Are you ready for this?

My Photo
Location: United Kingdom

Yes...this is ALL about me, and mine. Marvellously self indulgent, feel free to tell me how splendid I am, leave comments, nice ones please, I have little kids and teenagers who can do the rude stuff. I am a grandma, to the glorious Joshua, I'm allowed to look frazzled and weary, I earned it. The older I get, the more I see that hanging on and being patient is worth it! They ( whoever 'they' are) are so right when they say you never know what is around the corner, it isn't always an articulated truck! It is vital to make the time for making memories, friends are the greatest treasure, I love mine. I am rich!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Not bragging, real gratitude.

On saturday I watched Jordan marry Mel, we have been thinking about this wedding for over a year and Mel and Jordan have been planning and working and organising for all that time. I have watched them and been in awe at how hard they have worked, how they have scrimped and saved and planned and paid for all the things they wanted for their day. They have asked for nothing apart from a lift here or there to pick up or pay for something. I have loved the way they knew this was THEIR day and so quietly and consistantly they have done everything they wanted, they way they wanted.

As the day got closer I was thrilled to see that Jordan was as excited as Mel, not once did he roll his eyes or pretend to be interested in any of the details, he was genuinely excited for the day. He would call me and tell me about table decorations, he would come and visit to show me plans, he took me to see the rings as they were held in the jewellers. He was completely thrilled with every step, he would call and let me know what he had paid for and how he only owed 'X amount' for such and such.
Jenn and Julie arrived last week and one of the things they noticed was how Jordan was every bit as excited as Mel and how obvious it is that he adores her. They noticed how Jordan and Mel share the care of Joshua and how beloved he is by all. We were all impressed to see how stern and immovable Jordan was when 2 year old Joshua yelled "no! Go 'way!" at Mel. How he picked him up and said very firmly " you do not, EVER be rude to your mummy, not say 'Sorry' right now!"

