I have always been fascinated by math. I am no mathematician but intuitively numbers make such perfect sense to me; the balance, the nice tight little packages, the process to get the correct answer.
You know your are slightly nuts if you find equations beautiful. But, I sort of do.
I also love the slightly mystical aspect of what different important numbers mean. Like your birthday divided by how many kids you have means....who knows but it sure is interesting.
I guess the reason why I have been pondering this lately is because Shea is 6 and Molly is 12.
I look at them and think, "When Shea was tiny, Molly was 6 the same as Shea is now. Now she is 12. Wow!" I know, I know, this doesn't seem like a cloud parting piece of info but it keeps on smacking me in the forehead.
She was 6, now she is 12 before I know it she will be 18!
He is 6 and will be 12 when Molly is 18! Interestingly, I can't even venture to think of Shea older than 12 perhaps because he is still my baby.
I guess the real point is: OMG! My kids are growing up so fast! Duh!
Shea is 6 and turning into a big boy in front of my very eyes. Just over the weekend, he swam by himself without the swimmy vest. He is completely potty trained with very few accidents. He is reading as he goes into 1st grade this fall. If someone could have predicted this for me when he was 3 and not talking, I would have sobbed with relief.
He is confident and independent and gets out there and competes with bigger older kids. In fact, as I watch him he is right in there with the rough and tumble crowd. I am poised to intervene when it gets too much and to remind him to use his words instead of his hands. But I am delighted that he is as confident as he is and isn't shy about jumping into the fray. A trait that will serve his well down the road, I believe.
On another note, I am loving age 12! 11 was so-so but 12 rocks. I was trying to describe it to my excellent mommy posse today. It's like there were all these threads of maturity flailing around and by 12 they are getting tied up nicely into sweet little bows.
Can I be more specific? I will try.
Last summer Molly did not want to do any camps. She wanted down time so I let her. I knew she was bored and she sure got cranky with all that unstructured time. So, I decided I wasn't going to let that happen again this year.
I got turned onto a program through the UW's Robinson Center for Young Scholars. It is called Summer Challenge and they offer a math course. It is 3 weeks long during the summer from 9:00 - 2:30 everyday. I know, epic!
Her math scores were good enough to get in and they also required a teacher recommendation. So, I broached the subject with her. The conversations were at times rocky.
She said, "Mom, that sure sounds like school. If you were my age, would you want to go to school for 3 weeks during the summer?"
I refused to buckle. I finally boiled it down to this and stood firm.
"My job as your mother is to present doors of opportunity for you. I would not be doing my job if I did not. For you, school is easy. Perhaps a little TOO easy and you need to be challenged. You have a gift for math and you need to be challenged to reach your full potential. I think this math camp will be a great experience."
Amazingly, she went for it. There was some typical 11 year old whining but I stood firm. The money was already paid, can't get out of it now, etc.
Oh sure, these was some bribery but basically that new 12 year old was emerging and maybe she dug it that she was accepting into a prestigious program. In fact one of only 5 girls accepted to the program out of 20 kids!
We live on a wonderful little island with great people but it is a small town. And, I want my kids to see that there is a nice, big, exciting world out there with lots of fascinating people. The world does not end at our shores.
So, now it is upon us as I hang out in the University District while she is at her math camp and how is she taking it? With the new calm and confidence of 12. Bless her heart!
12 seems to bring a new sense of contentment, confidence and self discovery; awareness of strengths and attributes are explored and realized; excitement begins to bubble about a bright future; big kid joy, pre-teen wonder and a new more grown up sense of humor.
For example: Monty Python is really, really funny!