My kids are growing up.
It's a fact I have to face... even though I don't always want to. But I must. I can't stop them from growing up. Just yesterday I realized that Liza's pants were short... again. This growing up stuff isn't going to stop.
And as they grow up I have to adjust their freedoms. Allow them more space. Teach them to be trustworthy.
A year and a half ago when we moved to this house I had a really hard time letting the kids play outside without me constantly watching them. We moved from a wooded hillside with very little traffic to a downtown neighborhood on a highly trafficked road. From our front door to the road is maybe ten to twelve feet.
But I knew I had to get to a place where I could let them play outside without having to sit there and watch them. I spent my time teaching them boundaries and watching them follow them. They were gaining my trust. Then I would tell them they could go outside knowing that I would be heading out there with them as soon as I finished the dishes. It was baby steps for ME. Eventually I would sit on the couch with the window open so that I could still hear them or just turn around and peek real quick... every two minutes of course.
It's hard letting my babies grow up.
It's hard to realize that they don't always need me as much as they used to.
It's hard to not let my own worries hinder them.
By the end of the summer they would play outside on our ten yards of sidewalk for HOURS.
Today, I find myself working on a whole new set of wider boundaries... and it is not easy.
They have a neighbor friend that lives about four houses down but you have to cross an alley to get there. Liza and Jason wanted to go knock on his door to see if he wanted to play. I gave them instructions about crossing the road and then stood on my porch and watched them. When their friend came out I went inside. They have been over there... doing the same things that they would do in front of our own house... for well over an hour.
I sit here trying to suppress my worry. I keep telling myself I don't have to stick my head out the door every three minutes. Because let's be honest... there is another adult at the house in which they are playing in front of. Another adult who I know and trust.
I have to give my babies freedom and I have to give up my worries.
This is our neighborhood.
There will always be traffic.
There will always be people walking by.
There will always be kids wanting to play.
And so I work on broadening the boundaries... because it won't be long before they are playing at a friend's house around the corner where I can't just stick my head out and see them.
Liza and Jason have always behaved in a trustworthy way when they are outside... I need to trust them.
For now though... I'm going to do something for the first time and that is stand on my porch and holler down the road for my kids to come home for dinner!
Yesterday Liza came home from school and told me that it wasn't a very good day. She had gym class and it wasn't fun because they had to play basketball and she isn't very good at basketball. I kind of brushed it off figuring my uber-determined little perfectionist just doesn't like that she didn't pick up the skill immediately. She doesn't like not being able to do something.
This morning when I woke Liza up she told me she didn't want to go to school. She didn't like it. It's boring. A little more talking and she decided she could go to school today but she didn't want to go next time they had gym class because she didn't want to have to play basketball.
LIZA: I'm not very good at basketball.
ME: Me neither Liza.
LIZA: I have a hard time getting the ball to go in the hoop.
ME: That was always the hardest part for me!
LIZA: And I'm not good at dribbling.
ME: I just never got good at that either. But you know who was good at basketball?
ME: Grandma Ann!
ME: So how about next time you have gym you just go and do your best. You can't be super good at everything. You are good at soccer. And maybe you just need some more practice at basketball.
LIZA: Well... I don't want the whole team to lose because of me.
ME: Oh. Let's not worry about that right now. Let's just think about doing the best you can.
LIZA: But George (name changed) makes fun of me and yells at me because I'm not very good. ME: I bet that hurt your feelings.
LIZA: It did. *almost crying at this point*
ME: Is George really good at basketball?
LIZA: Yeah... he's really good. I can't dribble the ball like him.
ME: Liza, you are really good at crafts. I think that's fantastic. And we can't be really good at everything. So it's ok that you aren't good at basketball and George is. Maybe next time you have gym class you can nicely explain to him that you are doing the best you can and you think he's really good at basketball and then maybe you can even ask him if he would like to help you learn instead of making fun of you... because he's good and he could help you get better!
This afternoon when I picked Liza up from school we had a little chat on our short walk home.
ME: Was today a better day Liza?
LIZA: Yeah! I talked to George and we made a deal. I told him that maybe he could help me and we could work together. Because he is good at getting the ball in the hoop so I can get the ball to him and we will work together like that!
That's my girl. :)
My goal was to encourage Liza to face her problems instead of facing them for her. I wanted to equip her with the knowledge of different ways to handle the situation. I wanted to let her know that it's ok to not be amazing at basketball and that you can ask others for help.
