Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Impulse control and other lessons from the playground

Shea told us a relatively long and involved story tonight at dinner. In his halting way, he told us about his friend "Pete" who was mean to "Bill" and how "Pete" won't listen to "Bill" when "Bill" says stop.

Disclaimer: The names have been changed to protect the innocent and the not so innocent.

We had a good long talk about it and I proclaimed all sorts of parental type comments like; how a friend needs to "use their listening ears" and when a friend says "No!" or "Stop!" that you just need to listen to them. Sometimes these phrases come out of my mouth and I wonder who I am. Where did that come from? Honestly, I must have heard it myself many, many, many times before it flowed so effortlessly.

He sagely nods as if this is literally child's play for him and he already has this very simple life lesson nailed.

But he doesn't.

In fact, I find it interested that he wants to share this story with us now because it seems to be the exact issue that the teachers were bringing up about him on the playground.

Shea gets out there with the 50+ Kindergartners and gets revved up like an engine with faulty brakes. I know. 50! No wonder?

He wants to chase and play tag and do all sort of rough and tumble sorts of games and he may have several kids who are just fine with it for a time but when they have had enough, Shea has a tough time switching gears.

This is something we are working on and thankfully making progress on. And, now as I hear him regale us with this somewhat involved tale of how his naughty friend is doing the exact same thing, I find it charming and telling.

He is processing this lesson, somewhere in that sweet blond head, cataloging; defining; arranging; working it into the fabric of how he fits into the world; how friends are made and kept; how play stays play and doesn't turn into getting into trouble.

How many times does it take to say something for someone to learn? Answer: Depends on the person. With Shea it takes a bit of repetition for him to get it but that we already know.

He will get it. In fact, he is on his way to "getting it" right now.

Thanks "Pete" and "Bill"! You are keys to this puzzle.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

God bless our soldiers in the field this holiday

Thanks mom and John for reminding us of this wonderful (but over looked by me) Christmas tune.


Thursday, December 24, 2009

Wicked impatience: a holiday tradition?

Do you still get excited for Christmas morning? The tearing into the vast pile of gifts? After all these years, do you still get impatient for it to begin? Count down the days? Bristle with anticipation? Is the advent calendar just a tease?

Me? Not really. I am such an old crunchy grown up now that the season seems to just speed by. Today Thanksgiving, tomorrow Christmas. There is still, of course, that magical feeling in the air. Something kinder, more generous seems to hit humanity in the forehead.

I like that.

The tension in our house is palpable. Impatience at 11 is a very real thing. I can remember the flutter of anticipation that would sit in my stomach when I had to wait the allotted days. It is not hidden. It is not gentle or kind. It is out there for all to see on my middle schooler's cuff and she is working it for all its worth.

For about 2 weeks now, she has been nagging, cajoling, begging to open up her presents early.

I just shake my head with annoyance. She must think I rule the heavens, earth and the calendar but, I am sorry to say, my influence does not go that far.

"No! You have to wait until Christmas morning just like every one else!" I finally bellow after being needled for what seems like hours. Chagrined, she slinks away to regroup but just circles round to try again.

Sigh. No wonder I am exhausted.

I thought that Shea was somewhat impervious to this emotional roller coaster but when Molly proclaimed her impatience aloud just the other day, Shea piped up promptly and said, "Me too!"

Sitting back and watching their gyrations is touching although I remember it being tough when I was a kid. But, how long will it last? How long will they be enchanted by the stories, the tree, the gifts, the traditional shows we watch every year, our combined tradition?

When will it happen that they are more concerned with activities outside our tight little family unit? Answer: incrementally.

For that, I am not impatient.

I feel thankful, yet again, for all that I have. The health and happiness of those I hold dear. And, as the years pass, as the kids grow older; grow up and away, I will look back fondly to these unnerving assaults on the tradition. The wheedling, the begging, the aching ampatience; all tidings that my kids are still kids.

For, a while yet.

May your holiday be warm and wonderful and shared with friends and family.

Best wishes to you all!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Joe the bummer

Is this really happening?

No public option. No expanded Medicare. Just a mandate with millions of new customers for the health insurance companies to exploit.

I no likey!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Anybody else want to drop kick Lieberman?

Talk about working AGAINST his constituents interest! Obstruct much?

Holy cow!

Thanks a hell of a lot, Joe!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Skating on Fisher pond, Vashon Island

It doesn't happen often but skating has been known to take place on beautiful Fisher Pond on Vashon Island. Northwesterners are quick to take advantage of a unique turn in the weather such as this. Or at least some people do.

During this cold snap, intrepid reporter and skating enthusiest, Happenin' Jan, documented the recent event.

In fact, I did not know that there is a Fisher Pond Skating Facebook Club with recently updated posts. And, a near by family who has been collecting skates of all sizes so anyone can give it a try.

Member of the club, Happenin' Jan said she could see the water lilies frozen underneath the surface, suspended.


Uh...I mean COLD!

Love to those in the tropics.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Uh oh...

Now, what the heck are we going to do about this?

All suggestions welcome. All generations are welcome; past and future.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Obama meets young girl with Leukemia, Make-A-Wish

X-posted from my Examiner.com page.

Make-A-Wish Foundation has made many dreams come true over the years. They continue to make the impossible somehow possible, bringing a little bit of wonder back into some very sick kid's lives.

Meet Jasmina Anema; she is 6 years old and has leukemia.

According to an article at The Huffington Post, the girl's trip from Manhattan to Washington D.C. was sponsored by the Make-A-Wish Foundation and was meant to happen last week, but was cancelled due to her ill-health, according to NBC.

In addition to the aggressive natural killer cell (NK-cell) leukemia returning, Jasmina suffered complications from her bone marrow donor's cells attacking her body, a condition called "graft-versus-host disease".

Jasmina was originally scheduled to meet President Obama and the First Lady around Thanksgiving, but according to NY1, she suffered seizures after developing Posterior Reversible Encephalopathy Syndrome, as a side effect of medications.

Jasmina finally made the trip to the White House on Wednesday, visiting the Oval Office and receiving some gifts to take back home.

In an interview recorded before her failed Thanksgiving trip, the resilient girl admitted she couldn't sleep because she was so excited.

This holiday season think about donating to the Make-A-Wish Foundation and become part of making dreams come true for some brave kids in our own neighborhoods.

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