They day before the wedding we went to the venues to double check everything was ready and in place, we watched as Jordan's and Mel's eyes shone with excitement, we saw that they were both apprehensive about being the center of attention but neither had even a glimmer or nerves about being married. As young as they are, these two people understand what marriage is about.
I have often written about the love my children have for each other and how I wish I could share my family with friends that are far away. I have oft tried to describe how it feels to be among these people who, having all come from me, quite gloriously love being with each other. There is no greater joy for a mother than to see her children be friends, real friends, with no competition, no rivalry, just pure enjoyment and laughter.
I looked forward to the wedding but I had no idea, could not, even for a moment have imagined just how wonderful this day would be.
We sat and waited for Mel to arrive at the mansion and I watched Jordan who seemd a little nervous but not at all worryingly so, when the registrar announced that Mel was here and the music began I watched Jordan as he waited to see Mel and as she walked into the room and through the standing guests there wasn't a dry eye in the house when we watched him look, jump as though startled and then his whole face crumpled as he cried at the sight of his bride walk towards him, he was visibly emotional as the ceremony took place and it was clear to see just how much he loves Mel.
Jordan and Mel asked me to speak at the wedding, in the ceremony and so I did that, I loved that as I spoke Joshua was calling me and so I told him he could come up with me. He had been sitting with me throught the ceremony and was ( as all 2 year old boys are apt to be) loud, so I opened a packet of mints ( his favourite) and he crammed almost the whole pack in his mouth and then spat them out in my hand...we were a sticky, dribbly mess by the time I stood up to give my speech.
I am going to post here what I said in case ( and I'm sure this is the case) they were too nervous to hear what I said.
When Jordan and Mel asked me to give this speech I was very excited, there are 2 reason for my excitement, the first is that I am a show off, the second is that I have 5 sons and one daughter and a husband who is a man of very few words, I can give you an example of this by telling you that one day, when I said " can I talk to you about something please?" he replied with "Ohhhhhhhhhh ( groan) " quickly followed by "Oh...I did that outloud didn't I?"
So, 6 children who don't listen and a husband who is not one for idle chit chat... ask me if I want a captive audience and I will jump at the opportunity every time.
I was full of ideas of all the things I would say and planning how impressive I would be, those of you that know Jordan ( I am his mum by the way) and are impressed by his quick wit, sense of humour and his culinary skills? He gets that from me.
I was as confident as can be about giving this speech ... and then I took Jordan to pick up his suit, he came out to show me and that's when I knew that this might not be the best idea, I will try to get through this without any embarrassing show of maternal emotion but I can't promise I'll be able to do it.
The moment I saw Jordan in his suit and thought "Oh! My boy is getting MARRIED" and I felt that gulping lump in my throat I knew I was probably doomed to a day of weeping and thinking about how quickly he has grown and how sweet he was as a little boy ( It's what mothers do)
I thought about what I should say today and really, I just keep coming back to one thing.
I want to tell Jordan and Mel that I am proud of them. I love them and I am so happy that Jordan has found someone to love that I can love too. As a mother of many sons it is a worry that your son will meet a woman who won't like you. I am thrilled that either Mel likes me or she is the best actress ever.
I want to tell Jordan and Mel to be kind.
Of all the advice I can give, being kind is perhaps the most important of all. So often we are careful to be polite to strangers, we are keen to impress our friends, we do favours for neighbours and sometimes, we forget that the most important person to be kind to, to impress, to help, is the person we married.
It is said that no success can compensate for failure in the home, that's so true, we all need a place where we feel secure and happy and our home ought to be that place.
It doesn't really matter how rich you become or how wonderful other people think you are if the people you live with aren't happy.
Keep your words kind, even in jest unkind words can do more damage than physical pain.
I want to share a short story with you...
A woman one day said something that hurt her best friend. She regretted it immediately, and would have done anything to have taken the words back. But they were said, impulsively, in a moment of thoughtlessness, and as close as she and her friend were, she didn’t consider the effects of her words before hand.
In her effort to undo what she had done, she went to an older, wiser woman in the village. Explaining her situation, and asked for advice. The older woman listened patiently in an effort to determine just how sincere the younger woman was, how far she was willing to go to correct the situation.
The wise women said, “There are two things needed to do to make amends. The first of the two is extremely difficult. Tonight, take your best feather pillows, and open a small hole in each one. Then, before the sun rises, you must put a single feather on the doorstep of each house in town. When you are through, come back to me. If you’ve done the first thing completely, I’ll tell you the second.”
The young woman hurried home to prepare for her chore. All night long she laboured alone in the cold. She went from doorstep to doorstep, taking care not to overlook a single house. Her fingers were frozen, the wind was so sharp it caused her eyes to water, but she ran on, through the darkened streets, thankful there was something she could do to put things back the way they once were.
Just as the sun rose, she returned to the older woman. She was exhausted, but relieved that her efforts would be rewarded. “My pillows are empty. I placed a feather on the doorstep of each home.”
Now, said the wise woman, “Go back and refill your pillows. Then everything will be as it was before.”
The young woman was stunned. “You know that’s impossible! The wind blew away each feather as fast as I placed them on the doorsteps! You didn’t say I had to get them back! If this is the second requirement, then things will never be the same.”
“That’s true”, said the older woman, “Never forget. Each of your words is like a feather in the wind. Once spoken, no amount of effort, regardless how heartfelt or sincere, can ever return them to your mouth. Choose your words well, and guard them most of all in the presence of those you love.”

