Every day the wonderful happens…

and I'm here to blog about it.

Winning at Carpool November 21, 2013

Filed under: everyday life,Matthew — Elizabeth @ 12:46 PM

I worry about Matthew.

Anyone who has been here for any amount of time knows this.

Last year, he was the smallest kid by far in his class…..in kindergarten for that matter, which basically made him the smallest kid in the entire school.  Add his ridiculous cuteness and crocodile tears o’plenty to the mix and you can imagine how teachers and students babied him alike.  Matthew will often rise to the occasion when people expect things from him, but last year, the bar was set low.  And he cried throughout the year, and everyone fretted and babied.  And he didn’t make much progress at all.

Which is why he is repeating kindergarten this year.

We started out the year right, with a more no-nonsense teacher who knows our family (she was Isaac’s teacher last year).  We explained that many times his crying is a simple side effect of his neurological condition.  Many times it comes and goes for no reason whatsoever, and drawing attention to it draws it out much longer.  It is best to move forward, offering him help as needed.  She has been awesome with this and on the rare occasions that he does cry, it is very short lived and (other than making sure he is okay initially) there is no fanfare drawn to it.  This, in addition to the fact that he is much more confident (being a student who knows the ropes) has led to a much better year for him.

There are still issues, of course.  One being his refusal to acknowledge his friends in situations outside of his classroom.  If we see a friend at a store or even on school grounds, but with us there, he will absolutely pretend he doesn’t know them.  If they persist, trying to get him to acknowledge them, the tears come.  I try to tell him gently….this is hurtful.  They are thinking that there is some reason you don’t like them.  If you would like to be their friend, you should at least say hello.

But he struggles.

I chaperoned the first field trip his class took.  Right when I walked in the classroom, I was smitten with a boy in his class:  Joe.  Joe is the smallest.  And he is PRECIOUS.  So cute and animated and you really want to squeeze him repeatedly.  I immediately understood why everybody was so over the moon about Matthew last year, because here I was swooning over teeny, tiny Joe.

Anyway, what Matthew never told us (because he doesn’t really tell us anything about what goes on at school) is that he and Joe are big buddies.  They spend all of their time together at recess (per Matthew’s teacher).  Apparently one morning in the Good Morning Room, Joe even sat in Matthew’s lap because he was scared (per Isaac).

All of this background info brings us to this morning.  Jason helped me with the boys this morning and we were ready much earlier than usual.  So when we got to school, the safety patrol wasn’t even out yet.  When the safety patrol are out, they say good morning and there are usually also some adults there making sure everything is running smoothly.  But today, it was just an empty sidewalk with an open school door (when kids are early they go to the Good Morning room where there is usually a DVD on).

So while my kids are getting out of the van, I see little Joe.  He is standing in the vicinity of the school door, looking concerned and confused.  No one is there to tell him good morning or to guide him indoors towards the Good Morning room.  My kids are already out of the van and the door has closed and all I can do is send intense psychic signals to Matthew.

Be a friend.

Take his hand.

Please, my mind pleads with the back of his head.

I sit there, frozen.  I see Joe recognize Matthew.  His face breaks into a smile, and I see him mouth “Matthew!”.  I have no idea what Matthew’s face looks like or how he is reacting.  I say a thousand prayers in one nanosecond.

Then I see Joe reach for Matthew, and I know that it all comes down to this.

Matthew reaches back.

They embrace.

We all win.

 

 

The Things He Says September 11, 2013

Filed under: everyday life,Isaac — Elizabeth @ 1:23 PM

Today I was having lunch at school with Isaac (after returning from chaperoning a field trip for Matthew’s class).  As Isaac packed up his lunchbox, he stuck his fork inside and said, “now THAT’S how a mathematician does it”.

Isaac:  Matthew, do you know what sticky notes are for?

Matthew:  no

Isaac:  they are for if someone is sleeping, but you need to go somewhere.  So you write a note that says I’ll be right back and you stick it on their face.

