Wednesday, 28 March 2012

The good in the world

There's an email which often makes the rounds about a boy named Shay who is differently abled (from memory he has down syndrome but i could be wrong) and he plays baseball.It's an uplifting email as both Shay's team and the opposition help Shay to achieve a home run.

I've received that email a number of times over the last few years and while it is a heartwarming story, I consider myself a realist (often bordering on pessimist) so I have always filed that story away as nice but probably not real.

This week we have had our own heartwarming event occur. I was so impressed that I thought I'd share.

Girl Child has low muscle tone which for her means she is not very good at at physical things and is quite uncoordinated. She dances and we know that she has much more enthusiasm than ability. We know that some physical activities are difficult for her but we have always told her to try her best. At Girl Childs school this week they had the cross country carnival. Now, Girl Child knows her own limitations and her goal for this year was to not come last. Her age group (everyone born in 2003) had to run 1.5 km.

Girl Child was in last place within the first 20 or so metres. I start to worry and I hope that she is resilient enough to continue and not burst into tears before the first turn. I was astounded when a Year 6 boy left the house group and started running alongside her. He was one of the Captains of her sports house. We don't know this boy but he stayed alongside Girl Child encouraging her for all bar the very beginning of the race. Near the end two other children from her sports house also went and supported her while she almost overtook a few girls and then finished the race.

It was wonderful to watch. I thanked all the children, especially the House Captain and ensured the Principal and Deputy Principal were aware of how much the encouragement of Girl Child meant to me. I really hope that at the next school assembly he is recognized for his sportsmanship and encouragement.

I was blown away by this young mans behaviour and attitude towards a child that he did not know. He is a great sports captain and lovely boy. I hope that his parents know how grateful Girl Child and I both were for his support.

While Girl still was the last runner to finish, another girl had stopped running and went to sit with her family. As she never finished, technically Girl Child wasn't really last. And we are very proud that she participated to the best of her ability.

A huge thank you goes to the kids who supported and encouraged Girl Child especially the house captain. Thank you for supporting my Girl and showing a great supportive attitude to others.

My faith in human nature is restored.

I read Chantelle's 9 things I learnt from blogging and decided this needed a picture. I found this one over on We Heart It and thought it was perfect. I'm going to print it out for Girl Child.


Monday, 26 March 2012

Searching for blogging motivation

I had so much hope for my blog this year. I did January photo a day. Joined a 30 days to build a better blog course and started out with Debra Dane's 52 weeks to simplify your life.

During February i fell off the blogging wagon. I lost my motivation. Not just for blogging but for a lot of things. It was probably about the time that I inadvertently got caught in something between two people I knew. It beat my confidence and my belief in people down.

I see people I know blogging every day or most days of the week. I want to blog but the posts i have in draft in are all whiny and really don't do much than download my head a little. That's the reason I started this blog. Maybe if I get garbage out of my head I'll be back better than ever. Here's hoping.


Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Friendship (and associated issues)

Friendship is not something I'm good at. I don't remember being one of those kids who met another in the sandpit and played together, becoming best friends in the process. Maybe I was and I just don't remember. As an adult I can't say that I'm overly friendly. I have friends. Not squillions, but quite a few. But like everyone else in the world sometimes friendships fall apart or drift off slowly into the sunset.

I have a friendship that appears to have gone that way. We had been close while I was on the school P&C, while my mum was sick and the aftermath of that. Girl Child was in a different class to my friends youngest last year and that coupled with me stepping back from volunteering on the committee appears to have been the beginning of the end. I noticed last year that things were different but put that down to my headache. But when I thought about it things had changed by then. When I first went to the Dr, I was not asked what had gone on, how I was feeling, or anything. I was disappointed at the time. There also never seemed to be any time to catch up last year. I know people are busy and that line was used often.

I thought perhaps it was something I had done or not done. I still don't know but it seems that the friendship has just fizzled out. I discovered last week that my friend has now gone back to full time work. I didn't know but apparently it was common knowledge. I'm guessing that I'm no longer someone that gets included in conversations any more. And that's okay. I still would like to know what happened but I'm probably never going to find out. If friendship is still like this as an adult then how are children supposed to deal with it?

Girl Child has been having lots of issues with friends and friendships. It started last year and has continued. She has never been one of the popular kids and however, the issues are getting bigger leading to Girl Child lashing out on two occasions. Girl Child wants to play with A but Z also wants to play with A but Girl Child and Z clash and always have. The drama has even moved on to an on line game that these kids play with Girl being told to back off from A because Z wants to play with her.

