Some days you're just really proud to be a parent. Too many days are filled with anxiety, most of it self-induced. Fears that you're not doing whatever you ought to be doing to ensure that your child/children will be all that you hope for them.
So, indulge me if you will in this moment of bragging. Here are some recent things that have made me sigh with relief and know that life is good.
*This was Shannon's first official year of homeschool, and boy did we take the unschooling route. Some days he did lessons out of workbooks, but mostly he did his own thing. And how did that go??
1) He can read surprisingly well (no more sneaking stuff past him with ease). Without any days spent studying in a classroom, without any memorization, the bugger can read. He's also doing pretty darn good when it comes to spelling and writing.
2) He's learning bits of both Spanish & Russian. Spanish from PBS shows and all other media that is shoving Spanish down our throats. Russian because I'm sick of having Spanish shoved down our throats. Neither he or Tristan say the following words in English: Please, Thank You, You're Welcome, or Excuse Me.
3) He's learning responsibility. He now feeds & gives water to the rabbit. He walks Foster on a leash when he needs to go out. We've bought him some eco-friendly cleaning cloths so he can clean the windows as he sees fit. He dust-busts.
There are just those moments when you're really proud with the way your kids are turning out. Like, when we were at the beach and Shannon was playing with another kid in the sand. Shannon's "check this out" moment was showing the other kid 'Tree Pose' in yoga.
Or, when people ask them who their favorite cartoon character is and rattle off several currently popular ones, my kids stare back at them with a blank expression. They have no clue who most of those characters are. The cartoons they watch are older than I am. (Though they do get to see a few movies on DVD here and there)
Or, when one of them gets all bent out of shape because a light got left on and electricity is being wasted. Or they check the bottoms of plastic containers to see if they can be recycled. AND they both demand to go to the recycling center & help toss stuff in the bins!!!
They're both learning to swim without any real formal teaching. We may enroll Shannon in a class at the Y, but we may not. I haven't decided yet. Tristan is finally willing (though not every time) to put his head under water, that's a huge step for him.
They're both kind to other kids. They don't mock them, they don't make fun. They don't try to exclude anyone (except maybe each other). They think their friends can and are people of any age. They are just as comfortable talking to adults as they are kids.
They are open and honest. Shannon will bust your balls in two seconds with his honesty. I've come to admire that, though we're also having to teach him to not always do so. Like at the restaurant when the food is taking too long.
Also, in a stroke of semi-geniusness, I've gotten them trained to an alarm. I set two during the day. One goes off at 10:45 am and it means it is time to clean up toys for lunch (yea, they eat an early lunch). The other is for 5:21 pm. Justin gets home between 5:21 & 5:30. That alarm means Daddy is about home & it is time to clean up for dinner.
When they here the alarm they both know to immediately stop what they're doing and begin cleaning up. AND THEY DO!! Even when we were at the beach! Actually, even when we were in the car they knew what it meant and didn't question it. They just pointed out that their toys were already packed away, so the work was already done!
These are my boys. And I couldn't be more in love with them or more proud of them.