Last night we went to a church near our house for a transracial adoption support group.  Isaac asked if we had ever been to the church.  Jason and I told him that this is where we go to vote.  Oh, did you vote for George Washington?

Matthew (to me):  You the best mommy in the world.

Me (feigning humility):  Oh I doubt I’m the best in the world…..

Isaac:  True.  She is probably the best mommy in {insert our community}.  Or at least the best mommy on {insert our street name}.

He asked me to buy him skinny jeans.  Orange ones.  And a belt.  I obliged, but then when it was time to get dressed for school, he told me that he couldn’t wear his skinny jeans to school, because when he sits criss cross applesauce, it pulls his underwear down.

Isaac:  Mom, I can’t wait until Christmas, so I can kiss you under the rosemary.

 

In Case of Emergency April 10, 2013

Filed under: everyday life,mama of boys — Elizabeth @ 10:52 AM

Recently, I explained to the boys about bathroom emergencies.  Things work well at home when you can go to the bathroom at will.  But what about at school–during rest time when you’re supposed to be quiet, or during carpool when you have to stay in line?  What if you have to go?  I remember that fearful feeling as a child, when obedience and manners seem more important than listening to your own physical cues.

I told the boys that sometimes there are emergencies and all teachers understand this.  You will not get in trouble for having a poo-poo emergency.  Your teachers want you to make it to the bathroom–believe me.

So now it isn’t uncommon to hear them running to the bathroom at home, giggling that they are having a pee pee emergency.

This morning Matthew approached me and issued this sage advice, “Mommy, emergencies are pee-pee, poo-poo, and a fire inside your house”.

Or even worse–all three at the same time.

 

Fly Away, Little Boy January 29, 2013

Filed under: everyday life,I'm a Sap,Isaac — Elizabeth @ 9:01 PM

Tonight we realized that Isaac’s two front teeth are loose.  I know it sounds dramatic, but my heart nearly stopped.  I was at once very excited and completely devastated.

Time, you thief!!  You found us again.

The two front teeth are a big deal.  Once those suckers start coming in, it changes the whole look of your face!  Everything begins to transform and morph.  And I can go ahead and tell you, these aren’t going to be just some dainty little teeth.  Isaac hails from “big teeth” genetics–we’re talking multiple stints with braces, headgear, getting permanent teeth removed to make room in your mouth kinda stuff.  This could be all kinds of crazy.  I’m not ready.  My newborn who became a baby who became a toddler who became a preschooler who became a little boy is now about to be:  a kid.  I don’t remember authorizing this.

But I don’t know why I’m surprised.  The signs are all around me.

His toes are stretching the seams of his footie pajamas–the biggest size I could find at Carters.

The little boy who used to pore over the Thomas catalog and recite the engine names in his high, breathy voice chose a Mario video game manual as his book tonight.  (Don’t worry, mom, he told me, we will only read the part in English.  Not the Spanish and French.)

January 29, 2013 064

Yesterday, on the way to karate he informed me that my van was a rectangular prism.

He’s growing up.  And I would be pretty ticked off about it if I didn’t just absolutely adore the person he is becoming each day.

He is such an incredibly kind and thoughtful person.  I was sick on Saturday and he left me notes all over the house to make me feel better.  This one was stuck inside my makeup drawer:

January 29, 2013 006

He’s creative and sensitive and well-liked at school.  Every day I wake up amazed that I get to be his mom.

So with that, I loosen my grip on this little boy.  Not that I have any choice about it, really.  The more I let go, the more space I give him to amaze me daily…..with his pure Isaac-ness.

He’s growing up.

January 29, 2013 062Fly away, little boy.

 

Thanks for the Clarification January 5, 2013

Filed under: adoption thoughts,everyday life,Matthew — Elizabeth @ 9:49 AM

This morning, Matthew sat down at the dining room table to write some letters.  This, in itself, is amazing because up until this week, he hasn’t had the confidence to try and sound out words on his own.  He found a formula that he was comfortable with and stuck with it.

