I sometimes sit back and listen to the kids talk, and wonder how it's possible for things to change so much in, what seems to me, so little time. And then I wonder- has it changed that much, or are you just seeing it that way because you're the parent now, and the things you know are a lot different that the things you knew when you were their age? Personally, I think it's a little of both. Times have changed, definitely, but now it's my time to worry and wonder, to plan and prepare so they're happy, healthy, safe... because they won't worry about those things. At least, they shouldn't.
I do think I'm more open with mine, in a lot of ways, than my mother was with me. Nothing is taboo, they can ask me anything, and ooooh, do they. LOL And honestly? I'd rather be the one answering with age appropriate responses than have the kid at school, or on the bus, or down the street, explaining things that are either extremely inaccurate, or right on, but REALLY inappropriate and scary (to me, LOL).
We covered the first "boyfriend" issue when Alyssa announced she was dating someone. And of course, dramatically broke up a couple days later. I love it, though... dating? Really? You're nine. But I remember how serious it was for me at that age... because everything is SO over the top make or break at that age. It's all drama, all the time, raising a girl, it seems. I don't remember being so... moody? Mouthy? Know it all? In charge? Secure? In touch with exactly who I was and how it would be? I admire her so much, when I'm not wanting to tape her mouth shut. :) We're growing in a new direction, my girl and I. She's gotten to a stage, already, where you can watch what she does and just see, so clearly, the woman she's going to be. And oh, man, what a woman she'll be. Strong, smart, independent, and ... every single thing I'm not, combined with some of the best of who I am. She takes no shit, and can give it back twice as hard. She has her course charted without even realizing, without even trying. She's NINE. It's humbling, to think that somehow, some way, she's become this wonderful person, in part because of me. And I'm thankful that Taylor has such an absolutely amazing sister to look up to and learn from. And even more so that their bond is already beyond unbreakable.
At the same time, I'm also getting the idea of the teenage years. Um, no thanks? Can we pass on it, because oh my God she's a terror already when she wants to be. She's stubborn and snappy, already has "oh my GOD!", eye rolls, sighing, stomping and slamming aced, and we haven't even touched on the want of the coveted cell phone. No, no and again, after almost six months of hounding, NO. I'm not one of those moms who thinks every kid needs a cell phone. If she walked to or from school, if she did any activity that I wasn't either at with her, or didn't give MY number to any and all people in charge? Yes. If she had a condition, if she was home alone, if I worked... there are a million good reasons for some kids to have cell phones. Mine does not have a good reason, other than "I want one."
I think they want too much too soon, which is typical, and I'm glad for it. But, being the adult, I now understand that they want too much without knowing or comprehending the dangers that can come with having it all too soon. Because not everyone is a good person. Not everything is safe to do. Not everything is as easy as you think. And some of that will come slowly, with time, while some of it will hit like a freight train, and as much as I want to shield them, I can't. Not from all of it. But, it will make them, shape them, change them... and they'll need that, too, whether they believe it or not.
Speaking of "need"? Remember the pregnant cat I posted about? Yeah. She stopped coming around for awhile, and then came back around, no longer pregnant. I assumed she'd had the babies, and was hiding them somewhere, and didn't shoo her from the food we keep on the porches (our cats go and and out, so there is always food/water available). I figured she'd need the nourishment to feed the kittens, had they survived.
They did. As far as I know, she had 3 or 4. Two of them? Are now residing in Taylor's old playpen, in dining/kitchen area. I know, I KNOW, believe me I know. But what can you do? They fit in the palm of my hand, were sitting out there, and meowed soooo pitifully. And I'm a sucker. They're the oddest color combos, too- black, gray, reddish tiger striped with one obviousy leaning toward calico. Adorable. And I'm a sucker. :) One of them has little white paws (Lyss named her Kali- short for "calico" but different,LOL) and is timid and follows the other one's lead. The other one... is bad. And of course, the one I like best. LOL But, they are both healthy and playful, eating solids, surprisingly, and shunning milk or mushy food. And I? Am a sucker.
It's time to gear up for another IEP meeting. I don't even really have anything for you on this right now only it's almost that time again, and my wants for him still stand firm. He needs to be challenged, to know there are consequences for every action, and you need to choose those actions wisely, and he needs to be with children his own age. Why? Because Jake imitates. He mimics the children around him a LOT, and if he is with his peers, his age group, he will fall in line with what they're doing, how they interact and play. If he is with a special ed group of kids varying in age, he'll mimc their behaviors. That's not a positive, and it regresses him, behaviorally and academically. He needs integrated. Period.
Taylor is talking. Sort of. She's now saying "kitty" and "car", "yeah", "yay" and "hey"- which is usually said like this "heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeey!" at the top of her lungs. All these words in a span of three days! To add to the rest of her vocabulary. She has also realized that Mom means business and Dad will usually let her get away with just about everything. Typical. She's growing so FAST. Still cutting teeth, but now wearing ponytails and getting bruises and scrapes on her knees and making me gasp a hundred times a day- in fear, usually, as she attempts a stunt that I just KNOW will injure her. LOL
There's not much else happening, just a lot of watching them grow and wondering what's up ahead. It's comforting, seeing them making good choices and growing with a firm sense of who they are and what they're made of. But it's also comforting when I'm the one they still come to for the hurts, the curiosity and everything in between. I hope that never changes. That is something, maybe the one thing, worth anything else.