I haven't blogged in over a month. There were many things going on in my life - primarily a long visit from my mother, whom I did not want to ignore during the few evenings we had together by sitting in front of my laptop blogging or writing while she watched Seinfeld reruns (this newly minted entry is dedicated to you, mom). Then there was the finishing up of a consulting project that I had been working on, which was part of a larger effort I have been making to remove myself from the world of living day to day focused on my children and my son's challenges...then there has been a string of volunteer opportunities that I signed up for to occupy my time in case the previously mentioned effort to remove myself from the day to day world of child-rearing is not effective. Yet here I find myself once again, drawn to write about my child(ren) that I love so much, not even caring if anyone will read this. I like it much more than the thought of returning to real paid work or being a PTA rock star. After a several week absence (thanks mom) I returned to my writing class yesterday and into the open arms of my classmates. A couple of classmates told me that they have referred folks to my blog (woops, sorry 'bout the prolonged absence!) and I thought, holy crap what am I going to write about? The problem is NOT that I have nothing to write about. Rather I have too much to write about that is all things Finbar and life on the fringe. Every day it seems has presented a "Finbar story" or a "Life on the Fringe" account. They've been firing at me at such a pace that I'm considering carrying around one of those voice recorders in my pocket from now on to keep track of them all. I thus have a hodge podge thus of anecdotes to share. I'll just start with the most distant one.
Parent Teacher Conferences - You can learn the darndest things about your quirky kid at a parent teacher conference. Finbar engaged ( I use the term very lightly) me in what was a "student led" parent teacher conference back in March. I wish someone had filmed this conference to be aired on a reality TV show, Parenthood, or just to put on YouTube for your viewing pleasure. After his teacher went over his test scores with me and he was visibly unphased by how well he did on those (unlike my-trying-not-to-overly-gush self), I sat at the desk with him while his teacher coached him through what information he was supposed to take me through. He first sat facing the two of us, messily pushing around his papers and artwork laid out on the desk muttering "um, yeah...this is my work I guess, um, yeah." He then turned completely around in his chair and stared at the back wall lost in thought. I exchanged a giggle and smile with his teacher at which time she tried to call his attention back to the task at hand, reminding him of what he was supposed to do, and then excused herself to go speak to the other family that was waiting in the classroom (always fun to have another family watching your son behave this way :). Still amused I tried, "OK Finney, so show me what all this is." "Um, well, like, it's just, I guess, you know, my stuff, my work." "Uhuh...and is this your letter to your penpal?" "Um, yeah, you can read it I guess, if you want." (he turns back to the wall). In the middle of correspondence about summer plans was a random sentence stating that his grandpa who lived in New Orleans died in a boating accident. Just like that, random matter of fact. Then the writing returned to some other topic such as "what is your favorite color?". Note to self: work on creative writing at home. I moved on to the art, which was remarkably good for a child who until this year struggled with fine motor skills, still coloring outside the lines. "Wow, Finney, this is really good, you must be proud of yourself, can't wait to frame this." Still facing the back wall, "Um yeah,
Mrs. B so that I can get credit for it." And just like that I realized that for Finbar's type, leading a conference and conversation - not so engaging. Demonstrating math computations - totally engaging. He's probably never going to lead a sales team, but he might make a great professor.
Living with Intensity - this is my new favorite subject and book title. THIS is the "motto" of my life with my two kids - LIVING WITH INTENSITY - yes! Finally someone put it into words for me. How many times have I heard from grandmothers in the grocery store, who upon seeing me interact with my two highly animated boys or, overhearing Finbar recount some moralistic philosophy ("I think we should all go back to horse and carriage to save the earth, so can we do that mom, huh, can we please get rid of our van and get a horse and carriage??" ) offers to me a dose of sympathy "My you've got your hands full don't you?" or, "You sure must have a lot of patience. Keep up the good work mom, they are only young once." I try to explain to people (and to myself) what it is about my children that exhausts me everyday... I mean I
Cotillion Anyone? - We received a formal invitation for Finbar to join the 3rd grade Cotillion. The
Chess Anyone? - After a couple of years of trying, I finally saw one of my shallow mommy dreams for Finbar come true this evening (you would think that Cotillion would be my shallow dream, but