So, at the close of my last update (around 10 months ago) I hoped that my next blog post wouldn’t happen this June. Well, it’s not June! Oh, dear. I have such good intentions for journals, I really do. And I LOVE buying them, holding them in my hands, looking at them, etc. I’m just terrible at writing in them. I had hoped that doing something on the computer would be more conducive to regular entries, but apparently I was wrong. **sigh** Lol.
Well, here’s a little bit about Jose and Squishy, since they’re the reason I’m here!
Jose is 7 and in 2nd grade now. He was SUPER anxious about going back to school this year (for the first time ever), but has really jumped into things now that he’s there. After the first day of school, he told Daddy, “Second grade is THE BEST!!! I still don’t want to be back to school, but 2nd grade is the best!” 2nd grade is also a lot tougher, come to find out, though he’s rising admirably to the challenge. Honestly, I think 2nd grade is going to be harder for us as parents than it will be for him, simply because we’re really having to start being active and proactive about making sure that everything is done and that we are assisting him in all the areas we need to be doing so. It’s not beating him down at all, but for me it’s being rather overwhelming. Huge, HUGE drawback to having two full-time working parents, honestly. Because, yes, that’s what the position I took last year has turned into. And I know it’s a God thing, but I’m questioning and struggling with how having this job is going to affect our family and especially Jose’s schooling. Back to Jose, though. He’s doing AR again, and will have the test soon to determine the correct level for him to be focusing on this year. This is also the first year that AR will be part of his reading grade. His teacher is a wonderful lady whose children I watched during my time at the YMCA and I am so happy he got her. He’s with his best friend again this year – another blessing. He’s also been seeing Dr. Beth off and on again to help with how the pressures of everything that’s happened in the past couple of years is bearing down on him. We’ve made behavioral changes, nutritional changes, attitude changes, etc. All in all, I’m pretty pleased with how those things have helped guide him back to a mental path where he feels more secure and able to take on the world with the correct reactions. My only issue right now is a strange lack of communication from Dr. Beth herself, which has never been a problem in the past. Working to resolve that now, but I’m worried that if this continues, it will be negative for Jose. But it’s in God’s hands and that’s where I’ll try to leave it. Outside of all that jazz, Jose has also taken up piano and gymnastics, both of which he has a great love and good deal of talent for. I don’t know where either one of those will take him, if anywhere, but for now, it’s enough that he enjoys what he’s doing. He’s also going to be taking the after-school art classes again at least twice this year. He’s currently enrolled in one of the fall sessions, and he’s planning to attend one in Jan/Feb with his best friend. The two of them are also participating in the school’s elementary art club which is in charge of several art installations which will be going up around campus.
Squishy is a bundle of energy and sunshine – in his 2nd year of preschool (actually considered a Pre-K class due to the material they’ll be working on) and will be having class half-day for the 1st semester and full-day for the second to help prepare for kindergarten next year. Life events have started to cause definite character formation in him, though he is still really working on discovering who he is. He is kind, sweet, and sensitive, but he is all boy and reacts in mind-boggling fashion sometimes to the world around him, lol. He is funny as can be, just like his brother before him, but sometimes a lack of filter gets him in trouble… One thing that has really developed and become apparent in him is just how deeply he feels. It isn’t so much that he wears his heart on his sleeve, but rather that his heart is an endless well, which honestly threatens to consume him sometimes. But, he’s only 4 and still has to figure out how much of himself to give to various parts of his life – right now he wants to give 200% of himself to everything and everyone, and that leaves him stretched really thin. Preschool is going very well and he’s having a blast! He loves his two teachers this year (Miss Michelle, whom Jose also had, and Miss Jen, who is new) and wants to do everything in his power to never disappoint them. He’s having some trouble with classmates simply because there are a lot of very strong personalities in the class this year, and he is one of the youngest students, but he’s really making strides in standing up for himself, knowing when to walk away, and knowing when to involve a teacher. Also (and this is a big blessing!) he’s been doing an EXCELLENT job of remembering to use his words instead of his hands to get his point across. For so long, when he was frustrated, it was simpler to just shove whoever he was angry with, but he’s maturing quickly in his kinder-prep environment and it’s amazing to see the difference between toddler and young man that’s rapidly occurring in him. Squishy is also a spiritual blessing for me. This isn’t to say that Jose isn’t, because he certainly is in his own way, but Squishy just sees things differently. He is very open and perceptive and comes to me with questions, statements, and dreams that often blow me away. He’ll talk about playing with Grandpa Bud (who passed away before Jose was even born) in the backyard, or come sit and tell me about when he was in heaven before he was born. He also has reoccurring dreams about what he calls his “alone house” where all sorts of events take place that are detailed and vivid and often include people he knows in various stages of their lives. It’s a little scary sometimes, honestly, but mostly, I just wish I could sit and listen to him forever before the weight and sin of the world squash whatever this beautiful and innocent spiritual connection he currently has with God out of him.
