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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Seldom Asked Homeschooling Questions-LOL

A change of pace from most of the homeschooling lists I've seen.  This is Homeschooling SAQ (seldom asked questions)

My favorite question/answer:
Recently I attended a state homeschooling convention. At least half the women there were wearing denim jumpers and had lots of children with them. If I decide to homeschool, will I need to buy a denim jumper and triple my family size?

Well, it depends. Some homeschoolers like to be nonconformists. In order to identify
yourself as a nonconformist, you will need to wear the right kind of denim jumper,
never cut your hair again, and have a larger than average family. All the boys will
need to wear slacks and dress shirts whenever you're out in public, and the girls will
need to wear denim jumpers or pretty flowered dresses. Of course, if you don't care
about being a nonconformist, this doesn't apply to you; you're free to dress however you

Monday, August 09, 2010

The physical connection between a mother/child

A beautifully expressed post about the physical link between a mother and her child's body.  Again, from Katie Allison Granju, who is working through her grief by writing at once beautiful and horrifying posts.  She writes of loved ones telling her that her son's body was "just a shell" and how she understands they are trying to comfort her, but then she writes a perfect description of how a child's body could never be just a shell to a mother.  I believe I would feel exactly the same, I think she captures those feelings perfectly. 

An excerpt from the post that I particularly relate to:

"To a mother, her child’s body is inextricably tied to her own, at the cellular level. My child’s healthy (pre drug abuse) exceptionally lovely (still, even with the drugs) body was a source of great pleasure and pride to me during all the years he inhabited it.

“I made that…I grew that…” I would sometimes think to myself with a smile as I watched his long, musical fingers play the guitar or when I saw his natural physical grace on a skateboard.
Henry’s body came from my own body. I grew him in my belly, catching a first glimpse of his features on a grainy ultrasound screen. I felt him kick inside of me, and then I pushed him out of my body – the hardest physical work I’d ever done. I cradled him in my arms for as many years as he would let me, contentedly enjoying the feel of his physical weight against my chest. For 18 years, I worked as diligently as I could to ensure that he would be physically healthy and strong by carefully choosing the food he would eat, the vitamins he took and the immunizations he received. I marveled at his physical growth, marking annual milestones on the walls of our house as he got taller and taller, and making sure that he had bigger shoes and longer pants with each growth spurt. I noted his weight and length in the meticulous baby book I kept until he went to kindergarten, and I saved baby teeth and locks of baby hair to remember these parts of his physical being at particular moments in time.

Protecting Henry’s body, as well as those of his younger siblings from pain and discomfort has been my primary daily concern for my entire adult life – since I became a mother at 23 years old. When my Henry was little, I zipped him into his cozy pajamas each night to make sure that his body would be warm enough, and even when he was a teenager, I would go into his bedroom while he slept to be sure that he had enough blankets covering him on extra-cold nights. I made sure he brushed his teeth and I hounded him to be sure he’d slathered himself in sunscreen when we went to the beach or the pool.

I reveled in the physical beauty of that amazing head of wavy brown hair and in the twinkle in his gorgeous brown eyes. I loved the way his mouth would curl to one side when he smiled. Til the day he died, I knew just how to find the cowlick at his hairline, and I could tell you the placement of the moles on his temple and on his lower belly. I was the keeper of the history of every little scar and every birthmark Henry carried with him. I knew the precise length of his fingers and his eyelashes, and I can still feel the way his tiny newborn head fit into the palm of my hand when I rocked him to sleep. I loved his distinctive speaking voice, and I still hear it echoing through our house when I am home alone, calling out to me.
Like most mothers, I knew my child’s physical being so well that from the time he was born that I could have been blindfolded and still would have easily picked him out of a line-up of same-age children simply by smell or touch. I remember all the nights when I soothed his fevers, changed soaking wet sheets and wiped up his vomit – the essential tasks of mothering that bind us to our children’s sheer physicality in a way we are never connected to any other human being.

