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Saturday, August 14, 2010

My Sensitive Soul

As first grade approaches, I've been struggling with what I assume are normal worries about what is going to happen when Walker gets on that bus in September.

What will he learn from the big kids on the bus?
Will his teacher care for him as much as his Kindergarten teacher did?
Who IS his teacher?
Who in their right mind thought it was appropriate for a six year old to leave their mother for 8 hours a day?

All of this stems from the realization that he will be away from me more than he will be with me during the day.

If you are at all familiar with this blog, you know that I do not suffer from a delusion that life is simple and smooth when all the kids are home.  I know from other hearing other mothers that it is kind of nice to have a little extra time in the day to devote to the other children - to be able to run an errand and not worry about getting home in time to get a kid on or off the bus within a two hour time limit.  I know in my heart of hearts that Walker likes the structure of school and like me, enjoys the academic time and like his father, enjoys the social time.  I know that teachers are wonderful people and most of them are in the profession for the right reasons.  They will not only teach my children, but care for them and show them kindness and empathy and be sensitive to their little souls.

It's just scary to think that he will be gone so long without me there to supervise and protect him.  Walker is my sensitive child.  Maybe I'm a little hyper-sensitive to this because I was allegedly a "sensitive" child.  Except when my family refers to me as sensitive, I don't get the feeling that they found it as heart wrenching and endearing as I do when I say it about Walker.  They refer to it as if it was a fault.  I don't see it that way so much with Walker.  Sure, being sensitive has its drawbacks, but it also puts you in tune with things that other people don't notice.

For instance, last night was the 4H dance at the Butler Farm Show.  I could see that Walker wanted to dance and he just kept wandering around the dance floor hoping to get integrated somehow.  Luckily, another lovely lady happened to be there and she asked Walker to dance with her and her friends.  Walker was in heaven when Ms. Stacy had him join her on the floor.  

He was so excited.  Not only because Walker has a thing for older girls, but because someone included him.  Walker is usually very brave and social, but in situations like this, he becomes shy and awkward.

He had a great time dancing with those lovely ladies and I thank them from the bottom of my heart for being so kind. And I thank their parents for teaching them to be inclusive to the little kids too.  I hope that my parenting allows my children to be so generous.

Unfortunately, I still have some work to do.  Despite my best lecture about being a gentleman and being kind to the girls, Walker had some trouble finding his rhythm with one of his little friends.  Miss Maggie (not his sister) came to the dance hell-bent on dancing with Walker.  Her mom told me she had been telling her all day that she was going to go the the dance so she could dance with Walker.  When that slow song came on, she put him in a choke hold so tight, no one was cutting in.

Walker didn't take it so well.  I had a hard time getting good pictures of it because it was so dark in the tent and I was shooting one handed so I couldn't manipulate my camera settings,  but the above pictures show Walker's extreme joy at being manhandled by little Maggie.  In the photo on the left, Maggie is attempting to do some "Dancing with The Stars" type spins.  In the second photo, well, I'm not at all sure what is going on, but he just looks miserable, doesn't he?  I'm betting part of him wanted to dance with Ms. Stacy again, and part of him was embarrassed by the extreme affection Maggie was showing him.  My guess is that he was torn because he knew he couldn't show her blatant disrespect by telling Maggie he didn't want to dance, but he wanted to make it known to Ms. Stacy that he was available for future dances if she was interested.  As soon as that slow dance was over, Walker asked to go home.  We walked over to a nearby bench and talked about how it is important for a gentleman to be kind to all the ladies, and that it is OK to dance with lots of girls and be kind to them as their friend.  We talked about how some girls don't get asked to dance and that how it makes them feel good when a nice young gentleman asks them to dance - it doesn't meant you have to like them as anything more than a friend, etc.  

I don't know how much of it is sinking in, but my hope is that by the time he's a teen, he has incorporated my lectures and is a kind gentleman who will treat the ladies with respect and thoughtfulness and that he will find pleasure in doing so.  

After all, he may be my only hope.  So far the only signs of sensitivity the other children show is the injustice of them not getting their own way.  I guess my first lesson with them will be empathy.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Why I love my sisters

There are many reasons I love my sisters.  Probably the biggest reason is that we tease, play and have fun with each other.    Case in point - the emails we exchanged today:

From: "Wiggins, Lara"
Date: Thu, 12 Aug 2010 09:20:15 -0400
To: Erin Wiggins; Jennifer Schwalm(E-mail 2); Katie Miknis (E-mail)<
Subject: Criminal Investigation

