Friday, July 30, 2010

Six


My baby boy is six.  I cant believe six whole years have gone by since I first began this adventure in motherhood.  I know I say that every year but every year that is truly how I feel. I truly cant believe its been that long.  Years have started to feel like months, months like weeks and days, well, assuming its not a terribly awful one, seem to fly by in the amount of time it takes me to blink twice.  The looong and slightly monotonous days of being home with infants seems like ancient history yet it feels like only yesterday I was there.  But enough about that, this post is not about my journey in life.

Hayden James has grown up a lot in the past 12 months.  Going to school served in many ways as a rite of passage into the official world of kid-hood.  I was reading in a book just last week that the 'tween' phase officially begins at six. I was shocked and after nearly vomiting from the instant horror of the word 'tween', i began to realize that it is true.

Aside from learning to read and add and a few unmentionable words, school has provided him a sense of confidence in his abilities, both mental and physical.  Hayden also exhibits a strong confidence in his knowledge of what is best for others and really, really likes when those around him comply.  When they dont, he is faced with the dilemma of how to respond and he was confronted with many of those instances while at school.  While sometimes subtly (even brilliantly) manipulative, he has learned to let others make decisions for themselves and adapt his visions in a way that accommodates others preference's to think for themselves.

Hayden's strong will seemed to become even stronger over the past year.  Going to school all day every day seemed to afford him a tremendous sense of autonomy, something he has been longing for since the day he was born, and it was often difficult for him to readjust after returning home.  This has really served to exercise my ability to stand my ground which, in the end, is very good for me.  Its as if Hayden can sense my tendency toward inconsistency and cunningly tries to promote it by wearing down my will and mental faculty with his incessant attempts to wield control.  (Are you picking up on the control issue theme here?)

Hayden has always had an intense curiosity about him.  His enthusiasm for the discovery of new things is often contagious.  It is what has led me of late to learn more about space, planets, spacecrafts, and astronauts than I ever did in school or ever thought I would even want to know.  His enthusiasm for the things he enjoys often borderlines obsession.  This year we were glad to make our final move in the decent of the Thomas the Train obsession and have truly seen the end of what often felt like a never ending era of toy trains, silly books, videos with ridiculous songs, and all sorts of the usually forbidden licensed character paraphernalia.  However, there was no clearer mark to this love affairs end than the exponentially growing affection for another........
...can you guess what that might be?
Yes, Star Wars.
We were more welcoming of his growing interest in the beloved classic stories, characters and related toys.  Brian and I both enjoy star wars so we are finding ourselves much less annoyed by this recent fanaticism.
It is the same part of him that causes these intense fascinations that also drives his enthusiasm to learn about new things.  I love this so much about Hayden and part of our decision to homeschool for at least the next few years was based on our desire to capitalize on this tremendous gift we see in our son.  On his last day of kindergarden his teacher (who was not the type to even pretend she was going to miss her students once the year finally came to an end) said to me that she was going to miss Hayden's curiosity.  That meant a lot to me and it affirmed that school had not (yet) sniffled his raw passion for and enjoyment of learning.  I hope it never does.

He continues to enjoy basketball and played again under the headship of his father/coach.  I really enjoy watching them both in action.  I think Brian looks forward to the day when his players actually have enough attention span to learn something in practice and hopefully implement it into their game. Hayd also really enjoys baseball though we missed the opportunity to play little league this year.  Next year I will have my act together.  Legos have become the new favorite toy. The provide the same level, if not more, of creating, constructing, designing, re-designing and finally playing that wooden trains once did and he is no less enthusiastic.  A new pastime that has come to consume a good amount of Hayden's energy is the Wii.  Much to my chagrin, the boys has the makings of a full blown gamer.  He is almost instantly good at whatever game he plays - it is incredible how quickly he has caught on.  The day we found out our first born was a boy (you can read about that here) I vowed we would never own a gaming system.  Oh, how things change.  But my reasoning behind the selfish and fear driven - now broken - resolution are proving to be valid.  How is it that boys can sit in front of the darn tv and wave a little controller around all day long and be perfectly happy about it?! I recently developed and implemented a system of time restraint for the Wii and as a result I finally am feeling reconciled to the blasted little machine that I was really starting to loath for its ability to completely entrance my son (and, lets be honest, my husband).  Oh, boys.

