Tuesday, April 13, 2010

I have to admit

.. I have been faking it just a little bit when it comes to fully trusting my boys will come to reading all on their own with out interference from me. I rely heavily on others I admire in the unschooling community to remind me that this will happen ...

.. I am after all a product of the public school system, from which I jumped full on in to a Bachelor of Education program, graduating with distinction. So, a huger part of the trusting, has been me letting go of what was thrust upon me and embracing what is unfolding in front of me.

.. My oldest is seven nearing eight and if asked by well meaning relatives I will say, "yes he is reading," and then quickly change the subject. Truly, in my wider definition of the word he is reading. He interacts with text, he notices letters and words, he navigates computer and video games screens, points out familiar signs and the such.

.. Recently my eyes have been opened even wider to the amazing process of language understanding that is my sons. He has been pointing out to me, words and letting me know what letter they start with. A basic skill some may say, however, he has devised this system on his own and it is his. His understanding, his terms, his time line and there is a quiet confidence that he exudes while using it.

.. On the way home from the Fedex office last evening, the most hilarious conversation unfolded between the two of us. It began with him again discovering letters that begin words (this time of some of our favorite people)

    Son, "You mean K, J, F and F"

   Me a little puzzled, trying to devise who he is referring to asking for clarity, he gives me the names and then the humor entails.

   Me "actually, Craig is with a C who's making a K sound and Gillian with G who is making the J's and there is silent E ... "

  Son, "What the F**K people. Letters should only have one sound. Who made this up people from space."

Not only does this moment highlight the joyful, hilarious relationship I am honored to share with my son. It also showcases to me, that he is continually trying to come to terms with the english language. He is more then learning to read, he is solving a giant puzzle, piece by piece. He is finding his way to an understanding that makes sense to him so he can use it over and over again to encounter new words and situations.

I bow down in gratitude to those who have trusted before me and shared their stories so I could continually be reminded, to do the same.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Things I was wrong about

This past week, I have truly been reflecting on things, I thought I knew about myself and my own limitations.

And you know what I was wrong about a few things.

Prior to this move, I would have told you, "I can't drive in big cities, it's just too much." And now I drive on freeways sometimes with 12 lanes. Not only do I drive on them, I navigate, predict my next move and ensure I am in the lane I need to be. Heck, I have even pulled the daring move of a huge acceleration that allows me to narrowly pass a car in order to make a turn I might otherwise miss. Worry not, I always give a wave of thank you, I am after all Canadian.

Six months ago, I would have told you, "I could never live in the US." Well, here I am living, laughing and enjoying myself in the US. It's not as scary as I thought it would be, there are some super nice folks here and lots of grand opportunities. I will always be Canadian however, I am making the most of my US adventures.

In the past, I likely would have told you, "I have no sense of direction." Turns out I have a pretty keen awareness of the space around me and can navigate myself from off the beaten path, back on to the beaten path. Who knew!

For the better part of my life, I have held on to a line, told to me by teacher after teacher after teacher, "she is so shy." I have told myself this on many an occasion, not as an affirmation, I see now, but perhaps as an excuse. Turns out, in many situations, I am not that shy after all. Sure maybe I have days where I feel shy or nervous, I like to turn that around now and say "I am having an introvert kinda day," instead of using it as a definition of how or who I am in social settings. I am actually, in some instances, rather extroverted and make new connections with ease .. Huh, interesting new observations.

At the end of my pondering, I came to realize, without saying "Yes" to those things that frighten me, or push the boundaries of my own comfort zone, I would miss out on knowing new things about myself. And it is about time, I stop carrying around others peoples stories about me, and be the author of my own experience.