Good morning. 
I have come the realization that one of you is a thief.  I noticed something missing on Monday evening as I cleaned up my bathroom.  I was at first under the impression it had just been moved to a separate location.  Perhaps some one needed it in a different bathroom.  However after a thorough search of both Erin's bathroom and Mom's bathroom, I came up empty handed.  I soon realized that some one must have stolen it.  I'm talking about my HAIR SPRAY!  My hair has been soft and shiny all week without my spray.  I am truly distraught by the loss.  What's worse, it was one of my beloved sisters that pilfered my hair spray.  I'm not even sure I want to know which one you is behind this heinous act of theivery.  I just want to know one thing:
How do you sleep at night?
your victimized sister
Lara Wiggins
Purchasing Dept.
Lezzer Lumber

From: ewiggins
Sent: Thursday, August 12, 2010 9:25 AMTo: Wiggins, Lara; Jen Schwalm; Katie MiknisSubject: Re: Criminal Investigation

It was me! But by accident! We have the same kind and I thought it was mine! I'm sorry! I will mail you $3.33 because I know that is how much it costs at Walmart.Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

On Aug 12, 2010, at 9:37 AM, Wiggins, Lara wrote:

Erin!?! YOU!?! I can't believe it!  I would have expected this from Katie, except she typically borrows mom's things.  I even would have suspected Jennie, she's got 4 kids, she needs to find ways to save money.  But you? I would never have suspected. 
Actually, it's cheaper in the Clearfield Wal-Mart.  I'm pretty sure it's like $2.94 here, possibly less

Original Message-----
From: Jennifer Schwalm
Sent: Thursday, August 12, 2010 11:02 AM
To: Wiggins, Lara
Cc:  Katie Miknis
Subject: Re: Criminal Investigation
HEY  I may have 4 kids and be a little frugal (ok, cheap) but I don't steal.  At least not intentionally!  And FYI - my hair is too unruly to be tamed by hairspray as evidenced by the Monica Bing

inspired style you witnessed at Brittany's graduation party.  No stinking spray is going to  tame that wild beast, so I don't even bother!   

I am deeply offended by your suspicion that I would steal something of yours.  I can't find my camera, but I'm not going around accusing one of you guys of stealing it because it was likely one of my children. So, in the future, if you want to accuse someone in my family of stealing, I think pointing the finger at one of my slick fingered kids would be more appropriate.  

Good Day!   

I said GOOD DAY!

Lara  then launches into a completely new line of conversation, linking us to a story about sisters that give birth within 36 hours of each other.

From: "Wiggins, Lara"
Date: Thu, 12 Aug 2010 12:48:33 -0400
To: 'Jennifer Schwalm'
Cc: 'ewiggins Katie Miknis
Subject: RE: Criminal Investigation

What do you think? we could make national news!

On Aug 12, 2010, at 2:11 PM, ewiggins wrote:

Can one of you just have twins and give me one?

From: Jennifer Schwalm 
Date: Thu, 12 Aug 2010 14:26:33 -0400
To: <ewiggins
Cc: Lara Wiggins Katie Miknis
Subject: Re: Criminal Investigation

I was thinking that maybe a bigger story would be, "Woman gives birth to twins - one is her biological child, the other, her sister's baby!"

On Aug 12, 2010, at 2:53 PM, ewiggins wrote:

PERFECT! I'm so glad you volunteered! You are such a good sister!Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

From: Jennifer Schwalm
Sent: Thursday, August 12, 2010 2:57 PM
To: ewiggins
Cc: Wiggins, Lara; Katie Miknis
Subject: Re: Criminal Investigation
You better get on the ball - I'm getting OLD!!   I'm going to be 35 this year!

From: larawiggins
Subject: RE: Criminal Investigation
Date: August 12, 2010 3:03:31 PM EDT
To: jennieschwalm ewiggins
Cc: kmiknis
Aunt Lisa had a baby at 40.  Erin has plenty of time.  And besides you did such a good job helping to crate train her dog, I'm sure you can hold onto that baby for the first couple of weeks/months/years to help with its training.

From: ewiggins444
Subject: Re: Criminal Investigation
Date: August 12, 2010 3:10:39 PM EDT
To: jennieschwalm
Cc: larawiggins kmiknis
Reply-To: ewiggins444
Hey, back off MOM (and society)! I'll get married when I get married and I'll have kids (or someone will have them for me) when I'm ready! People have kids older now! Look at Kelly Preston! She's like 49 or something!
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

From: larawiggins
Subject: RE: Criminal Investigation
Date: August 12, 2010 3:12:55 PM EDT
To: ewiggins, jennieschwalm
Cc: kmiknis

And WILL!!  He was putting some serious pressure on you over the weekend.

From: ewiggins
Subject: Re: Criminal Investigation
Date: August 12, 2010 3:14:41 PM EDT
To: larawiggins, jennieschwalm
Cc: kmiknis
Reply-To: ewiggins

Haha...oh yeah! I'm going to ask him why he's not married next time I see him!
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

From: jennieschwalm
Subject: Re: Criminal Investigation
Date: August 12, 2010 3:20:22 PM EDT
To: ewiggins
Cc: larawiggins, kmiknis

I meant  am getting old - not you!    Although . . .  

Just kidding, Mare!