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Posts tagged ‘kindergarten’

C is for … taking advantage of creative opportunity

If you follow our Monday Post comments, you know that I’ve been out of my daily writing groove. I’ve even had the itch to do some drawing, but recently have been making the choice to focus on editorial client work. The work is coming out my ears and as my husband lost his job last week, it’s hard for me to not fill every waking moment with billable hours. (Totally unsustainable and ill-advised, natch.)

But then Liam, my kindergartener, came home with an assignment — an assignment for me. His teacher is assembling an ABC book created by class parents. She needed a few parents to take an extra letter, so what the hell, I took two. First I signed up for N, because I immediately thought of “nest.” I love making nests, whether two- or three-dimensional. Then I went ahead and signed up for A, telling myself that I’d have to come up with something slightly less obvious than “apple.” I should also confess that I LOVE Liam’s teacher, and wanted to impress her didn’t want to embarrass myself with a sub-par effort.

N is for nestSo last night after dinner, I left my laptop in my office and got started. Liam supervised. I told myself not to get too carried away: “Don’t even think about looking at typography,” I told myself. “Just freehand it.” After thinking through my basic approach, I improvised.

Of course, I ended up completely immersed. It’s just so darned fun to play with colored pencils and paper for a couple of hours. Does it matter that my lettering looks totally amateur? Or that the colors on the A sheet don’t work that well? No. Doesn’t matter at all. I had a great time and Liam was pleased.

A is for autumnIn “N is for nest,” I really wanted the baby birds to look cute. Please tell me I succeeded! If I’d let myself have more time, I would have tucked the nest into a the crook of a tree branch, but it is what it is.

The photograph of “A is for autumn” didn’t come out that well (the colors are actually more red than pink), but you get the idea.

The moral of this story is: When a creative bone comes your way, grab it and run. Then get back to work.

Brittany: The Anatomy of Change

Sam has decided he wants to be a doctor when he grows up. His latest bedtime book of choice? The Human Body. Tonight we read about the skull and the skeleton. Non-scientific Mommy got to explain that the skull is like a bike helmet that protects your ball-of-Jello brain. I also demonstrated the structural usefulness of bones with a spare sock and the pen on Sam’s Magnadoodle. I don’t know if I’m confusing him more or not, but his desire to know all about the body is insatiable. He’s already made a standing appointment with me for another anatomy lesson tomorrow night (when we’ll read about digestion and pelvic bones).

It’s funny, because when I was little, I said I wanted to be a doctor, too. The difference was, I just wanted to take care of sick people and make them feel better. I didn’t care a whit about how the human body worked. That was of no interest to me whatsoever.

I can see myself in Sam, but at the same time, I’m well aware of the ways he diverges from me, too. In a lot of ways I feel like he is the turbo-charged version of me — the one whose detail-orientation and persistence will propel him toward success I could never even dream of. And that makes me happy. I hope he’s able to harness all his potential into something amazing.

It’s hard for me to believe that his preschool days are now over. I don’t think I have anything new to say on the subject without descending into cliches. Where has the time gone? My baby’s all grown up. I can’t believe he’s so big. I feel so old.

I’ll admit I’m feeling anxious for him. Every time he starts worrying about kindergarten, I can’t help but worry along with him, even as I’m telling him it will be all be a wonderful adventure. He seems to already understand that expectations are about to be piled on him — make-it-or-break-it expectations — and that he’s going to have to grow up fast.

I want to cry with him as he realizes that he’s no longer small enough for Mommy’s arms to shut the world out. And even though he still wants the comfort of a snuggle, he’s getting too big to fit in my lap. I knew this day was going to come, but that doesn’t make now any easier.

My friend Kira stopped by today with a friend and her friend’s three-month-old baby. He was so tiny and helpless. So new. So easy.

His mother sat feeding him in the quiet of the living room, her arms enveloping him, in one of those peaceful, protective moments of newborn motherhood that I still vaguely remember. Meanwhile, in the kitchen, Sam and John were underfoot, loudly racing garbage trucks with Tyler and Zachary, while Kira and I threw their lunches together. The metaphor was not lost on me. Those quiet me-alone-with-my-baby moments are over. I live in a completely different world now. Seeing Sam and John in one room, the newborn in the other, it was hard to believe how much the boys had grown, and how far removed all of us were from those sweet, drowsy baby days.

I think Sam understands this. He’s wondering how we got from there to here, too. And his newfound interest in the human body? Like me, he’s trying to wrap his brain around that vast world that envelopes the heart.

[Crossposted from Re-Writing Motherhood]

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