Saturday, September 6, 2014

Contagious.

My Elijah started a swim class about 3 months ago now. It meets once a week for a half an hour. Not a lot of time to learn in, but we're not exactly training for the Special Olympics, either. We don't have a pool, so there is no imminent danger. And yet, anyone who has swam a lap or two has experienced the heart pounding workout that is swimming. A perfect form of exercise for a little one who struggles to gain strength.

When I first called the swim school, I explained that my child has learning delays and is smaller than his typical peers. The response was met without a beat, "Okay, well let's have him try a class and if it doesn't work, we can discuss privates." Okay. Good plan. Elijah amazed me in that first class: He blew bubbles in the water when asked, waited his turn and tried kicking those little legs of his! So far, he's been through a few teachers due to scheduling, but he ended up in a younger, male teacher's class once everything shook down. There were 3 other typically developing kids in the class in the same age range, but the teacher was very timid. He had trouble laying down the rules. My kid--well, actually, both of my kids, sense weakness and spring. It becomes a free-for-all of behavior. An, "I can do whatever I want and the teacher won't do anything about it" buffet. But, I have a problem with that. So, I switched his class. To a more experienced, beefy, male teacher who never smiles.

What I've experienced since Elijah began this swim class, is something I've seen again and again, and yet it continues to surprise me. What I've experienced, is watching how my son's exuberance for life, his complete joy at attempting a new task, his giant smile that lights up more than just his face, begins to rub off on the people around him. The unsmiling swim instructor has clearly fallen for my kid. He gets him out of the pool last, and...maybe I'm projecting...but it seems as though he relishes Elijah's hug until he places him, smiling & safely, onto the pool's edge.

There is out and out laughter from the line of parents perched in the chairs, eyes glued to their own children, and yet, Elijah seems to steal the spotlight more than any other. His turn comes up and the instructor extends his hand and tells him to put his arms up and go....Elijah looks intently at the instructor, no one sure that he's actually going to follow directions and then, with a glee unlike I've ever seen before, throws his arms into the air with a belly laugh and jumps wholeheartedly right toward the instructor. Laughter erupts from the row of parents. It's true. It's contagious.


Today, I couldn't stop smiling. I laughed with the other parents, because our kids are so, so adorable in their swim class, and I couldn't help but be proud of my little guy. I think he's actually learning to swim. It doesn't look graceful, but he's under water, holding his breath and moving. I'm proud that he's the kid that makes everyone smile- even the beefy, unsmiling swim instructor types. At the end of class when I came to the side of the pool to get Elijah, the instructor turned to me and said, "That's one fun kid."
I know...it's completely Contagious.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Clearing the Dust

I stumbled upon my own blog today. Meaning, I was accidentally directed to it, and I realized how long it's been since I've visited this space. I miss it. I've had to put a bit of a backseat to my blogging for awhile, but since I ended up here, I might as well clear away a little of the dust.

Since it's a bit dusty in here, I don't think I'll be able to escape the "Christmas Letter" format, where I'll bore you with the highlights of my family's life for the past 3 months. I'll try to make it short and sweet:

March: My hubby had a landmark birthday, celebrated with friends and family. We had an amazing time, but zero pictures thanks to our choice of a nice, dark pub-style environment.

April: My littlest one turned FOUR! I truly can't believe it. He's come so far. From 3 to 4: He began walking, then running, dancing and attempting to jump/learn some WWF moves. He started trying to talk! Most of what he says are really more "word approximations" but he's using them and people are understanding.  He says book, up, yeah, quack quack, knock knock, light, George (the dog), school, Hi, Bye, Go, Wow, Uh-oh, car, milk, cookie, cracker, apple, Dad, Daddy....and Bob. Guess what? I. am. Bob.  He's very cheeky about it too. He signs and says, "Dad" very clearly, then signs Mom and says, "Bob." Very clearly. Then laughs. Why do I gotta be Bob???!!!! ;) My favorite thing in the world is that he will climb up on my lap, get very close to my face and whisper, "Hi...Bob...." But, the "Bob" part is said with utter adoration. So...I'm Bob. I own it.









