Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Free Therapy

Call it serendipity, fate, or divine intervention.  I believe that God has a hand in my life and yesterday he definitely guided me towards what I needed.  It was a hard day.  Some battles were fought over reading and writing.   At times I panic that the reading and writing has been a little lax lately.  I worry that if I do not assign certain books they will never be picked up and read by choice.
Today I dropped my girl off at a lesson and headed to my friend’s house to return a pair of mittens.  As I pulled in I realized a play date was taking place with another dear friend.  I was invited in, offered a beer (scandalous on a Tuesday afternoon) and I was given the opportunity to vent my feelings on sympathetic ears.  Not only did my friends listen, but they offered priceless words of wisdom.
Could this be hormonal?  It sure could given the fact that we seem to spiral into a period of emotion and confrontation every 4 weeks or so......  Can we diffuse the situation and prevent escalation by stopping and doing something else, like playing the Wii, watching a video or looking at a new app on the iTouch?  Can I let go of reading for a few weeks or a month?

Stepping back and looking at the situation objectively, I realize that the issue is mine.  My girls are both reading enough.  Lilah reads for pleasure and reads often.  Grace reads for information and knowledge.  She finds novels tedious and often boring.  Right now she is reading the American Girl book about internet safety.  She also has two other shorter novels in progress.  Rather than stress her with reading during the day, I will make time every night before bed for her to choose one of her books and read it aloud to me.  She loves that.  I do too. 
I think I am going to build some daily journaling in to increase both girls writing stamina.  Start easy with lists.  Write down ten things that make you happy, or write about your favorite character from Harry Potter.  Easy things.  I will not critique or offer suggestions.  Just let them write freely.  We will continue on with our writer's workshop structure for writing, with some lessons from Ralph Fletcher, and Write Shop thrown in.
I needed that short time today with my friends.  I needed to talk and have someone other than Greg listen to me and give me advice.  The beer sure was nice too!  Now I am relaxed, reassured and ready to move forward.  I feel like I have a plan and it is a good one.  
To my therapists -- how much do I owe you for the session today?  Thank you.


Debbie's L'Bri said...

Yes, it is very important to have friends with kids the ages of your kids. In this respect you will know what is normal behavior.

You are a very responsible mother. I to have had to put some fun into my kids lives lately.

I am happy your friends put you at ease.

Karen said...

I too stress over the reading. Kei doesn't like it, as much as I hate to even type that, she is not [yet, I hope] a reader. We fight and yell and she says she hates, "Whoever she is reading about" and I insist and she storms off and I think of strategies and bribes and punishments.

The writing is funny, I find that when I assign her writing, it is like pulling teeth, but if I step back, she writes like crazy. I am trying to step back.

You are doing an amazing job and while I can't sit face to face and offer you a beer, you can email or call and we can drink a beer and discuss our girls. :)

Stacey said...

Just proving that us moms need "socialization" too!

Thanks for the thoughts on portfolios. I did print my blog on Shared Book/Blog2Print. It is acceptable. I just did a paperback version. The pages are durable and seem well bound. The cover is not great...I think I will splurge for hardcover next time. Post with lots of pictures get jumbled...not terrible, just something to be aware of. Picture quality is a little better than printing it out yourself on your printer, but not great. I'm curious if others have any better sites. Overall, I'm happy to have the record in hand and my kids have loved flipping through it, recalling memories already!

mamak said...

Just a beer, dear!

Theresa said...

Great post! We needed a little re-grouping yesterday too. A new plan.

I wish I could relax about things...but I am so terribly afraid that if we don't keep doing something the girls will be far behind. I keep promising myself, after this, we can relax a bit...after this we can relax a bit...

Team Walker said...

Make certain you make time with other peers with beers. Its the best therapy! To remember that we all don't have a manual for child development. We are just doing the best we can leaning on the other women from our village.

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