Thursday, June 5, 2008

Baby Alligators (not my kids, really!)

This week has been just really nice. :) I have learned (for the upteenth time!) that if I get up before the kids do, the day is much smoother. I have those few minutes to myself, and they have me with them for waking up. Tyler has been having a rough time lately, and having me awake in the mornings with him has had quite a positive impact. He is more interested in playing games with me, Philip ends up getting a break from having to be the only playmate, and I am enjoying the time spent with him. Evan has been a little hard to handle lately, but I think that is just the fact that he's about to have a birthday. I notice that whenever my kids get about 1-3 months out from their birthdays, they tend to feel things more intensely and have more reactionary moments. I told him his birth story last night, for what I think was the first time. I usually tell each kid their birth story on the birth day. Last night though, Tyler went to find some books and Evan and I were cuddled up in bed waiting for him to return. We were so content and I decided I would tell him a story. He smiled so big and bright the whole time. Then, he cracked up completely when I explained that we didn't know if he was a boy or a girl 'till we checked and saw! He has been very cuddly and gentler with me since this story last night. He is quite a wrestler and very rough and tumble with his brothers and me, and it is taking all my energy to remind him constantly to be gentle with bodies. It's working though, it is.

So, since we've been getting up all together, we're getting more playtime in and we are enjoying Clue Jr. and a few card games. Philip is memorizing his multiplication tables and we're working together on a lapbook for the history he's studied this year. Tyler has been pretty interested in learning about "war," ever since our trip to the bicycle store. We happened to go to the store on Memorial Day, and of course it was closed. Tyler couldn't understand why, (it was his bike that needed some work) so I explained as much as I could and all he has wanted since then is more information on "the war we're in NOW Mom!" He and Philip are both so curious as to why anyone would fight over such things as choice of religion or who has rights to land and/or oil. I think they are mini-hippies because, and this is especially true for Philip, what they like to say is this: "I think everyone should just give everything they have away for free if anyone else needs it." They've got my mind spinning, trying to figure out if that could EVER even work, and if it ever did. I've talked to them a little about bartering and they are ALL FOR that. I have been bartering my knitting and crochet work for things I'd like from other Work at Home Moms (WAHM's) and the boys are very excited to hear about that. At the same time though, that all-American greed has really kicked in and anything they don't use anymore, is officially "for sale." And they don't play around with prices either, LOL! I've learned, through all the war conversations, that my kids don't have a clue about what it is they have here in the US, the freedom they do have that is so precious to us and so rare elsewhere. They also don't have a clue how fortunate they are to have the luxuries we enjoy. I'm trying not to blame myself for this, as I know the reason I haven't tried to show them the lesser advantaged side of things is that, I believe, they will feel brokenhearted and responsible for the conditions those people are living in, here in the US and outside of it. I'm not so good at balance in any area, so I'm working hard on trying to find how they can learn these things in a happy-medium sort of way. Any suggestions would be appreciated. I have learned they don't allow children as young as mine to work in local soup kitchens. I think I might be on the lookout for any age-appropriate documentaries that could showcase conditions in countries less fortunate than ours as far as politics and poverty go. (and/or age appropriate materials on poverty w/in our country!) This whole situation is also motivating me to go ahead and get started on US History. I was hoping to work up to it gradually, as we have started out with Our Island Story. Looks like we'll be swapping out the plan or studying both for a while! Especially since this is a presidential election year and the biggers are able to understand a lot of it now!

My Wednesday Homeschool park day has picked back up! Gymnastics has changed to Thursdays for the summer, due to one of the coaches college schedule's. It was awesome today to be around a whole group of Mama's and kids again, and even Philip found someone his age to hang with. Woohoo! We were also part of a pot-luck get together the other evening and had a great time hanging out around a fire-pit, and even ended the night getting to hear some of the dads/husbands play guitars for a bit. And to top it all off, I got a night out with another Mom tonight! And we ended the night getting to see baby alligators in a pond behind the restaurant where we ate! I was a bit jumpy, wondering where the Mama Alligator might be, but
Lynn assured me that the babes were nothing to fear and the Mama had most likely been "relocated." Uh-huh. Didn't stop me from grabbing her arm a couple times and eventually insisting we head back towards the vehicles, LOL!

1 comment:

Hannah said...

Hey Tracee,
Just wanted to respond to your thoughts about helping kids learn to serve and not take what they have for granted. I don't have answers, but this is something I think about a lot. Around Austin, we do see panhandlers at intersections quite a bit, so that helps make it very obvious to them that there are "have-nots," and sometimes we share with them. One thing I've thought of doing is sponsoring a child (together as a family) from a 3rd world country (through World Vision International) and keeping his/her picture on the fridge. For Christmas, we made a donation to the Austin Children's Shelter in my in-laws' name (a decision we made as a family; the kids voted) and that was their gift.
Just ideas, but mostly wanted you to know I feel the same way! And it's so great you're having these conversations with them!