Wednesday, May 23, 2012

What brother does, I have to too!

KB had to do a shoe box project for his homework.  It was a "think out of the box" homework.  He wanted to make an asteroid spewing out blue fire and such exotic stuff.  But there was a clause in it that said that the project had to be self explanatory.  So KB decided he wanted to show an exploding volcano.  He cut out some brown paper and stuck them together.  He wanted to put some play dough on it and luckily we had a whole box of play dough gifted to him by my cousin's daughter who visited us a while back.  He made the volcano with the lava flowing out.  Then he wanted to show ash spread out in the surrounding trees.  So he himself mixed white and black play dough and made it look like ash and spread it over the leaves.  I helped him stick the background paper inside the shoe box.  Project done.

But what KB does, KG has to do.  Right away she grabbed a shoe box, cut out the top and cut out a long strip of paper and made it look like a handle, stuck it on the box and told me, "Mamma, look, I made a basket for you.  Now you can keep your things in this basket, whatever you want".  I thanked her for it and took it and found a few things to put in it to please her.  The next morning, she wanted to make something more grand like her brother had done.  So I asked her if she wanted to do a ocean diorama and told her that it would mean making something that looks like a ocean using the shoebox.  She was all excited.  I printed out the background paper.  She cut out all the edges, the animals (I did some trimming) and I taught her how to make a star fish etc using the multi pack play dough.  It was a lot of fun doing all this with her.  She learned some more about ocean animals from doing the project.  I didn't know myself that clown fish were the only few fishes that would hang around a sea anemone (orange flower like).  The sea anemone has stinging tentacles but the clown fish has a kind of slime that protects it from the venom of the sea anemone and they share a symbiotic relationship.  She could not wait to go pick up KB from school the other day and show him her project.  He was most impressed with her project and that made her feel so good! Big brother gave her a check mark! Wow! All his friends crowded around to see her project.  Later at home though, he of course had to steal her thunder (and mine!) when KG excitedly told him - KB, look, these are stinging tentacles of the sea anemone.  He casually said, "yeah, only clown fish go near the sea anemone.  They don't get killed by the sea anemone. They both share a symbiotic relationship".  He likes to read up or learn such facts from his nature shows and just remembers them.  Thankfully I had read up on why the clown fish are able to survive the attack of the sea anemone and could tell him about it! At least from having read up just then, mom appeared to know a a little more than him! :).  Here I present happily KG's ocean diorama from a shoebox.  

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Letting them be...

I took KG to a birthday party this afternoon.  KG is relatively shy compared to her brother - but not entirely so.  She is very courageous on the inside and often in surprising ways.  She can talk to a tall and hefty man with absolutely no fear or hesitation if she is in her comfort zone, say if she knows he is a guest visiting our house.  But if she feels like she is being noticed in a crowd she will be quiet.  At the party today, she wanted to play with a girl two years older than her.  But that girl already was good friends with another girl who was KG's age.  KG kept running with them, behind them, was watching them, playing with them when she got the chance.  But over all it was clear she was tagging along more than being included actively.  I had to stand away and watch it happen.  This was for her to experience on her own.  When the two girls decided to just lie down on the grass with their parents, KG who is always ready for some physical activity said to me, why do they want to just sit there? I want to play with them.  I told her I would play with her if she wanted to but I cannot force them to play.  She did not want to play with me.  But she was OK with the situation.  It was my heart that felt a tug.  Did she feel left out? Why is she not more outgoing like those girls? Will she have friends when she starts KG? Will she be a lonely teenager? Will she then try to do the wrong things to please her friends so she can fit in?!  Projecting years into the future in just two seconds of seeing her sitting bored on the grass. 

I guess it is that tug you feel each time your child experiences some seemingly difficult situation that reminds you that you are a mom.  You want the absolute best for your child without a doubt.  You want to help but you have to hold back.  And there you grow as a person and a mother.  Being able to let go.  Being able to let them grow.  Experience the world.  Within safe territory.  To find that balance between protecting them and letting them be. 

The other day, someone told me that they felt it would be better not to purchase a house where an old couple had lived until then and the old lady had died just a few days earlier.  They felt it was not such an auspicious or blessed place after all.  My perspective, after seeing some unfortunate situations amongst friends or family where children are left behind without a mother or a father when a relatively young parent passes away, has completely changed.  I felt they were a blessed couple to have lived that long in good health in their own home for all those years and to have been there for their children.  Any adult who has had the privilege of being there for their children and getting them through up to adulthood is truly blessed.  Reading about such situations completely breaks my heart.  But it is also a reminder to keep perspective and sift out the trivialities of every day life and feeling blessed for having all that is going well in life. 

Wishing you all a very happy mother's day!