“Daddy u r my best daddy”

“Isaac u r my best Isaac”

“Mommy u r my best mommy”January 2013 293

Isaac pointed out to him that I was his only mommy.  But I stopped him.

Actually, Matthew has 3 mommies.  Can you tell me about them, Matthew?

You could see a light bulb go on in his head.

Omma?  And tummy mommy?

That’s right!

And just like that, he sat down to write a new letter:

January 2013 294

Way to keep me in my place.

 

 

As Heard in the School Lunchroom December 17, 2012

Filed under: everyday life — Elizabeth @ 8:43 PM

Hey, Isaac’s mom!

Hey!

Isaac’s mom, did you adopt Matthew? (this is my name when I’m at their school.  Well, this and “Matthew’s mom”)

Yes, I did.

Well, my mom, you know?  She had surgery on her place where babies come from?  And she can’t have babies anymore.  And she doesn’t want to adopt a baby, but I really want a little brother to boss around.

{Makes me shudder to think what my kids say about me to the other parents!!}

 

 

Musings on the Easter Bunny November 25, 2012

Filed under: everyday life,Isaac,the holidays,traditions,we so crazy — Elizabeth @ 10:02 AM

Yesterday, my sister and I took our boys to see “Rise of the Guardians”, a kid’s movie that involves the Easter Bunny, Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, and the Sandman.  These fellas are the good guys who protect and love children worldwide and they, with the help of Jack Frost, team up against the Boogeyman, whose goal is to keep the children from believing in these heroes and keep them living in a state of fear.

It was actually a delightful movie–the kids and I all loved it, but I knew that it would bring up some questions.  And sure enough, before the movie was over, Isaac leaned over to me and asked, “Is the Easter bunny really real?”.

Just for some background info here, we are a Santa family.  We do the Easter bunny and the tooth fairy, and the Elf on the Shelf.  We are also a Jesus family.  And while we teach the true meanings and cause for celebration behind the holidays, we also embrace the whimsical/playful sides of the holidays.

**As a side note, I know that Santa can be a “hot topic” for some people.  However you celebrate at your house, I am sure you have put much thought into it, and I am happy for you.  This post is meant only to make you chuckle, not to begin a debate on Jesus vs. Santa.  Cause at my house, we have our cake and eat it too.**

For a little more background, I do not feel comfortable with over-selling the Santa/Easter bunny/tooth fairy stories.  So when the doubts start to creep in, our plan is to let the kids make their own decisions, instead of working tirelessly to convince them of the “realness” of these characters.

So when Isaac asked me about the Easter bunny, I will say that I was disappointed.  Because I didn’t feel comfortable just flat out telling him that, of course the Easter Bunny is real.  So I told him we would talk about it after the movie, and hoped he would forget.

We got into the van and started over to my aunt’s house for a visit, and Isaac announced from the backseat that he had a Very! Important! Question!.

And here’s how it went down:

I need to know if the Easter Bunny is really real.

Well….what do you think?  Do you think he’s real?

No.

Why not?

Because how could a bunny go all over the world and bring Easter eggs?  A real bunny couldn’t do that!

Hmmmm, that would be tricky for a real bunny.  Well then, who do you think brings the eggs?

{Mind you, that during all this, Matthew is arguing loudly that indeed, a real bunny could do that.  A very, very big bunny.}

Well, I think that it’s someone dressed up like a bunny.

Who do you think would get dressed up like a bunny and do all that?

Probably….Santa Claus!

Ah, the faith of a child.  I went on to explain that it did seem doubtful that a real bunny could do all that.  I also told him that I had never seen the Easter Bunny, but that to me it was fun to believe in him, because I liked the idea of him.

Either way, it looks like we have a believer on our hands for at least one more year!

Here’s wishing you a holiday full of excitement, whimsy, reverence and belief.

And especially that Santa remembers to take off his bunny suit before he comes down your chimney!!!