Sunday, September 27, 2009

The Ghost

Clay started a new job last week. He was literally picked out of thousands for this internship and it's a wonderful opportunity for him. I am so proud of him, which is why I brag shamelessly.

During the Tulane years, Clay was able to just be a student. He didn't have to work. This last year has been our first with him working full-time and being a full-time student. It's really something. We've managed somehow.

This last week, the first week of the new internship, was insane for him. He didn't get to bed until 1 or 2 in the morning every night (or should I say day?) last week. I feel so bad for him. He is exhausted.

He is kind of like a ghost in our house. He leaves before we wake up, we don't see him during the day, he gets home after we are asleep.

Clay, our ghost, can be found wandering through the apartment in the middle of the night, quietly getting his things ready for the next day. Sometimes you can hear him, sometimes you can see him. Sometimes this ghost will even kiss you while you are sleeping. But then when you wake up in the morning, he has vanished. There are signs of him around the house; a dish, a sock, a hanger. Yes, I think to myself, the ghost must have been here.

Poor Clay. I love him very much. At least he is a handsome ghost.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Grandma Dorothy

My grandma Dorothy, my dad's mom, passed away two weeks ago. We loved her very much. She was a wonderful lady. One of her passions in life was quilting and I'm so grateful that each of my siblings and I have our quilts that she stitched for us so many years ago. It's nice to cuddle with those and think of her.
Her funeral was last Saturday. I did the piano, my little brother sang, the great-grandchildren sang, both my parents and my older sister spoke; it was really nice. My favorite thing that I learned about her was that she kept a notebook (that my dad found after her passing) that she titled "prayer list". In this notebook, the pages were filled with name after name of people in her life she needed to pray for.

Here's some of her posterity (my parents and siblings)

Run, Run as fast as you can...thank GOODNESS for the Gingerbread Man!

As you will recall, the first couple days of kindergarten were a little shakey for Cole. We were both suffering with separation anxiety (not that I let him know that) and I found myself wishing that I could turn back the clock to when times were simpler...ahhh, when there wasn't school or responsibilities or 5-year-old social pressures, just me and my two little companions, free as birds.

Yes, by day 3 of school I was officially not a fan of kindergarten. Can't we all just stay at home and play?

However, day 3 of school was a major turning point for Cole and his future as a student. And I owe it all to the gingerbread man. When I picked him up that afternoon he said, "Mommy, this was the best day of school ever!" His class had done the classic gingerbread man activity where the teacher reads them the story, the gingerbread man steals their gingerbread cookies, they go searching all over campus for the missing cookies (meanwhile getting a tour of the school) and they finally find the gingerbread man back in their classroom and get to enjoy their cookies. I'm sure most kindergartners experience some variation of this activity.

Since then, Cole has been doing so much better. There's no sadness, no anxiety, just good kindergarten fun. Thank goodness!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

It's my first day of kindergarten...and I'll cry if I want to!

Cole's first day of Kindergarten was yesterday. Clay happened to have the day off. Before school started, Clay tried out some child psychology using this monkey puppet. Wearing the puppet on his hand, Clay, or the monkey rather, explained to Cole that he was really going to miss him when he's at school so he made him this banana picture hoping that Cole would keep it in his back pack during school and think of him when he sees it. Cole totally plays along with this kind of thing and was very pleased to keep the picture in his backpack.

Here's Cole on the way to his classroom. Spiderman was this years pick for back pack and lunch box.

A quick picture with his buddy.

On the kindergarten playground.

A quick picture with Mom.

This is it. Here we go inside the classroom.

Cole at his desk.

I love the school that Cole is attending. His teacher is wonderful. When it was time for the parents to leave, I said goodbye to Cole and he seemed like he was doing great. He said bye back and signed to me, "I love you".
A couple hours later it was time to pick Cole up. As soon as he saw me the tears welled up in his eyes. His teacher told me that he cried some that day, but that's very normal. Clay and I asked him a million questions about what he did at school and what made him sad, and what was fun, etc. He said that the reason he was crying during class was because he missed us. He was crying when I picked him up because he had colored an apple in class and thought he would get to take it home.
He showed me a picture he drew in class, in my favorite color, yellow, of me and him holding hands inside a big heart.
Thankfully Clay was there. I did a lot of crying behind closed doors that afternoon.
Somewhat suprisingly, he happily got ready and went to school today, that is until we actually got to the saying goodbye part at the threshold of his classroom door. He said to me, "No, I can't do this, I can't do this." His tears were ready and waiting. Luckily, another mom came and distracted him by asking if she could help him to his seat. He responded, "I know where it is", and walked to his desk. The mom, wisely, shooed me away.
When I picked him up today, the teacher told me he cried today too. I know he'll get used to all of this, just like he did with primary and going to friends' houses by himself. Hopefully day 3 will be better.
The good thing is that none of his school sadness lingers. He fully intends to go to school tomorrow, and he acts silly and happy at home, like usual. Whenever someone asks him how school was, he responds, "Great!". So...sounds good to me!