Thursday, July 26, 2018

Overparenting

Have you read the NPR article The 'Overparenting' Crisis in School and at Home?

I've given this some real thought.  I don't think we overparent.  We do not do our kids' homework.  Or talk about how "our" soccer team is doing.  We aren't pushing any particular college, major, or career.  We aren't even pushing for specific performance in school (you know, beyond always doing your best work).

 We don't routinely bring homework to our kids at school.  Or food.  And one of our middle school parenting philosophies was that it is the perfect time to make mistakes and learn from them because the consequences were less severe.  We don't email our kids' teachers until we've insisted our kids contact them and try self-advocacy first.  (Though I admit that for IEP and disability-related issues, we will just reach out directly.)

We know that disappointment is healthy.  And overcoming adversity is a desirable skill.

We want our children to be come independent.

So this overparenting - that's not us.

But then, in the back of my mind, there is this small voice that reminds me, "But we still cut up their meat."  And then I'm not so sure . . .

Monday, July 23, 2018

And he’s off!

There have been so many firsts about which I have not written. Plenty of anxious and proud tears over the past decade.

Today Casey heads off to visit his birth family. Without us. Or any adult.

I was able to get an escort pass so I stood with him in a very crowded airport while I waited for him to board. I didn’t feel sad. Or overwhelmed by an inexplicable lump in my throat like I sometimes am with “firsts.” No tears.

I feel some nervousness. But mostly relief with a tinge if worry.

I hope he has fun.

But I hope he misses us, too.

UPDATE: (12:55pm)

So promptly after writing this and proceeding to work, I began using airline tracker software to watch his plane zoom across the United States. So I know he’s landed.

As soon as I saw he’d landed, I wondered, “Why hasn’t he called or texted yet?”  And I immediately texted him. No reply. Yet.


Wednesday, March 22, 2017

The Golden Shoes

Tate has his own sense of style.  He's opinionated.  He's not shy about sharing his thoughts (last week he said, "Mom are you wearing those shoes with that outfit?" This afternoon, he sighed when he saw me and told me my knee socks, just barely peeking out of my boots, were pulled up too high).  And he knows what he wants.

Since Christmas, he's been asking me for a pair of golden shoes.  They arrived last week.  He was giddy with excitement on Monday, the day he knew they were scheduled to arrive.  He wore them to school Tuesday, and when I picked him up, he told me the after-school-care director told him they were so fancy that he could wear them to the Oscars. On Wednesday morning, he said, "Mom, these shoes are awesome.  Even the fifth graders are talking about them!"

He's not wrong.  They are awesome.


Monday, March 20, 2017

Soccer Post-Season Success

Have you read those articles where they tell you not to put too much pressure on your kids because you don't want to scare them away from the sport they love?  I think the one I remember best is the Ride Home one from Changing the Game. I read it a few years ago, and it always stuck with me.  I mean, I feel a little conflicted. I think talking about strategy and visualizing success and evaluating what went well - and what didn't - could be important, too.  If you know what you're talking about.  But I don't.

So, instead, each game I try to find something specific that Casey did well, and I point that out.  Like this past weekend, he scored the only goal in game #2 at a tournament- which helped his team make it out of bracket play and into the finals.  I don't think he's scored a goal in quite some time (you'd think this is the type of thing I might track because I actually handle the game cards and report the results to the league, but I really don't pay too much attention to it).  And it was exciting. It was, of course, a team effort. There was a pass. And a little of a ping-pongyness to the play.  And then I watched him chip the ball up over the keeper's shoulder and - boop - into the goal it rolled.  But what I remember from the game came later -- when he chased down a player from the goal box of the opponent and caught him before he got to the goal box on the other end of the field.  I watched him fly out of nowhere.  I know he can be fast - but where did that speed come from in the heat of the day?  I love watching it.  So graceful.

He had his not-super-great moments, too.  He missed a play or didn't cover a man or whatever.  I bet he knows exactly what those moments are, though.  So I try to just remind him of what he did well, too --

Is it making a difference?  Probably not.  Maybe so. I don't know.  But I know he likes having me there.  And I like being there.  And that's good enough for now.

