Saturday, September 06, 2008

Firsts and Pasts

Thanks to those of you who reassured me about being a good mom. I don’t really suppose I’m the worst mom in the world, but I do know that I have some limitations and sometimes they seem to be magnified out of proportion when they are in contrast to some need in my family. Yes, like my need for 8 hours of sleep in order to act like a human, Lissla, coming up against the baby days when the baby seemed to need to wake me up every hour or two! Challenges are different now, juggling special needs and college/career choices and everything in between, but I still have some shortfalls in sleep sometimes.

Sean had his first “real” scrimmage yesterday, therefore his first “real” experience as starting quarterback. I wasn’t there; it was at a high school 120 miles away from here (such is the program for a country varsity division where his team competes against other rural teams). Kevin filmed a bit of it though, so we got to watch it when they got home at 10 pm. His team basically scored at will, and the total was something like 35 to 7, with the opponent’s only TD scored against S’s team’s 2nd string. It probably won’t be so easy with every game, but certainly a nice start to the season, particularly as Sean’s school has generally had a losing record for the past few years. Sean looked good out there; he said he was nervous all day but it didn’t much show on the field.

Paddy read the first couple of lines of a hymn at mass this evening, one he had never seen before. So I guess he is managing to emerge into literacy with only the littlest boosts from me. This is kind of nice. I always thought it was neat that some kids learned to read basically on their own and I really wanted to try to do it that way for Paddy and Aidan. I have been breaking the deal with Aidan. I suppose I got flustered by the school IEP last year. But maybe I’ll try and back off a bit, since now it looks like Paddy is on the downhill slope and I don’t see why Aidan shouldn’t do the same thing even with his disabilities, when he is ready. The thing is, Paddy doesn’t really LIKE to read all that much on his own, and I can’t blame him. He is only five. A lot of his learning input needs to come from ear, eye and touch, not from symbols, at this point. He’s been having fun with the story games we play, where we write stories together and sometimes act them out. So I think I will keep to the informal approach, and the theme of “opening up the world” for them, not putting their noses to the grindstone.

Sean thinks he is getting an A in Spanish. We all know so little about how high school grading works. I never paid any attention to my grades throughout school, at least not until college. He knows he needs to keep a basic GPA in order to meet his college goals, but he is still learning HOW that works in a public education building. At any rate, he is certainly putting his hours in, at home as well as at the building.

Picture of Hatcher Pass, near Wasilla in Alaska, taken last year about this time, when Brendan and I were there. Gotta love those clouds. I miss them and the mountains the most (I grew up mostly in Alaska). California skies are mostly like turquoise ceramic bowls, except when as now there’s a forest fire and you get a tinge of yellow greyness at the edges. We do have mountains here, but they are not spectacularly white and huge all year around like they are there.