Thursday, June 09, 2005

So I'm freaked out for a couple of different reasons...

One, because I'm worried about Erin - yes, life is hard... harder for some than it is for others. It's easy to start thinking, after a while, that the bad swing isn't going to swing up to be good - ever. Sure, it takes a degree of faith... the lower you get, the higher up the upswing will be. It just takes hard work and is an uphill battle. There isn't anything else I can say other than that. Erin, you have a lot of people who care for you - we may just get misdirected in our actions or not know how to help. Just remember that - we're human too.

Two, because it looks like my summer of research isn't going to continue much longer - I'm realizing that my priorities lie in teaching and my family. Mainly with family, though. Natha starts school this August - and he's not ever had a time that I haven't worked full time or been in school full time - in the entire time since that day when he was 6 weeks old and I went back to school to finish undergrad. Ed has more work than he can shake a stick at, and could use a person to take care of the house incedentals and be able to have a more open schedule to spend time with him.

More about Natha, though - he's also not having a particular good time at his daycare - he's never been crazy about going, either. I've got the teaching commitment, which is two days a week, from now until the second week of August. He has three half-days of school starting on the 15th, then it's full-time school except summers until he's 18, almost 19. He'll be one of the younger ones in the class (I was one of the oldest in mine). All of this leads me to think that Natha should have some time to be mommied, hang out at the pool, take lessons during the day, and be 'homeschooled' to an extent this summer - I can start teaching him more about letters and doing lots of crafts - you should see how his eyes light up when I say that we're going to do crafts. I hope it wouldn't make it harder to leave to go to school, though. There are lots of things like that that I need to think about before we can go and possibly do anything different than we are now. I've got to get Kazu to have him when I teach, plus a few hours, and drop him off somewhat early in the morning - which I don't know if that will fly.

There are other considerations - sure, I'm a lot calmer than I used to be - but would that change to stressed-out if I had Natha during the day? I guess that I can also see it as being being less stressed - since I'll be doing stuff (teaching) and I'll also do things other than sit around during the day - we'll go to the pool, the zoo, and do stuff here at home. That, and it's only temporary - if I don't like it, it's over in August. Also, there are lots of things that come along with a family membership to the YMCA that we're contemplating that will make the endeavor more fun - like that I can work out and have him play outside, to get a minute to myself. Ed's also around to carry his weight with the parenting - even if he's busy working, he still manages to have time for us, which is my big 'requirement'. We try to eat at least 2 meals at the table as a family a day (even if it's another restaurant's table.) I can tell that Natha's getting an idea of what family is all about - when he catches or finds some bug, caterpillar, or lizard, he wants to let them go so they can 'go back to their family so they're not lonely'.

Natha's also better behaved, so he can go to lots of other places with me with minimal trouble. We went to the bookstore this morning to go get some classic chapter books to read at night - I'm trying to get him used to sitting and listening to a story without looking at pictures as the main source of information - to use his imagination with things that are read to him.

These are the books we bought:
L. Frank Baum - The Wizard of Oz
E.B. White - Charlotte's Web
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle - The Lost World
Roald Dahl - Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
C.S. Lewis - The Chronicles of Narnia: The Magician's Nephew
Charles Darwin - Origin of Species
Henry David Thoreau - Walden
Friederich Nietzsche - The Birth Of Tragedy

Ok, so I'm just kidding on those last three - especially the Thoreau - I couldn't subject anyone to that, especially a kid we're trying to get to *like* reading books. We're going to read a chapter or two a night, from whichever book he picks for that night. We don't need to read the others he has at night (they're for during the day), unless they're poems by Shel Silverstein - like 'Dreadful', which is my new favorite. A line from which is...

'Someone ate the baby
It's absolutely clear
Someone ate the baby
'Cause the baby isn't here.'

And no, there is no dingo to blame. I promise. I love 'Two Boxes' - that's what, I think, made me want to have two boys for kids when I grew up. I didn't have many other 'girly' feelings about names and other mushy stuff. I didn't even think about being married and raising a child with someone - it was just me with my two boys. Boy was I wrong when I was younger - it's definitely better to have someone else around, even if for just the sake of sanity.

So I think I've made up my mind on what I want to do about Natha - but there are other arrangements to make and see if they *can* be made. The two big things are 'dropping out' of the research and seeing if Kazu can have Natha when I teach. I'll do some double-checking, making sure this is really the best thing. Then, on Monday, I'll have to arrange the rest of my schedule so it works. Ah, there are lots of things to figure out. If I can get it to work, though, I think I'll look back and be glad I went this route - despite all the 'trouble' and conflict it seems to cause right now. I've just got to be ok with the conflict to go cause it.

Man, I avoid conflict like the plague. I haven't decided whether to change that aspect of me (or try, I should say.) It's a very fundamental part of my psyche, and I don't know if I should part with it. :)

Details at 11 (in that metaphorical sense, of course.)


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