I made place mats for Valentine's Day and am finally showing you!
Spring Break at Our Fine School comes absurdly early. In fact, it's not even spring yet.That means that every year we have a week of cold, rainy weather to frolic in. There are mud puddles galore and great opportunities to give your winter gear one last workout.
The wealthier families at Our Fine School--of which there are many and of which we are not one--avoid the icky early March weather of central North Carolina by flying to Europe to enjoy the icky weather there. A friend of mine has taken her daughter to London, where according to her Facebook updates, it's snowing.
We, of course, are staycationing. I'm under a deadline for a book, so my staycation involves writing in my jammies, which I don't usually get to do. Whee! Jack's staycation is all about sleeping in and then living on his computer. Will has a circuit: computer, outside to play basketball, upstairs to his room, computer, outside to play baseball, upstairs to his room, and so on. On Sunday, he took up origami. He really did. Last night he worked on a Paint-by-Numbers painting. Today, he took approximately forty-five minutes to complete a wildly expensive Lego kit that I bought for his staycation present. It was supposed to keep him entertained for the rest of the week.
The Man is spending his staycation going to work. You should see his tan.
This is my mosaic quilt. I've completed twenty-five blocks and have seventy-five more to go. It should be done sometime around Will's college graduation.
This week, I've been working on accepting my family for what it is, which is not one of those families that has interesting, educational vacations where many important lessons are learned. When we go on vacation, we all tend to do what we do at home, which is putter, work on projects, mess around on the computer, laze about, read and snack. I was starting to feel okay about this until I read an article about this doctor who's doing groundbreaking work in the field of food allergies. She has five children and prints out charts for their daily piano practice--they have to check off a box every day to show that they've done their time.
My children do not take piano lessons. If they had asked to take piano lessons, I would have signed them up immediately. I have asked both of them if they wanted to take piano lessons, and neither of them do. I could have forced them to, I guess, but I'm against forcing children to do anything besides homework (which mine actually do without force or even prodding), teeth-brushing, chores and saying "please" and "thank you."
Let me tell you a story about Jack. A few weeks we had a conference with his middle school adviser, just the usual semi-annual deal. As always, Jack had to fill out a form before the conference in which he attested to how he felt he was doing in his coursework (he felt good about it), what his favorite class was (Language Arts, per usual), and also how he felt he was doing socially this semester. His response to the last one? "I fail to see how this is relevant or anybody's business."
That's my boy. I have no fears that he'll ever succumb to peer pressure. He's a rock. This, by the way, has its good points and its bad points. My point is, just try to make this kid take piano lessons. I mean, really. Give it a go.
And Will? I asked Will if he wanted to do a poster for the Water Conservation Poster Competition. Will's pretty artsy-craftsy and likes to draw, so I thought this might be a good Spring Break project. His reply? "I don't want to do it, because if I won, then I'd have to go on stage for the award, and I really don't want to do that."
The funny thing is, I totally get that.
My children are idiosyncratic, stubborn and fairly set in their own ways. I've decided that as long as they do their homework without prodding, their chores without complaint (they really don't complain; on the other hand, they do take their time), get good grades and don't get in trouble at school, I'm not going to worry too much about them. I'm going to resist signing them up for things they don't want to do (other than school). I hope to take them to Europe one day, but not in March.