May: My Big Boy turned SEVEN. He makes my head spin- in both the most positive and sometimes even the most frustrating of ways. This little dude keeps me on my toes: He's been excelling at math, zombie tag, talking, talking, and more talking, arguing, visiting his Principal at school and LEGOS!! So, we threw him a Lego party for his birthday, thereby making him-literally-"one of the happiest kids on earth."



               

I feel, on a daily basis, something between being a complete success and an utter failure at this thing called "Parenting"- depending on which minute of the day you might ask. I recently had a bit of a tear-session with a girlfriend. We talked through and started coming to terms with the fact that there just is no getting this thing called Parenting, "right". It's up and down and it's unpredictable. You can't succeed at it the same way as you can at a job or a project or a friendship. It's messier and it's more complicated...but, ultimately, there is no greater sense of satisfaction, either. It's a complicated thing to have your heart and soul wrapped up and ready to protect/love/snuggle/strangle/defend/teach these teeny tiny little human beings called children. Tomorrow, I have to don my Mama Bear armour again. I just received a copy of Elijah's IEP (Individualized Education Plan) today. It ALMOST has everything on it that he needs to be successful in school, but not quite. So, I don the armour and prepare for battle.

The Mama Bear armour got a little dusty too, because we had a nice stretch of cooperation from the school district for awhile. I think it's time they re-acquaint themselves with....Bob.


Tuesday, February 11, 2014

The Season...

My blog was left in the dust. It's not that I don't want to write anymore, or that I'm getting lazy. It's that I had to take a look at my "pie". You know...the balance pie chart- the pieces that go to work, and friends, and family, and hobbies, and health. I was listening to a famous person (don't ask me who, because those details never seem to have room in my puny brain these days) on the radio. And this super-famous person said, "You can't have all of the pieces of the pie if you want to be successful." So, I thought about that for a minute. I pride myself on making time for my friends and staying fit and eating healthfully and spending quality time with my kids and running my business and doing my jobs. Then, I did a double take. Yeah, I have a lot of "balance", but the bills just aren't getting paid. And I LOVE my business. I want it to grow and succeed...I always have. So, I realized I have to buckle down and Make Room. So...sadly, my writing..the thing that makes me feel whole and rebooted and re-energized, has to take a backseat for just a little while. I just need to re-focus, and I have been. But, I have missed this space. And while it may not be as often, or as lengthy or as pretty, I want to find a little time for it. Then, when Operation Get the Heck out of this Financial Mess We're In, starts to subside I'll find more time...

I can't catch up on it all right now, but things are good. My business is actually starting to really take off (fingers crossed, prayers logged) and my boys are in a groove. The long and short of it is that Christian would rather never go to school and Elijah would rather always be at school. At least I got one of each. Christian struggles with wanting to read, though math comes easily for him. Elijah struggles with actual spoken words and speech, though is a GREAT listener and follows directions quite well. Christian would like to physically move into The Lego Movie if that were possible, while Elijah would dance non-stop if you gave him a scarf to wave around like a crazy person and a good techno beat. Charles and I spend our time laughing at our kids antics and alternately, banging our heads at what seem to be unsolvable problems. Elijah figured out how to crawl out of the crib, and after 1 day of "Sleep training" learned easily that he stills has to climb into and stay asleep in his big boy bed despite his visions of Freedom Grandeur. Christian figured out how to use his homework assignments to complain about why he dislikes school, despite the fact that he actually does seem to have a decent time there. Plus, he is in Karate classes learning how to "become a Ninja." (Which I fully support.)  We are hopeful that one day, he may not have to do 100 extra push ups in class because he is too busy goofing off to become an actual Ninja...

I'm on an incredible high/stress attack with my business- On one side, I have Leonardo DiCaprio and Martin Scorsese sitting in front of my centerpieces at an award ceremony and on the other side I have a plane that is delayed with the 6000 roses I'm supposed to be arranging, like...NOW...for a CBS show. Though, I'll admit- this is the good kind of stress. I'll take it. Wedged somewhere in there is the Mommy who wants my kids to show up to school on Friday with cute Valentine's Day cards.. Hopefully, it won't be another 3 months before I can write again, and hopefully this post actually makes sense...It's just "The Season". You know?




P.S. If you want to put my ramblings about "my business" and "centerpieces" and "DiCaprio & Scorsese" into perspective (shameless plug), check out my new website at www.SoireeLA.com
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