachers really only use 3 or 4 of them. I told him that I will help him to find his learning style, and that we will work together to bring those grades up...together.
Bean's pictures showed me exactly what I already knew about her. "I love this, this is cool, I am great and everything is well with the world". Her smile is so easy, and third grade life couldn't be better. Her only real issues in life are why we can't go out and buy her teacher a huge birthday present, and dealing with her brothers at home. However, last night, she told me she felt so bad, she wanted to run away. I asked her why, she said "because I keep doing wrong things". She said this after I reminded her about deodorant. (Yes...its gotta be in the hormones in the food...my baby has been wearing deodorant since she was 5!) Every night, after showers, I ask my kids the 3 questions...Did you brush your teeth? Did you put on deodorant? Did you take your medicine? She had forgotten one of those, and I asked her to go and do it. Earlier in the day, she had forgotten to do something else. To me, its no big deal, but I have to remember, I'm not 8. To her, anytime mom has to tell her to do something that she should have already done, its a big deal, and 'maybe I'm getting in trouble'. I tried to break it down to her as much as I could, explaining that everyone makes mistakes before they get really good at something, they even forget a bunch of times before something becomes a habit. We laid together, quietly talking for a few minutes, as I let her know that messing up is okay and that I would be very sad if she ran away. My life wouldn't be the same, and who would help me when the brothers ganged up on me? Who would sing the girl songs with me, and who would I practice dancing with?
I swear, being a momma shows me myself. I thought this morning that a few months ago, all yesterdays conversations would have gone so differently...but thinking about youth development has really changed me. I also think about how my being an adult versus them being children has got to feel on their part, and that I don't want to disrespect them as people. Young people, but people nonetheless.
When was the last time you changed a conversation you were going to have with a child out of respect for them? Have you ever punished, or 'snapped' on a child because its 'what your're supposed to do'? Did this happen to you as a child, and if so, how has it effected your adulthood?