They won the tournament, by the way.  In a nail-biter of a final game.  When the boys scored, we jumped out of our seats to cheer for them.  Casey took notice -- "Everyone was yelling - but because they were happy!"




Casey is second from the left, front row.

After the game, the tournament had the team captains from each team present the awards.  The finalists went first, and they were super gracious.  Then our boys went and were equally gracious.  They celebrated their team success - and even called out their keeper for managing a shut-out.  Quite a weekend. . .

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

The Five-Year Familyversary

Well, it's been almost a year since I posted.

It turns out it gets harder to post as your kids get older.  It's not the lack of time (though that doesn't help).  It's the interest in privacy.  If I write about how kiddo X is struggling with ______, will kiddo X read that in 5, 10, or 15 years and be angry that I wrote about it?  (Who am I kidding?  What are the odds that kiddo X will ever care enough to read this blog?)  In any event, it's been harder.

But I'm still here.

And today is our last familyversary.  "Last" in the sense that it's the one that completed our family and turned us from a foursome into a fivesome.  Of course, I'm terrible about tracking these sorts of things.  Marcie's familyversary was just about a month ago, and it completely escaped me.  Between birthdays and "gotcha" days (our familyversaries) and official, legal adoption days, it gets hard to track.  But the timing of today worked well.

Tate's transition to public school has been a little rough.  Last year, in Transitional Kindergarten (TK), we got called more during the school year by the school than we have by both other kids in the past 7 years (12 if you count up Casey and Marcie separately).  This year seemed to be going better.  Until they went from 1/2 day school to full-day school this week.  I mean, we haven't gotten any calls from school yet, so that's good.  But Tate seems pretty unhappy.  Tate has always complained that school is boring -- "too much sitting, not enough playing," he says.  And he gets sent to the "thinking chair" too much, he says.  But now that it's sitting for even more of the day, he is not happy.  And this is only day 3 of full-day kindergarten.  Actually, today was an early-release day, so it wasn't even day 3.

Anyway, when I picked him up from school today, I told him that today is his Familyversary day, and he took to it right away.  "It's my China Day!" he announced.  And he's been repeating it ever since:

  "We can have Chinese food for dinner because it's my China day."
  "We can go out for frozen yogurt for dessert because it's my China day."
  "I can have dessert even though I didn't eat all my dinner because it's my China day, right?"

The kids knows how to work the system.

Monday, October 13, 2014

A Day Without Touch

If there are even five people out there left who ever check in on my blog, please visit the link below and check it out.  It's a worthy cause - and it's a good reminder that as human beings, we thrive on contact with others.

Click here for more info:  A Day Without Touch


Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Anonymity

I haven't written in a very long while.

Mostly, it's been lack of time - or not prioritizing the blog, I guess.
But some of it has been that the things that eat at me, the things that I want to write about suddenly seem very personal.  Not to me, really.  But to the other people in my life.

I want to write about how the mean girls at school affect my daughter's psyche.  How what happens at school day in and day out affects our relationship.  How I worry that my Marcie will get sucked into the meanness.  I want to write about how she copes (or doesn't) with the difficulties of being an 8-year-old girl.

But I don't - because it would reveal so much about her.  About my relationship with her.  And I worry that - because my blog is not anonymous - it's too personal to her to share.

This is mildly ironic, too, because the joke in our home is that I always make everything about me.  (Maybe it's not a joke?)  And here I am, worrying about her.

So, generically, here's what's been eating at me:  When did it get so hard to be eight?  Eight should be about riding bikes and playing with dolls.  Eight should be about sleepovers with pillow fights and putting on play-make-up.  Eight should be about being on a sports team and not caring if you're the best because you're having so much fun.  But it doesn't seem to be that way anymore.  Now eight seems to be about being smart enough - but not too smart.  It seems to be about dressing in the right clothes.  Now eight seems to be about who gets invited to which sleepover - and who doesn't.  Now eight seems to be about who is the best, the prettiest (but not the smartest).  When did this happen?  And why?

Oh, I've got other worries, too.  But this one - it keeps me awake.  It makes me ache for days gone by.  Eight-year-old relationships just shouldn't be so complicated.