So be kind, keep laughing.
Remember that Joshua will learn everything he needs in life from you, he will learn what kind of man to be from you Jordan and he will learn how he can expect to be treated from you Mel, everything he sees and hears he will take in and remember.
I have been so impressed as I have watched you both together, I am proud of how Jordan has learned to run and support a home, by how hard he works, by the way he puts his family first. I am impressed by how patient Mel is, how tolerant she is, how gentle and kind she is to Jordan and Joshua. I know, that as a mother, I probably only see what you want me to see but the fact that you and Joshua are a happy family shows me and everyone else that knows you that you already know how to love each other.
I heard a story once about a couple who had been married for 75 years, they had a party to celebrate and the local newspaper sent a reporter. The reporter spoke to the wife and she asked what the secret was to staying married for such a long time.
The old lady looked her in the eye and replied " well, when we first got married I decided that I would let him have 5 really annoying habits. If I started to get annoyed by him I would look at him, take a deep breath and say to myself 'that's one of his 5, let it go, he can have that one' and it was easy, I could stop being mad at him and life was good"
The reporter was impressed by such a simple act and couldn't help but ask " What were the 5 annoying habits?"
The old lady smiled and replied " oh, there now, that's the secret, I never did decide what the 5 things should be, every time he annoyed me I just told myself that that WAS one of the 5 and I let it go"
Don't make a list.
Decide today that you will always be married, that you will have a party when you have been married 75 years.
If you both have the same goals, the same dreams and the same determination that your marriage will be a happy one, it will be. Don't allow anything from outside your home to come between you, of course there will be difficult times, there will be problems and stresses that at times will seem insurmountable, the secret is, with each other, there is nothing that you can't overcome. Nothing that you can't be or do together. Jordan don’t ever wonder, or ask yourself if Mel is making you happy enough if she is doing everything she can to make you happy...ask yourself every day if you are doing enough to make her happy, Mel do the same, happiness is found not by looking for it but by giving it away. Cast your bread upon the waters and it’ll come back buttered.
Remember that you have family that love you both and will always be here to help.
Thankyou for asking me to speak today, I am so proud of you both. What a beautiful day this is, may you always remember how you feel today, when you have your 75th anniversay party I hope you can tell some young reporter how easy it was to stay married for so long! Much love to you both today and for always, I love you xxx"

After the ceremony Jenn took the pictures and it took a long time, there was plenty of time to watch my children together and enjoy seeing how they all did everything they could to make this a beautiful day for their brother. Sophie was exceptional, she was beautiful and kind and she stepped up as bridesmaid, before the wedding she really did her job well, she helped Mel have a Hen party and organised the girls for that evening and on the wedding day she was attentive and ready to help, she was impeccably behaved and when I commented on how beautifully she was behaving, with none of the usual over loud laughing, no outrageous comments or acts, she simply said " it isn't my day, this is all about Mel and Jordan"
I have never before seen the Sophie we saw on Saturday and I was never so proud of her.
Daniel was equally intent on making sure things went smoothly. Even the little boys sat for pictures ( briefly) H was, as always quietly doing his bit, Joshua was as every 2 year old boy would be, bored easily and eager to explore, everyone was busy doing what they felt they should do and so it fell to me to try and keep him busy, I was asked to go and get someone for photos and as I went to do that I saw H, like the pied piper waking across the large gardens with a line of little boys following him, he kept them running and busy, engaged and out of trouble for the whole time the pictures were being taken. Oh and what pictures there are. Jenn was exceptional, she was authoritative and in control, knowing exactly what she wanted for these two beautiful people to look back on from their day. She was not swayed by people thinking they knew what she should be doing, she was not bulldozed off her planned list of photo opportunities, she took her pictures and then stood back and guests took their own, she had researched and decided where to take what pictures and the glimpses I have had of the photos, before any editing, they are breath taking. She was there for Jordan and Mel and no matter who asked her to change what she had planned for them( and people did indeed ask her if she would 'just ' take this picture or that picture, not realising how professional she is and how she was there to please Jordan and Mel, not other guests) I am so excited to see the pictures when she has finished her work, she is a true professional and has a great eye for what will work.
I was so grateful as I watched the day progress to see and be reminded just how great my family is, how dignified and gentle my mum is, how thoughtful and considerate my siblings, how kind and gentle and obedient my nephews and nieces and their children are. When the day was almost over Jenn made a comment that surprised me, she said " English children are so great, they are refined" I asked her what she meant and she said " well look, there has been no bloodshed! No fighting, no screaming, all these kids just playing and dancing, no fighting, no squabbling and look at that little boy bringing Joshua's camera back to him" I am amazed at how we take for granted these little people, all related to each other who are so used to all being together and so used to having so many adults raising them, we all know that if we are all together, if we see behaviour that isn't acceptable then any one of the adults may correct of admonish and all these children listen and do as they are told.How we just accept that our family loves the other members of our family.
Right throught out the day I watched and took note as Julie quietly stayed on the fringe of all that was happening, resplendant in her wedding hat ( she looks so great in hats!) she sat and watched, joined in without any fuss, took charge of little boys that had wandered away from the main event, let Isaac play with her iPod ( "til the batteries run out, I can play til the battery runs out!") she let Eli circle her and bark as he played at being a dog ( again!) what a friend she is, not demanding attention or time in anyway, just being there and doing what she saw needed doing without a word.
The speeches were fabulous, Mel's dad was sweet and nervous, he said all a father should say, we all saw how proud of his daughter he is, even if he found public speaking difficult he still stood up and he shared how he loves his daughter.
Daniel spoke next and he was funny, outrageous and loving, as he spoke about how he admires and loves his younger brother and how well he thinks Mel and Jordan are suited, he started to cry and in embarrassment he said " Oh F**k it!" Immediately he clasped his hands over his mouth, looked right at my mum and said " SORRY GRAMMA!" we didn't realise that we all, on the top table did exactly the same thing! The picture Jenn took is priceless, a row of people, all clasping their hands over their mouth because the unpardonable sin of swearing in front of Gramma Euinton had been committed! How wonderful that no matter how old these children get, whatever they do or say they hold gramma in such high esteem that she is the first person they think of when they behave inappropriately whenever she is around. Later on in the evening as we children, our children and their children were all sitting around one big table, one ofthe girls said " Isn't it funny to think that if it weren't for gramma, none of us would even be here"

