Tuesday, August 28, 2012

7 Minutes Worth of Thoughts

I'm done online and ready to sign off and get to bed, but I'm waiting for something to finish uploading.  It claims it's only going to waste 7 more minutes of my life.  So I thought I'd pop in and see what could be said in 7 minutes.  Here's what's on my mind:

Denim on denim -- Hanging out on a jeans quilt that I made when I was 19

I just read what feels like the millionth blog post written by someone who has a gorgeous blog with excellent content... and only started their blog a year ago.  I'm happy for her and impressed by her work.  I'm man enough to say that.  But I'm also man enough to admit that I find posts like that so discouraging.  I started my blog four years ago and there are times when I don't feel like I have much to show for it.  Every time I read one of these posts I have to remind myself the following: I started from scratch with zero design, photography, or tutorial-writing skills.  I also did not start this blog as what it has now grown into.  Still, comparisons, comparisons, comparisons.

A pink day and some homemade toast

Olivia is starting preschool next week.  Today she and I got to go and meet her teacher and see her classroom.  Her teacher seems very capable and nice and fun.  Her classroom has a loft with a playhouse set up in it and lots of other fun activities, not to mention a room full of friends of all different backgrounds.  While her teacher was going over some paperwork with me, she was asking me some fairly basic questions about Olivia.  Just the kind of stuff that's handy for a preschool teacher to know about a kid.  What upsets her.  What makes her happy.  What she's into.  When she got to the end of one of her lists of questions, she looked up at me and asked, "Anything else I should know about Olivia?"  I kind of awkwardly said, "Uhh, yeah.  She's pretty advanced."

I felt so smarmy hearing the words come out of my mouth, but I also knew it needed to be said, both for Olivia's sake and for her teacher.  I'm always paranoid about coming off as one of those parents who thinks their child is a genius when they're actually just normal.  I don't want people to think that Olivia has to be brilliant to win my love and make me proud.  She doesn't.  She could be a normal kid eating dirt and I'd still love her to death.  Instead of saying "She can count to 30 by herself and all the way to 100 if she has some help," I'd be bragging, "She eats dirt like a pro."  That's what we parents do.  We love our kids and then we brag about them.  But when it's about stuff that's genuinely a real difference, I don't know.  I guess I worry about "bragging" about Olivia's brilliance because I am fully aware that it is just plain who she is.  Maybe she wouldn't be able to shine quite as brightly if I didn't do activities and lessons along the way to foster that brilliance, but the brilliance would still be there.  She is who she is and I try my best to embrace her for all that she is and help her grow and become all that she can and wants to be.

Luckily, her teacher didn't seem to think I was some psychopath parent bent on making the world fall in love with my child.  She basically responded by saying, "That's great.  There are usually at least one or two kids like her in our class.  Last year there was a little girl like Olivia who's starting kindergarten this year, but she's doing mostly 1st grade work."

Confession: Inside I was BEAMING.  Not that she necessarily meant to compliment me (or that I even deserved to be complimented), but it felt like a compliment anyway.  It felt like validation that I'm not the only one who thinks my kid is smart.  Anyway...

So it was fun to visit her preschool.  And of course after we left and ran errands I realized I should have told her teacher other stuff like, "We usually call her Lala because that's what she calls herself," and other really ordinary things that make life easier for preschool teachers to know, but oh well.  I was too busy feeling really flattered on Olivia's behalf.

Olivia (the fish) has been looking rather sad.  Olivia (the girl) noticed and decided this cow might cheer him up.

I already bought a beta fish to replace Olivia (the fish) even though Olivia (the fish) hasn't died yet.  The new beta fish is from Walmart and was definitely the prettiest/heartiest looking one of the bunch.  (Ahem, not that it took much to be the prettiest/heartiest of that bunch.)  I'm still debating whether to name it Tiger (because it has some spots, which I guess is more like a leopard, but Tiger is just a better name for a fish) or to let Olivia name this one Olivia too.  I haven't decided yet.  I guess maybe I'll wait and see if Olivia (the fish) has gone the way of the sea (i.e. needs to be flushed down the toilet) tomorrow morning.  Because if Olivia (the fish) is still alive, maybe it would be a good idea to have different names for different fish.

Okay, well, the thing I was waiting to upload has now uploaded, so I'm off to bed.  Goodnight!


Kristie said...

Its always so hard to know what to tell the teacher when they ask if there is anything they should know about your child. I always think later I should have said this instead. Which when I was reading this made me think I need to let my little girls teacher know a few more things. Thanks for the reminder!

Kathy Haynie said...

I clearly remember that "basking in the glow" feeling at parent teacher conferences. You are so right to recognize that ultimately it's about the person that Olivia is. How lovely that her teacher was so affirming.

As for comparisons with other blogs, I don't know enough about style for it to influence me much as a reader. I care most about content. I'm sure there are other blogs out there with excellent content, but yours is amazing in that category. I know you weren't fishing (ha-another blog topic) for compliments, but I do want to affirm you on this. Your content is never stale, always insightful, and unflinchingly honest. As you've evolved from being mostly about crafting and sewing to being mostly about navigating life, I think your content is stronger now than ever.

Good luck with the fish (singular? plural?).