We aren't blog stars. We only publicly shame ourselves this way to keep in touch with all the people we love. We recently moved to Eagle, Idaho (near Boise) where Kimball took his first "real" job. Our kids, Leif (8 yrs) and Magnus (6 yrs) and Paia (4 yrs), are keeping us busy.
Sunday, July 22, 2012
A lot of things have happened this year. For starters, I learned how to use itunes. Kimball was made a partner at Gem State Radiology. All of my kids had birthdays. We watched hundreds if not thousands of fireworks on July 4th from every window in our house in Eagle, Idaho, where apparently fireworks are purchased like milk and bread. I went with my daughter to Build-A-Bear for the first time (and hopefully last), my youngest son graduated kindergarten, I learned how to say graduated kindergarten instead of graduated FROM kindergarten, my oldest boy started Cub Scouts and asked me for 2 weeks if I like the Bobcat pin they give the moms. What else?.....
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
My oldest boy Leif is 7. He loves talking to adults and reading the classics. But he loves sports too. This past week I saw him making a menu for a future restaurant. When he saw me looking at "duck-stuffed fennel," he laughed and said, "I just made that up cause I mean, how are you going to get duck into fennel." Then he laughed harder. Last year I had to go into his room every night and remove his Bible from under his head because he would fall asleep reading it. He frequently makes comments during our scripture study that amaze me, like, "If God parted the red sea for Moses that means that he can help me with any of my problems." He's a pretty smart little guy in school and is pretty mature in everything....except socially.
Last year he was bullied some in school and he's been apprehensive about the same thing happening this year. I don't think I'm a greedy parent. My children don't have to be popular or have droves of friends. Just one or two good friends would make me so happy, but Leif is frequently left off birthday party lists and rarely invited to play with other kids. Yesterday was the second day of school, and I stood off to the side after I dropped him off and watched him in the play yard till school started. He didn't realize I was still there, in fact, he ran right by me when the bell rang. I watched as he enthusiastically went up to group after group of kids to see if he could play with them, and to a person they either said, "no" or just ignored him. He just kept smiling and would move on to the next group, but my heart was breaking inside.
After school I asked him how it went. He confessed that someone had called him "idiot" on the first day and that for some reason none of the kids would let him play football with them at any of the three recesses. He loves football. When his dad scolded him for interrupting me while we talked, he did something we've rarely seen, he burst into tears and cried for a long time. We knew what he was crying about. Later he went and prayed in his room. I said yet another of many heartfelt prayers myself. I know our challenges can help us be more compassionate and gain character, and hopefully help us learn how to rely more on God and have a personal relationship with him. So I can understand why he lets us experience these (and much worse) difficulties.
For my part with Leif, we work on social skills every day -- stuff like talking in a soft voice, not talking very much, not being silly, making other people feel good about themselves, etc.
But my plea is this: Can't we teach our children to value everyone, even people who are different. Can't we teach our children to care about other people, even at a young age? We don't just have one or two heartless kids out there, every single kid Leif went up to said he couldn't play with him or turned away. He must have gone up to dozens of kids while I watched. And this is the second school. What could a kid have done so wrong in one day of school that he deserved this? To go back to a bad memory: why would a preschool teacher let all the other kids talk about how Leif wasn't invited to a birthday party during class, without making it a teaching moment? And how could the mother who included every kid except mine in the party be a teacher herself?
The only answer to me is that our values are changing. With the increase of bullying, both in high schools and colleges, we must be doing something wrong as a society. Are we so focused on teaching our children to be cool, that we can't teach them to be compassionate? Or are we so busy that this is just not on our list of things to worry about. If you aren't talking to your kids about it, they aren't naturally doing it, believe me. When our children don't have a lot of interaction with people different than them, they don't value anything but what is like them. They don't see "others" as people. I've read that video games and all the new social media have taught children to think less of other individuals as real people and to think more of ourselves as the all-important center. I don't know. I just know that Leif, the same person who didn't accept a new lunchbox or backpack this year because he wanted his parents to have more money, will probably never have the social sense to be "cool." I just hope that doesn't mean that he'll always be alone.
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
We're getting settled in, and I thought I'd post a few pictures of the Boise area. They're all taken downtown -- mostly at the farmer's market, except the very last. My sister Darcie and her kids and my dad were in town so we had a great time walking around the farmer's market wating for an hour and a half to get into Goldy's. Goldy's is a breakfast place that made the top 10 breakfast eateries in the U.S. a couple years ago and consistently is mentioned in food publications. It's a very nice way to start the day. The last picture is along a property I want to buy, but they want a lot of buttons for it. Buttons, buttons.
Not really, but we had a really great time at Cascade Lake a few weeks ago. It's about 70 miles from Boise, and the drive is spectacular. You feel like you're in the Northwest (some people who live in Boise think they are, but thinking folk don't like to say it out loud). The Payette River is large and stunning and you pass through some beautiful pine forests on the way as well. I'm not big into lakes without sand because they don't usually gradually get deep, and I don't like sitting in mud. Also I don't fish. Sand reminds me of the years we spent in Maryland, Hawaii and North Carolina -- all wonderful memories. Kimball and I were both born in FL -- me in the Florida Keys so I was born with sand in my hair. It was so quiet at this lake that I kept looking around, wondering if we were in the right place. They had these little mailboxes out that said the state park fee was $5, and if you didn't pay it, you'd be charged a $5 surcharge. Ummmm...I don't think that's going to deter anyone, Park Service, and from what I could see, it didn't. We paid our 5 bucks.
Monday, August 22, 2011
I took a few pictures of Paia and Gus on the stairs of our NC home before we sold it. Last time. So many firsts and so many lasts on this adventure Kimball and I have been on. We've lived in 8 apts/homes in the past 10 years and lived in four states. I hope we won't be moving again, although the thought sends a sudden rush of anxiety through me. I don't think I've lived anywhere for more than 5 years consecutively in my whole life with my Dad's military career and Kimball's medical training.
Sunday, March 6, 2011
Just posting a few pictures of my kids. The first one is of Gus and Ia jammin out to the new kidzbop cd that their Palmer California cousins sent them. The rest are ones that I took of them on the stairs in our house. I'm a dreadful photographer, and my kids aren't particularly helpful subjects either. I'm getting the feeling though that a good photographer doesn't need helpful subjects. Just a feeling.
One thing we've loved while we have been in Durham is going for a stroll through the Duke Gardens or talking a walk through the Duke Chapel on campus. The architecture and stained-glass windows are absolutely stunning, and I got teary the first time I went inside. We went to a children's concert there at Christmas time and took some pictures with the kids.