n gave his speech and again, as he started to say how much he loved Mel and how happy he was that she was now
a member of our family, how excited he is that she now belongs with us, he started

to cry and he couldn't carry on for a moment. The love that exists in our family is tangible, I try to explain how it is but I am sure I will never be able to find the right words. I love that Jenn and Julie experienced it and that they too were moved to tears to see it in it's full glory.
I looked around as Jordan gave his speech and I saw his dad wipe his eyes and then his grandad on his father's side was also crying and I love that I have grown sons who are not afraid or ashamed ( although they were embarrassed) to cry because they are so grateful for what they have and because they recognise that they have something more valuable than money.
I stayed for a while in the evening and soaked up the fun, watched as Jordan danced with Mel, I watched as Jordan walked past his cousin and heard Ben shout "Hey, cousin!" "Yeah?" " I love you!" grown men not afraid to express love, priceless.
I've tried to explain how the day went but I think, probably, that you had to be there to understand exactly what I am trying to say. My family is great and it is MINE....doesn't get better than that and now, well now, I have another daughter in my family and she is a really, really nice one too!

Friday, September 17, 2010

It's my party...well technically it isn't...

What an emotional time this is, the wedding is so close, 8 days! I have had so little to do with the planning of it, Jordan and Mel have done everything, they have just plodded and worked and got it done. A few rides here and some baby sitting there.
It's all done bar the shouting, wait, that wasn't the best cliche to slip in there, in fact I am astounded by the lack of shouting considering what a stressful time this is supposed to be.
There has been some shouting in this house lately, from me anyway, my goodness the shouting, it has been awful, in my head is where most of the shouting has been, so FURIOUS I have been, about everything. Absolutely everything. I have been so miserable about what to wear, have bought this and that and some more of them on line which is STUPID, don't do it, you can't see what the material is like ( that is PINK! It didn't LOOK pink in the picture!) you can't try it on ( What? Why does this not fit? WHY? It is my size, it should fit, I am obviously even fatter than I thought and WOE IS ME !) I have spent more 'saving' money than if I had just gone to a posh shop for fat people and bought a blasted suit. I gave up on the online pursuit of clothes that will make me feel beautiful and look as though I have some taste.
I went shopping, well I tried to go shopping, set off bright and early drove a few miles to the nearest town with some hope of having something suitable for me to wear. It's not too far away but the traffic is always awful so it is a pain in the bum to go there. I got there, parked, went to put my parking chip in my purse.....only to discover my purse was still at home. By the time I got home there wasn't time to set off again before it was my shift with the Eli home schooling boy.
The next day I tried again and I saw lots of clothes LOTS, rails and rails of them, in my size even, in animal prints. Leopard prints and tiger prints , also there were lots of things with stripes HORIZONTAL stripes, in my size ( which I will never divulge unless some miracle occurs and I wake up 10 sizes smaller and then I will be ALL OVER that ' oh me? Why yes I lost weight I used to be a size ENORMOUS and now, tiny, am skinny, thin, skinny) and then there was the clingy stuff, the pretty coloured, plain material that was CLINGY, clinging to every lump, bump and roll. Posture is everything and let me tell you this, the more clothes a big women tries on, the more she slumps and collapses and eventually she will scream "SOD IT ALL I JUST WONT GO!" Except I have to go. I really have to go and actually, I know that when I DO go I will be so happy to be there and see my boy get married to a girl I adore.
I knew that I was feeling the way I was because I was sad, I was worried and I hated thinking that I would have to spend the day feeling as if I wanted to crawl under a stone.
