Tuesday, August 11, 2009

New Beginnings out the Wazoo

Get this: we went back to school yesterday. As in, August 10. I'll pause here to allow for expressions of outrage and sympathy. Isn't that early? It just seems crazy to me. Why can't we start after Labor Day like civilized people? Of course, we did get out before Memorial Day, but that was like ages ago and who even remembers that and WAH! But these girls seem happy enough.

Laura and her Buds

This brings me to a story that I think is very illustrative of Laura's outlook and of how sometimes you realize you're parenting the child you were instead of the child you have:

We moved here three years ago, the June before she was to start Kindergarten. Also, Hank was born that June, so there was a lot for her to adjust to. The week before school started, I sat her down and tried to prepare her in case she was feeling overwhelmed.

I said, “The first morning when you get to kindergarten, you might feel scared, or you might feel a little lonely because you don’t know anyone, but it’s okay. I just wanted to tell you that a lot of kids will probably feel that way. Maybe you’ll even feel like you just want to come home.”

Laura listened to me and then said, “Or maybe I’m going to love it.”

That shut me right up, and I said, "Yes! Maybe you're going to love it!" I had this whole list of worries in my head, but they weren't her worries.

This is how I've learned from being her mom. She just never seems to dread a bad outcome, or she doesn't let fear keep her from trying things. The first time she was going to try out for swim team, at barely six years old, I was trying to give her a way out, saying, "You know, if you want to wait 'til next year to try swim team, we can just go enroll in another swim class for this year instead." I was worried that by suggesting swim team to her, I had set her up to be disappointed or embarrassed if she wasn't ready. She just said, "Well, can't I just try out, and if they say I'm not good enough, I'll just take more lessons?" Oh, well I'm glad one of us is the mature one.

I realized that we have limits in our heads--limits to what we think we can do or be, and if we're not careful, we put those limits right on our kids. I'm not kidding when I say that this was a huge learning moment for me as a parent. Another learning moment: say no to Floam.

So I wasn't surprised after her Open House the other night to hear Laura say, "I think it's going to be another great year."


In Hank news, that little stinker can climb out of his bed now. (He still sleeps in his crib.) For the last several days, instead of hearing him call, "Mama, I'm AWAKE!" every morning, he just appears at my bedside and begins ordering breakfast. It's kind of nice, actually. It makes him seem like a big kid now.

And he takes himself to the toilet now, too. People, it is AWESOME. I feel like, "All those months and years of nurturing you, little bud, and now this, THIS, is success!" Just in time for him to start nursery school next month.

So I guess my work here is done. Excuse me, I have to go to my room now and cry forever.


The Dental Maven said...

It's all good, Sista'. And better still, new research says that people with positive outlooks tend to stay disease free and live longer!!!! Sounds like Laura has a long, healthy future ahead of her!

Michele said...

It is so much easier parenting half glass full kids.

Hank must have been the easiest kid to toilet train ever! Yay Hank!

Jenni said...

well, doesn't laura look cute with her polka dot bag?

and, oh my god, HANK! a grown child. time for another?

Sjn said...

One of these days, maybe at a company extended family get together, I have to meet that independent child. She sounds delightful! If I've done my math correctly, she's in 2nd grade? Ms. Kelly should have some good insight for what you're in for this year.
And Hank... wow... the day you drop him off you'd better have something planned to do after so you don't go home to an empty house.

Amy said...

Those girls look so beautiful! So fresh faced--I love it. Go, Laura! What a great spirit she has. I know what you mean about parenting the child you were! I do the same and Jason is always telling me to chill. :)

Maggie said...

I love the postive attitude that Laura has. I wish I had her little voice inside of me when I am nervous about trying something new. We could all learn from her. You have done an amazing job with your kids.

Cassie said...

What precious children you have! Great job, mom. =)

The Messy Mom said...

I never noticed just HOW MUCH Laura looks like you. That does seem really early for school although I thing it starts up next week around here.

Christine said...

(Although I've now decided to surface as one of your readers again, I'm not going to lie and say I'm all caught up with your posts; I'm just going to jump in now and hang on...)

1. Holy cow...August 10 is not right.

2. Congrats to Hank for crossing over to The Other Side! I hope he never goes back like my two did before they decided potties were a good thing all the time.

3. I'm going to cry forever with you...

Becky said...

Hey Christine! We missed you. And I am sure that if you just take a couple days off from work and parenting, you can get all caught up!


Anonymous said...

1. I am so with you in the boo-hoo department. Celebrate and grieve. Who knew they would be so tightly woven together??
2. Aug 10? Hell's bells!!!! We start the Tues after Labor Day, which seems right until one realizes that this year that day is like halfway through September.
3. Which of your eternally amusing cast of characters is responsible for that expanse of green lawn across the street there??
4. Your pictures are gorgeous. Subject matter aside, what camera are you getting that crisp clarity with??? I need me one a them.
5. Love your posts.
6. Longest comment in history. Sorry!!!

Becky said...

Ah, Fraught, I just love a numbered comment. Don't know why.

You know what's funny about that lawn in the background--I don't know those people, but their grass is a local legend. It was the "Yard of the Month" when we moved in, and then the next month, their next door neighbors were "Yard of the Month." So we joke that they have a deadly rivalry between them. Which may be true. But it looks like a green velour blanket.

Thanks for the picture compliment! I am using a Canon Digital Rebel XS that I got myself around xmas time. It's kind of the "entry level" digital SLR, but "entry level" keeps getting better every year. It is last year's model, or now I think there are two later generations of camera body. If you aren't buying the very newest camera body, they are quite affordable, really. I don't have a fancy lens--I just use the kit lens that came with it--but it does exactly what I want, makes my snaps of the kids look better than they used to. I wish I'd gotten one long ago.

Matt is fond of "joking" that the camera is too good for me and that I should be ashamed of not having even read the manual. But I am not ashamed.

Anonymous said...

Meh, reading the manual is for wimps (in response to your last comment, rather than your blog).

A Lawyer Mom's Musings said...

oooooh. Can I claim I've been validated re the Hank-potty-training saga? My sage advice was to go with the flow, no pun intended. When the time was right, the time would be right. Did it happen just that way? Please tell me it did. Dr. Phil has a one-day training method and it'll just kill me if it turns out he was right.