One of the challenges of managing a brood (and it is a management challenge!) is getting solo time with each of them. They definitely respond well to individual attention. Who doesn’t? Employees thrive when managers invest time in them. As in an office, though, getting one-on-one time on the calendar is easier said than done.
That’s why I was quite happy that, yesterday, I managed to engineer some quality time with each of them. The baby and I played together from 7-7:30 (he’d been up from 3-5 a.m. so he’d already seized some not-so-great quality time, but we won’t go into that). It was kid #2’s 6th birthday, so I went to his afternoon kindergarten class to read The Dark, by Lemony Snicket (a favorite of ours: “you might be afraid of the dark, but the dark is not afraid of you”). He was all smiles to see me there, though humorously he didn’t want to come home with me. He wanted to ride the bus. Perhaps because the bus driver (bless him) gave him a dollar for his birthday.
I picked my 8-year-old up at swim practice. He’d told me earlier this week that jumping off the block was tough, and it was for kids who’d been swimming a long time. Then, lo and behold while I was in the stands, I saw him jumping off the block. We got to have a good conversation about this in the car on the way home. Apparently he belly-flopped the first time (as you do) but was figuring it out.
Finally, my daughter wanted a bubble bath at night. It looked like fun so I jumped in with her! She just thought it was hysterical to put suds over her face like she had a beard, and then in her hair like a halo.
I have all four together today, as school is closed due to the Pope’s arrival, so there will probably be a lot of crowd control. But at least we had some fun moments yesterday.
In other news: This write-up of a “virtual happy hour” I did with Gloria Feldt’s Take the Lead, does a good job of summarizing my main messages. Stress is normal. We should tell stories of women who like their lives. Work is a way of profitably living out your interests. Ask for forgiveness, not permission.
In a completely different vein…I was touched by Lori Sanders’ essay at The Federalist called I Shout My Son’s Life. The site itself has fairly strong anti-abortion politics, which I’m not particularly into, but whatever you think of that, the essay is a great story of a woman facing a hard situation and rebuilding the life she wanted — only now with an 8-year-old along for the ride. Transitioning to parenthood is hard enough as a married, financially stable, grown woman. I’m amazed by people who survive and thrive in the transition as girls themselves.
My gifted education blog, Gifted Exchange, turns 10 this week. I have a round-up of top posts from the past decade over there.