Yesterday I grabbed Sophie, I told H I wouldn't be home and I took her with me to find something, I usually hate anyone coming with me because I don't want anyone to see what size I am picking up ( Hello? Why? Will they look and think " yikes, she is FAT!" because really, that's pretty obvious anyway isn't it?) so I go alone and sometimes I find something and then I see it costs more than £5 and I put it back because who on earth would spend money on clothes that aren't going to help any?
So, off we went and bless her heart, she isn't usually known for saying the right thing but she opened that mouth of hers and said exactly the right thing, she said " Mum, I wish you had some idea of how pretty you are, because you really are and I hate you always putting yourself down"
Wouldn't you know it, we walked into a shop and I found several things I liked, non of them leopard print or stripey, I took some in the changing rooms and I came out with a pretty top, one that would go with a skirt I found 2 weeks ago that I love. Then we found jewellery, a scarf and more jewellery, bangles and rings and things that all go with the outfit. It took us an hour to find everything I need and it is SO nice and SO comfortable. I love jewellery and usually the costume stuff doesn't fit and this time I found pretty things and SOPHIE got a ring stuck on her finger! Oh joy.
I am not wearing a hat or a fascinator or whatever those things are called, Even if I didn't look stupid I would feel it and this day is too important for me to feel self conscious.
Sophie and I went next to Boots the chemist and we sat while 2 ladies did our skin and make up...that is another huge thing for me, allowing someone to touch my skin and stare at me! ( this whole autism thing, I wonder if anyone ever looks at my kids and thinks 'autism my arse, look at the neurotic mother!') She made me look pretty darn OK, she used a pore concealer ( hooray! Hate those mahoosive holes on my face) and then she used some anti red concealer, some foundation and some shiny shimmery crap followed by some 'coral' stuff which was to something or other something that needed something....what I am saying is she pushed her luck there a bit. I was all for the pore stuff and the get rid of that red ( what IS that?) stuff and then it all got a bit 'how many layers of stuff can a face take?' I got some eyeliner and some mascara and I felt very good, it was nice make up and it wasn't heavy or cloggy, I liked it. So I picked up the pore concealer and the anti red stuff and she told me the price and WHOA...she told me the prices of the other stuff she used and I couldn't do it. I did buy the 2 items that made a difference and I shook for 2 hours because I had spent that much on 2 little boxes of make up just for me. I don't regret it at all because thank goodness, I now am looking forward to getting dressed, putting my make up on, a hair dresser is coming at 8am to do my hair, I love how she does my hair and when she has done it, it stays that way for a couple of days so I know I will last all day without turning into a hay stack. I am ready and for that, I am incredibly grateful.
I actually feel as though I will be looking quite splendid. Bring it on.
The cards are written and the bottle is full.
Julie Bo and Jenn arrive early on wednesday morning and I am so excited about that I hardly know what to do. I can't wait for them to be here and to show them around, eat in little country pubs, shop in London, share the wedding with them, share my family with them and have a whole week laughing and crying and just being together. What lovely friends I have. Friends who have never met Jordan love him and have sent him and Mel love and presents. Friends who love me so much that they are as excited as I am that Julie and Jenn are coming. Cathy was planning on coming too and then she couldn't, even so she is excited for us and making sure I know she wishes she could be here too.
I get quite teary every time I think of Julie and Jenn coming all this way to see us. I smiled so widely the other day because I was telling H excited I was to spoil them and then later that day I got an email from Julie saying she was excited to get here and spoil me! That's what friendship is all about, how wonderful it is to have such people in my life.
It's not my party and anyway I'm not even crying.


