Sunday, December 21, 2014

MauldenNews December 2014

Woowww... haven't posted anything here since June?!? I have turned into such a slacker!

I'd like to write more often. Life goes by and there is so much to remember - much that is fun to look back on, or feel glad to be done with, especially when you have kids. At 8 and 10, they are not growing and changing as quickly now, but this stage is so delightful I don't mind if it lasts a long time. Their creativity and imaginations are in full swing, and their increasing verbal abilities give us a fuller picture of all that activity going on in their heads.  

But we adults grow and change too. Not as drastically or as quickly as kids, but change still happens. A wise person I know talks about how "developmental stages" are underappreciated in most adults. At 45, I love my current midlife crisis (yet).  I'm REALLY thankful for the luxury of being able to work part time - busy as I am with family, community, and work, I do have time to pursue some passions, rest and play, and engage in deeper awareness and knowledge of myself and the world.

My broken clavicle has healed nicely with the help of physical therapy. I am back to doing everything I did before, including yoga, although some of the positions are more challenging as I have lost a little strength and range of motion in my "bionic" shoulder.  I ran a half marathon in October and another on Thanksgiving, and am planning for a marathon in May in the California Redwoods (Avenue of the Giants). I've wanted to run through those old, old trees for some years now, and I think I've enticed 2 brothers and a sis-in-law to join me. Yay! Anyone else want to come?

Sam's arms have healed up nicely as well. He is a ball of 2nd-grade enthusiasm and has such a joyful spirit - cheerful, often singing, giving big hugs, dancing, or playing with complete absorption in his fantasy worlds. The other day I got on the phone with a customer service person and Sam was playing various characters in an imaginary game in the background. The person on the phone said, "Sounds like you have a whole houseful!" Nope, believe it or not, it is just one kid. He does have the energy of about 3 regular kids though. We are working on helping him channel it toward positive ends. He wants to play the drums. Lord have mercy, but I think we will let him.

Alle is also a joy and it's amazing to watch her grow and learn. She has matured a lot this year - especially emotionally. It's very encouraging (and a relief!) to see her beginning to master her feelings and behavior. Her sponge-brain soaks up everything and thirsts for more, and she continues to ponder deep questions and is ruthlessly curious. She is also quite independent, confident, and assertive. These traits make her hard to parent sometimes but will stand her in good stead in life. We recently finished the Harry Potter audio book series (wonderful production! 5 stars!) and now she dreams about Harry Potter scenarios and characters a lot. She really, really wishes she could go to Hogwarts.

This year Alle learned to knit by watching ladies at church and then went home and practiced with two pencils and a ball of yarn, producing a beautiful little white square in just a few minutes. It's inspiring for me to watch her learn skills like knitting and origami, which do NOT come naturally to me. Poor girl--stuck with a mom who is terrible at arts and crafts. She loves science and is begging for a chemistry set, and she has become a master at making yummy scrambled eggs with cheese. We continue to play violin together and she even volunteered (!) to play her violin with me at church on Christmas Eve. She is such a little mini-me and yet soooooo different from me. I love this age and can't wait to see what comes next.

Bryan update - doing well! Still cracking silly jokes, still making me laugh, still stamping out illness and saving lives. I am so blessed to be with him. We have our disagreements,  but by and large his strengths are complementary to my weaknesses and I'm really grateful for that.

Can't end without a book update - these are recent favorites...

The Round House by Louise Erdrich - award winning novel about a 14-year-old boy on an Indian reservation - it's disturbing and funny and tragic and eye-opening.

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian - by Sherman Alexie - listned to this on audio - another story told from the point of view of a teenager on the reservation - moving and funny and compelling.

Free to Learn: Why Unleashing the Instinct to Play Will Make Our Children Happier, More Self-Reliant, and Better Students for Life
 by Peter Gray - this one is REALLY making me think about what education means, and giving me new ideas for school and un-school options.

Finally, a good audio book for families - consider this for your next car trip, recommended for ages 10 and up- Call it Courage by Armstrong Sperry. It's a great survival story set in the Polynesian islands.

Merry Christmas and a Joyful New Year to All!

1 comment:

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