My two boys are so opposite from one another and yet so alike in sometimes terrifying ways. I wish I could protect them from all loss and hurt, especially since they seem to have experienced both in extraordinary quantities for ones so young. Yes, I realize they have lead charmed lives compared to the great majority of the world’s child population, but in that charmed life, there can still be pain. Friends coming in and out of their lives. Loved ones who are no longer part of their world due to the changing needs and relationships of those who first introduced them. The realization that girls and boys grow up and may not always be able to remain best friends, because of what life dictates (I can’t even listen to “Best of Friends” from The Fox and The Hound without tearing up.) Being teased by friends or family – such a simple silly thing to the ones doing the teasing, but such a blow to the heart of one who sees the world differently. Their aunt, whom they knew for such a short amount of time, yet fell so head over heels for, passing away from cancer this past February. Even simple things like their fish, hamster, or the mama bird at school dying. And there is so much more. It just seems to compound to the point of night terrors, lashing out in anger, and breaking down sobbing for no apparent reason until they realize what the root cause of their heartache is. They love the people in their lives with every fiber of their being and are intense and serious in that love to the point that rejection (even something as small as a roll of the eyes and a, “Really?” regarding a t-shirt worn with such pride prior to said reaction) is a devastating experience.
And my problem and dilemma is one my mother faced with me: Do I sit them down and explain the hard and hurtful truth that not everyone is going to love them or even like them and that they need to toughen up? Or do I allow them to continue pouring themselves out to those they care for, all the while knowing how much hurt that can bring them? Do I rip off their rose-colored glasses or do I let them find out the harsh reality as it happens in time? Do I strip away their childish innocence for the sake of attempting to protect them from further pain, adding onto the glimpses they’ve already caught until they are cynical and flippant, making jokes out of any and every situation? Do I allow them to continue as they are, knowing they’ll be called wimps, pussies, mama’s boys, and worse if I let them cry when they need to cry and allow them to fully experience ALL human emotions? Is there some sort of happy medium between these two extremes???? At least, when it was me, I was a girl so most of those thing were considered more “acceptable” and less likely to make me a target (though I still managed to paint a pretty large bullseye on myself without really being aware of it.) But I’m raising two ultra-sensitive, crazy, loving, neurotic, artistic, athletic, intelligent, inquisitive, passionate, silly, somber (and more!) boys in a world that STILL after ALL this time seems to have a very definite picture of what a “real man” is and what he is not. And I don’t know if I’m prepared to handle the heartache that comes from that.
Now that I’ve rambled quite far down a rabbit trail I didn’t even see I was on, in closing a quote comes to mind (out of context, yes, but the sentiment is the same, entirely):
“‘I can bear pain myself,’ he said softly, ‘but I couldna bear yours. That would take more strength than I have.'” ~ Jamie Fraser, Outlander