I didn't expect her to go in and deal with it today already and to strike a deal and make peace... but she did. I gave her the tools and she put them to use.
Confrontation is a good thing to learn.
Learning to deal with issues as they arise is a necessary skill in life.
Take the time to teach your kids on the smaller things (like not wanting to go to gym class because another kid is giving him/her a hard time because they aren't real good) so that when the bigger things happen as they grow older they already have a great foundation and the confidence to confront things in a healthy way.
Actually, both of these have already come out at the theater. If you have seen them I would be interested in hearing what you thought!
Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead
Vampires aren't really my thing but the book is on the list so I read it. It was ok. Very teenager gossipy love story. A good heroine. Good vs. evil. It's all there. And once the story got going I read it pretty quickly. Young adult books usually do go fast.
So yes... I did enjoy parts of the book but I definitely wasn't raving about it when I finished. And being a young adult book I was kind of put off by the swearing and sensuality. (Call me old fashioned if you want.) I'm thinking, depending on what all they decide to use from the book, that this might be one where I actually enjoy the movie more than the book... if I bother to see it.
Labor Day by Joyce Maynard
If you are into people falling in love with escaped convicts and/or being trapped inside the mind of a thirteen year old boy going through puberty then run to your local library and get this book!
Ugh. It had the potential to be a good love story (and I am sure that many think it is!) but I just kept thinking this lady is either REALLY desperate or totally off her rocker. And perhaps she WAS really desperate but the whole thing was just too weird for me. (I know, I know... it's a made up story!) It didn't help that the story is told from the perspective of a 13 year old boy going through puberty. The way the character fantasized about sex and described what was going on in his body made me feel like a dirty creep. I actually stopped reading the book and skimmed it to see how it ended.
I could have done without this book.
Here's to hoping that the next book I pick on the list is better! And not all about sex. Geez...
Liza has been talking about getting her ears pierced for MONTHS. I hesitated because I wanted to make sure she REALLY wanted to do it. I also wanted her to be able to fully own the decision.
About a month ago I came up with a plan. The girl is always talking about how she is going to take over my business so I thought I would give her a little taste of what work is like. We worked out a plan and then I advertised that Liza would make kid-sized scarves for anyone who wanted to purchase one. We got a couple orders and Liza got to work! She was making money to buy her first earrings.
Yesterday we took Liza's money and had a little girly date. We started by painting Liza's nails and then headed to the mall. First stop was a hair cut. She asked to have several inches off. It's a lot shorter now but I still love it!
After getting her hair done we went to get her ears pieced. She walked up to the counter and told the ladies why she was there. She picked out her earrings and nervously sat in the chair, not knowing what to expect. When the ladies asked if she would like to hold my hand she said, "No, I'll just sit here." And then, before she even knew it, her ears had the sparkly pink flowers in them that she picked out.
Liza shed a few tears, we hugged and then she was nothing but excited!
We celebrated by going to Menchie's for some frozen yogurt. Spoiled dinner by eating dessert first but who cares! Our last stop was Target where we found some new nail polish on clearance. Liza is as girly as it gets!
Me and Liza both loved the whole experience... from waiting for orders, to working together, to FINALLY having the money to go get those ears pierced! Our girly date is such a good memory for us now. I'm so proud of her for all of her hard work, saving and decision making. Liza is super cool!
This story hooked me early on. The characters were interesting and psychotic. I was never really able to figure out which direction the story would go or how it would end so I had to keep reading. I enjoyed the story and I think it will make a great movie.
What I didn't like... When did authors decide that in order to have a good book it has to be full of sex and swearing? In my opinion there is NEVER a need to use the C-word. It's ugly and offensive. The constant use of swearing throughout the book really took away from what could have been a fun experience. Like I said... good story, well written... but I have to give this book 3 stars out of 5. Actually make that 2... NEVER use the C-word. Hopefully they'll leave that out when they make the movie.
I REALLY enjoyed this book. An easy read that made me ask questions of myself. What faction would I fit in with? What do I value above all else? And in all of it I found a little bit of truth about our world. I enjoyed the characters and the relationships. The quiet strength displayed by many.
I don't really have a lot to say about this book other than I'm glad I read it. It was nice to escape into a made up world and follow the characters. I'm on the wait list for book 2 at the library and I look forward to seeing this movie! If you liked Hunger Games you will like Divergent!