Archive for March, 2009

Developmental Observations

Today is my son’s 11th birthday. We are both very excited, waiting for the Hogwarts owl to show up.

I may be the least sentimental Mom on the planet; I honestly don’t miss the previous ages as they go by. I can’t tell if it’s because I’m not a “baby person” or if it’s just that I enjoy the age the kids are at a given moment, or that, as my Mom would say “her feet are firmly planted in the ground” enough to understand we’re not going back. Or, more likely, I still have a lot to learn and haven’t realized I miss it yet. (and, yes, I am a parent of a teenager, along with several inherited adolescents who hung around eating all our food for the last several years)

This year has been a tough one for this particular son. He’s discovered the reality that being a person ultimately means being alone in yourself. It was a not a happy discovery. I have another child who relishes his alone time; but this guy spends every waking moment trying to make the loner want his company. This extends to crying fits when the loner got a later bedtime, and so he’d have to spend half an hour in his room alone. He even asked to move in with his sister so he didn’t have to go to bed alone. And, no, he;s not afraid of the dark; he just prefers company.

He also competes with everyone over everything- did he get the best speaking part in Sunday school for the Bible drama? His sister got one more bite out of her candy than he did (her mouth is smaller). His Proudest Achievement was when he had a bloody nose that wouldn’t stop for two hours because he currently holds the title for Longest Nosebleed in our family.

These two personality quirks came together this year in basketball for him. It has been kind of incredible to watch him. Not because he’s some superstar basketball player. He’s a pipsqueak who is just barely strong enough to make a shot here and there. It’s the way the two quirks have offset each other. He gets to be part of a team, which has shown him that, while he’s still ultimately alone, he can work with others for a similar goal and in that find a sense of togetherness that prevents alone from being lonely. And, at the same time he’s finding out that cmetition has a place where it works: for the good of the team. And where it doesn’t: for the good of the self.

In combining those two in the right place at the right time for this particular kid he overcame so much of the stuff he used to sabotage himself. He’s more his own person, not subject to others’ whims or approval, than he has ever been since he was tiny. He stands up for people, tells those who need it off and grew up from being a pile of mush a few months ago, who couldn’t manage to bring his homework home because someone said “get in line”, to a self-reliant little guy, who has a pretty decent juggling act going on to keep all his interests an responsibilities going.

It wasn’t an easy few months for him, but I wish it was that simple and short for all of us.

The Hogwarts Owl has not arrived yet, however. That will be a disappointment for us all.

iSheep update

Just in case you’re actually interested-there is now a new, Amazon Kindle free app for the iPhone and iPod Touch. I guess I’m not the only one feeling torn between two technologies….