When Caroline was three, she hated swings and couldn’t dangle from monkey bars. She knew her colors, but she couldn’t recite them reliably. She loved the slide at the local park, but if she didn’t walk to the top by exactly the same route every time, she sat down and cried. She adored other children, but if a group of them came too close, she put her hands over her ears and cowered. And ‘too close’ was typically about a car’s length away.
In the bathroom, she never washed her hands without a fight. The preschool director used to accompany her and talk her gently through the process multiple times a day.… Read the rest
Fall may be the season of cooler temperatures and leaf-raking
, but for me, fall truly begins with my daughter’s birthday. Every Year since 2003, The Autumnal Equinox has been my sweet Caroline’s time. Happy birthday, Ducks.
… Read the rest
Before you begin, here’s the Sam series, in order, with an important note about ballet in there:
Sam Part I,
Sam Part II,
Beauty and the Beast
Sam Part III
Sam Part IV (this one)
So, the last time we saw Sam, he had just jumped out of my car, and the family was headed for Wit’s End Lane really fast. As an emergency measure, the psychiatrist prescribed a mood stabilizer, Risperdal, and we hoped for the best.
The results were sudden and stunning.
For the first time in a year, we saw our son. The funny little guy under all that anger, the creative thinker hidden under all the frustration.… Read the rest
The ballet down here really tries to use kids in its productions. It actively seeks ways to incorporate young people into its works. This summer, Caroline got to be in the cast of Giselle
. There is a summer program for older kids (older than Caroline) and at the end of their run, they put on a show. But the ballet draws from its younger set, and Caroline was chosen to participate. She has been in the Nutcracker.
She knows how to handle herself onstage, and she has an idea of what’s expected of her during ballet.
She came home from the dress rehearsal wailing, “I can’t be in the show if I don’t have eyeliner.”
So we stopped and bought eyeliner on the way home.… Read the rest
“Turn it down
.” Scott’s face loomed as my door swung open.
“I had that closed.”
“We can hear you in the kitchen.”
“Yeah, Mom, it’s too loud.” Caroline poked her head under her father’s elbow.
“You’re only complaining because it’s heavy metal. If I had the Beatles up, you’d be in here dancing.”
“You’ve got Beatles? I want the Beatles!” Sam joined the fray with enthusiasm unreasonable for someone who should have been zoned out in front of the TV.
I clicked around until my desk stopped shaking with the gunshots of “For Those About to Rock, We Salute You.”
Scott rubbed the back of his head.… Read the rest
For the second consecutive year, my kids participated in the Montgomery ballet’s Fairy Tale Ballet Camp. It’s a compromise between doing summer lessons and skipping ballet over the summer, and it’s one Sam and Caroline both enjoy. It buys Scott and I a good measure of sanity, because Caroline’s age group meets three times a week (M-W-F from 9-12) and Sam’s meets twice a week (Tu.-Th. 9-12). Although it means having to have a kid up there every single day for three weeks, it also means a morning spent with only the other child at home all morning.
Also, they put on an adorable little performance at the end.… Read the rest
These two pictures hang above my desk. They say an awfully lot without my needing to interpret them for you, but let me talk awhile anyway. My husband is not just a father to our children. He’s their Daddy. Sam, who is a Mama’s boy, has lately started demanding his Daddy-hugs at bedtime again and saying, in a worried little voice, “I like Daddy best.” He doesn’t yet understand the ebb and flow of a parent-child relationship, and he worries that he’s hurting me. He always seems surprised by my delight. I tell him, “That’s wonderful. I love you, and sis, and Daddy best.”
Sam’s a carbon copy of Scott.… Read the rest
Doot-doot-doot-doot-doot. My daughter’s first impression of volunteerism was sheep plop. I took her to the humane society for her orientation into the junior volunteer club. It was supposed to be an hour of paperwork followed by a short tour. However, about half of the regular club didn’t make it, so the new members were invited to watch the presentation that the regular club had come to attend.
And seriously, who wouldn’t want to meet sheep? We sat down in the floor of the volunteer office, listening all the while to the mewling of a couple of litters of kittens in need of foster homes.… Read the rest