I loved my child’s body from the first moment I laid eyes on it, just before midnight on October 7, 1991. In the first years of his life, I tenderly bathed him, changed him and brushed his hair, and then I performed the exact same intimate physical caregiving for my sweet boy during the last weeks of his life, when he was totally helpless and dependent on his parents once again.

No, this child’s body, his physical being was not “just a shell” to me. It was a precious gift that I loved fiercely and completely for 18 years, until that heart-shattering moment on May 31, 2010, when I had no choice but to leave my son’s still beautiful body in the care of strangers at the hospital. Leaving that hospital without my son was the worst thing I have ever experienced. The pain I felt as I walked out the sliding glass doors into the oppressive summer heat on that early evening just two months ago was a cruel counterpoint to the elation, unbridled joy and sense of purpose that I felt on the day I first walked out of another hospital in the same city, 18 years earlier, proudly carrying my gorgeous firstborn son in my arms."

Again, a reminder to cherish your babies, you never know what lies ahead. 

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Sisters help ward off depression

No matter whether younger or older or a big gap in age-sisters help ward off depression!

Parenting Non-regrets

I'm going to post this because I think it's an important enough message that it shouldn't just be left with a link on the odd chance that someone may decide to click on the link to read it.  Katie Allison Granju writes about the things she doesn't regret re:  how she parented her son.  This is the blogger whose firstborn died from a severe beating during a drug deal gone wrong.  She's very good at making me cry. 
Here's the post, a reminder everyone needs every so often.  Especially when people tell me that I'm too close to my children.

Not by me, this is by Katie Allison Granju(but minus her photos, which add quite a bit to the post, I encourage you to follow the link to her actual post:

After losing Henry, there are lots and lots of things I regret about my choices as a parent, but there are also a lot of things I don’t regret at all – and wouldn’t change if I could. Things like:
-Always picking him up when he cried as a baby
-Singing or reading him to sleep most nights until middle school
-Never spanking him
-Letting him fall asleep in my bed as often as he wanted until he decided on his own that he was too old
-That one vacation we took that I totally couldn’t afford but where he started to learn to surf
-Telling him I loved him each and every time we spoke, emailed or texted until the day he died
-Never, ever giving up on him even when he seemed to have given up on himself
-Making sure he was surrounded by a big family that loved him like crazy
 -Taking him to hear good, live music early and often
 -Rubbing his back and feet while we watched TV together, even when his feet got huge and smelly
-Giving him the gift of J, E and later, C
-The trip he and my grandmother took together to tour Shiloh battle sites
-Letting him climb trees and walk around the neighborhood all by himself – in Knoxville and Bell Buckle
-Spending far too much every year to make Christmas mornings as magical as possible.
-Taking him with me to vote
-All the nights I sat next to his bed to just watch him sleep and kiss him on the head before heading off to my own bed for the night
-Carrying him in my arms as often as possible until he got too big
-Spending every possible second I could with him during the five weeks he was hospitalized before his death
-Holding him in my arms and just being with him as he left this world for the next on May 31
I’d give anything to have a chance to spend just one more day with him.

Treasure EVERY SINGLE SECOND with your children, even the really hard ones. Be in the moment. Relish every kiss, every hug, and every boring school play. Never miss the chance to tell them how much you love them and believe in them. Go in right now and watch them sleep. Get on the floor and play with those legos or go for that tenth round of Candyland. Read to them long past the age they can read themselves. Be sure you keep a lock of their hair, and at least one baby tooth.

Parent in a way that wouldn’t leave you with too many regrets if you were faced with the unthinkable.
I love this video – fuzzy tho’ it is – of Henry playing his first guitar. He’s 11 here, and the Henry-sized guitar was a gift from his great Uncle John. This was the first song he taught himself, and he starts off by saying that he’s dedicating it “to my Uncle John.”

Then at her blog there is a cute short video of her son playing. 

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Nooooo! Science is ruining childhood memories everywhere!!

Triceratops never existed!! 
(Well, it's a younger version on another dinosaur, so they're axing the other dinosaur and changing both to triceratops!)