She has been reprimanded at school for lashing out and has apologised to the children. At home we have reiterated that this behaviour is not appropriate. We have talked to the school and I have apologised to the parents of the other children. Girl Child wants to have friends. She wants to play with other children but her strong will and stubbornness can make it hard for her to step back. She really doesn't like being told what to do but she does that to others and she seems unable to see that. She is 8 and in Year 3 which seems to be the year that girls have issues with friends. But if she keeps lashing out then no one will want to play with her.

While I'm struggling with my child lashing out, I did find it very interesting that on one of these occasions someone had approached Girl Child to play with them but then she and her new friends refuse to play or even talk to Girl Child. The school is aware that Girl Child is reacting due to frustration. I would think that being invited to play and then ignored would increase my frustration level. But school didn't deal with that issue, they just talked to Girl Child and the other two with the ongoing issue since last year.

It seems that schools often catch the last person and don't always acknowledge that there was a series of events that led up to the incident. As a parent I know that I need to hear both sides of the story but schools don't seem to have the time.

So she feels that they are ignoring her concerns and says things like "they never listen to me" and "they never believe me." I know that doesn't help her.

How do I help build Girl Childs resilience and tolerance around friendship issues when sometimes I don't understand the dynamics of friendship myself? Was childhood friendship always this complicated for children or is this just a precocious bunch?

I will be organizing some play dates to see if that helps. I need to psych myself up though as I'm not comfortable with people in my space.

Any other ideas? Anyone else been in this situation? Are girls really so much more difficult than boys?

Friday, 2 March 2012

Thankful Thursday 1 March 2012 Fast Forward

So my blogging motivation still missing. I have a few half written posts in my drafts folder but haven't managed to bother finishing them. Or read many Blogs either. Each time I check my reader I have over a 100 posts to read, so I close it again or mark everything as read. So I'm not ignoring you specifically, just the blogging world generally. Too much going on in real life. I somehow ended up as collateral damage in a situation between two people I know. Its mostly resolved now but it did shatter my faith in people for a while.

Anyway, Kate runs Thankful Thursday, a great idea that I occasionally participate in. In fact the last post I published was a Thankful Thursday one, two weeks ago. Kate's Thankful Thursday for today is a lovely idea - a Fast Forward post written as if it is 2017.

Time seems to be flying by. I can't believe that Boy is 18 years old and has started Year 12. Girl is 13 and has started High School. They are growing up so fast.

Thankfully Boy finally stopped growing (he was almost 6 feet tall at 13) and he is working towards his career of choice. He was wanted to be a number of things over the years, an architect, author, illustrator and physican (because "Mum anyone who gets a PhD can be a Dr!") just to name a few. Our choice of High School meet his needs academically and also helped to teach him life skills and introduced him to a new circle of people. He is generous and helpful and still defends people but manages get less involved physically.

Academically, he is doing exceptionally well. I'm sure he will get into his choice of University whichever course he wants to do. Boy eats all kinds of food now. While he will probably never be adventurous when it comes to food, he has come a very long way from the days of surviving on chips, nuggets and sandwiches. Socially, he has some great friends. They all accept him just the way he is. I'm very grateful to those people who care about him.

Girl is doing wonderfully well. After a rocky few years she has had a great group of friends a few years now. Her years of dance have helped so much with her muscle tone and she loves to ride her bike. Academically she is doing well but the change in her socially has been impressive. She has changed from the child that when a girl in her Year 3 class asked the others how many kids hated Girl Child, 6 to 8 kids raised their hands. That dented her self esteem but almost broke me. Thankfully, things improved after that. I guess there wasn't much farther to fall, really.

She doesn't know what she wants to be when she is older but that's okay. She is only 13. Her love of books has continued and that is wonderful. She is still such a girly girl. I don't know how I ended up with such a girly girl but she is beautiful and knows her own mind. She still doesn't like her red hair much but I know that will change as she gets older. People always stop her and comment on what a beautiful colour it is.

We still in the the same house but it is neat and clean. You can tell a family lives here but I'm happy to have people over now. I can space my space, and am pleased to do so. As you can see, I'm still blogging. I am happy that I have made such great friends in the blogosphere. I have even been brave and gone to some blogging events. I had never thought that was ever going to happen. I now blog with more integrity and authencity than before and I'm proud of that.

Mr E. and I are still married (mostly happily, too!) I'm impressed that he has managed to me for so long. 21 years so far. We love each other and our children. We have managed to not screw the kids up. We are a family, still strong, still kind and loving, regardless of what life throws at us.

Thank you Kate. I really enjoyed this. Why don't you go and check out the other Fast Forward posts over at Kate Says Stuff: the Fast Forward post?


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