I truly am so grateful to have a son.  This precious boy stole my hear the moment I looked into his beady dark blue eyes.  I have never been the same since and I have to desire to be.  I sense Hayden's loyalty to me every moment of the day, even when he is pushing me to my wit's end.  And even though it is often trumped by my responsibility to be the parent, our companionship and friendship are rich and sweet and they fill me up deep inside.  I look forward to every bit of future we are afforded together in this life - learning, growing, discovering and loving.

Here are a few pics from his mellow, family birthday dinner.


The Darth Maul cake.  Despite the terrible melty, sticky, disastrous attempt at fondant frosting, I was pretty pleased with how it turned out.

Gotta love the hands in the pants. Not an unlikely occurrence these days.






New backpack!  (essential for Homeschool, right?) Thank you Pottery Barn for all your wonderful Star Wars gear.

More and more and more Star Wars Lego sets.  These little pieces are starting to just blend into our home decor.

And this concludes the sixth birthday saga.  

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Backtracking......

Somewhere in the craziness of summer these photos of Hayden's last day of Kindergarten got lost.  As you can see, we got to spend the whole day in his classroom.  The irony here is that while I was really only welcomed into the classroom to actually help in some official way a handful of times, his teacher was very generous about letting me linger around randomly with my other two children in tow.  So, I took whatever I could get.  And the girls loved it.  The kindergarten girls eagerly made room for Halle and Elena, pushing the boys out of the way, offering their seats and seats on their laps.  I had more help than was actually helpful keeping my eye on Elena as she scrounged her way through every nook and cranny, every shelf, every cupboard and every trash can in the room.  She just loves being with the big kids.  This is the story of her life.  

Here is our sweet friend Lauren.  E is always glad to have such adoring friends.
 
Possessive.

This girl is ready for school!  Too bad for me she wont sit like that at home.
Off and running at recess.  The line to take Elena down the slide started to wrap around the blacktop it was so long.  I think her popularity might have made her brother a wee bit jealous.  The girls suddenly seemed less interested in him. How tragic.

Hayden and his good buddy David B.
Hayden and one of 'his hunnies', as his teacher liked to call them, Vicki.  She also would occasionally refer to them as his 'harem' (the troop of girls on whom he doted and were no less eager for his attention).  I prefer 'hunnies'. And sugar mamas they were! He would come home with all sorts of stuff these little girls would gift to him - pencils, stickers, special vacation souvenirs, even cash! I will not miss the girl drama of school that is for sure.  Hayden, being such a social little dude and particularly smooth with the ladies, was always getting all caught up in it - who sat by who at circle, who decided not to be friends anymore at recess, who could be in the popular club and who couldn't, on and on. Blech. 
This here Vicki though, she was pretty mellow when it came to the catty stuff which is why I think Hayden stuck with her a lot. She was even eager to play Star Wars at recess and that alone is reason for Hayden to become BFF with anyone.  So, as a token of his appreciation for having a female around to play the vital roles of Leia, Padame, or Asoka, he gave his red light saber to Vicki as a last day of school gift.  There is no truer token of Hayden's affection than a light saber.  Lucky girl.

And, last but not least, here is Hayden with Mrs. Maroney.
What a great year we had. There were a few bumps a long the way but over all, Hayden's Kindergarten year was really positive.  He enjoyed it, he did very well in his work and was liked by all.  He is looking forward to homeschooling knowing that we will do all sorts of fun things in addition to our work.  Lately, Hayden has exhibited a renewed enthusiasm for wielding the control in our home and particularly over me.  While I am banking on it subsiding, it will be interesting to see how that plays out as I assume the role of teacher as well.  Gulp.  We'll see.   

Monday, July 05, 2010

Favorite Planet

Hayden and I were having a conversation about the power of words.  I was expanding on our usual points about the power of words to affect the way we feel inside and attempted to spark his fascination with the idea that God SPOKE our whole universe into existence.

 Me: Remember what the Bible tells us, "God said, 'let there be light'."?
 H: So, did God say 'let there be Pluto'?

And there you have it, his favorite planet.