Mister helped me with the bats. I volunteered to be Room Mom in his class- I might not do that again in the future. I definitely underestimated how much work it was going to be. I love art and crafting and creating, but in my own time. I've been a little stressed out trying to get everything done for the upcoming Halloween Carnival, but today was a productive day and I'm feeling much better about it.
The plus side of sitting at the table drawing and painting for a few hours was that the kids all wandered around at one point or another to sit and chat with me. Slim is powering though every book she can get her hands on by Rick Riordan, author of the Percy Jackson series. She loves how he often "writes in the first person, so he uses words like 'I' and I get to see the story through the eyes of the characters." I love how she's expanding the way she thinks about and discusses books.
Mister came by and played for me his rendition of "The Yellow Submarine" by The Beatles on a ukelele. Awesome.
Dear talked about some trouble she is having with a girl on her basketball team. She feels like she's being bossed around, and it's hurting her feelings and kind of ruining basketball for her. Honestly I'm more worried about Dear learning conflict resolution skills and how to function on a team than I am about basketball, so I'm taking a really passive role on this one. I know Dear has trouble communicating, and I know this story has more than one side. Still, I don't want to belittle Dear's feelings. I listened with sympathetic ears and encouraged her to talk to the girl. I think kids need to learn how to work these things out, and I believe they can!
While Dear was in basketball practice yesterday, I was watching Mister play with the kids who were in daycare and marveling at the social interactions taking place. There were groups of kids trying to impress each other, groups playing complicated made-up games, children feeling left out, tears and all sorts of feelings flying around while they tried to work everything out. It wasn't chaos- these were kids acting intentionally. It occurred to me, maybe for the first time, how difficult it all is. These children are navigating a whole new world, trying to balance self interest with empathy and consideration. I could only imagine all of the different motivations that might have been playing out in their heads and hearts simultaneously- desires, fears, insecurities, guilt, advice they'd received, behaviors they'd observed in others and more. It looked rough but it was also impressive. These kids were TRYING. They put themselves out there. They allowed themselves to be vulnerable. That takes guts. I know kids can be mean sometimes but they can also be amazing.
And isn't that how it is for adults, too? We make mistakes, we make up for our mistakes...
My little realization yesterday afternoon both reaffirmed my faith in my children's capabilities, as well as my sympathy for them. Growing up is awesome and terribly hard at the same time. Still, I can't do it for them. It's only going to get more difficult for a while. In the girls' near future: relationships. Like... romantic relationships. Hopefully we won't have too much to worry about for at least a few years, but who knows. I can offer advice that probably won't be followed, and give them a shoulder to cry on when it doesn't work out. I can be here, and listen patiently.
**This has been Day 23 in 31 Days of Enjoying My Kid.