I did it!

I stopped counting after £450 because well, HOORAY! and I want them to tell ME how much there is.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Who knew?

So, we have started the home schooling journey we never knew we wanted to take.
I think this whole thing was H's idea, I don't recall him ever saying " I think we should home school" I know I never said it, I just know that one day, we had said it and written to the school to tell them that Elijah would not be returning to school and here we are. Oh. My. Goodness.
I'm not sure how H and I work, I know we don't have cosy chats or long brow beating sessions of decision making. I often think we have little in common but actually, more and more we seem to think the same things and make it all happen without either of us ever saying " This is how it will be"
Is that a good thing? I think it must be because it works for us ( that's a relief)
So, here we are. H, me and a little dog called Eli. Or a big dog, sometimes a Gorilla.
We find ourselves saying ( more often than we would like) "Dogs are not allowed in here" before entering a shop, or church or stately mansion. He has been a Labrador / retriever for a week, then a great dane. He crawls on all fours everywhere, he pants and sniffs ( not bums, we are thankful for small mercies) he digs and would love to eat his food from a bowl on the floor. When we saw him cocking his leg over the toilet ( at least it wasn't against a lamp post!) I started to think things had gone a bit far. H wasn't on the same page and actually let him buy a dog bed at a car boot sale with his pocket money. He desperately wanted to sleep in it but that was where I put my foot down!
I am bored with the whole dog thing now, I am biting my tongue though because hey, it's imaginative and we don't see that too often in this house. I cringe every time he does something good and I say " Good BOY!" I am afraid I will pat him on the head or throw him a morsel of food from my plate without thinking!
Anyhoo, homeschooling.
I was, until Tuesday, very apprehensive about keeping Elijah at home. I was so afraid we were doing him a disservice. I was worried that this wasn't the right thing to do.
On Monday, we started to teach him. Last year, in school, Eli was unrecognisable, our bouncy, loud, eccentric boy was withdrawn, puzzled, confused. He would sit and suck his thumb ALL day at school, he was running after kids that were mean to him because he thought they were his friends. He wasn't speaking to any teachers and he wasn't learning anything.
In the 6 weeks school holidays Eli came back, he was bouncy and happy, he stopped throwing things and yelling he began to play ( and be a DOG!) He stopped being sad.
Just that one thing, a 7 year old who stopped being sad...that one thing is enough to make me see that this is the right thing.
On Tuesday we had a visit from someone, I'm not even sure who she is, I thought she was from a homeschooling / education department, I know that she had to come because she had been informed that we had withdrawn Eli from school and she said it wasn't a worrying visit it was just to chat and see what we had planned ( plans? PLANS? We have PLANS?) and ask what we saw were Eli's strengths and weaknesses.
Within minutes of her arriving at the house ( Eli, this is Ms Nosey Parker, she has come to see Eli the boy, not the dog, can you sit up and talk like a real boy please? "WOOF!") it was evident that she wasn't here to support us in anyway.
I heard H's angry tongue click noise that he makes when he is trying to control a rage. I listened as she told us how OUR children especially need to be at school because they need to socialise, they need to learn that other people have opinions and they have to learn ( more than other children apparently) how to get on with other people and work as a team.
I pointed out that our children are different to other children, they pick up the WRONG things easily, they will do whatever other kids tell them to do because they think THAT is what makes them popular. She told us over and over again how, if we take them all out of school, when they are 16 they won't get a job, they won't know who to live in the real world or function. I told her that we have older children, we KNOW what works for our children, we have made good choices and we will make the decisions for these younger children based on what WE know is good for them.
You only have to walk through the town at 4.30 pm to see what these senior school kids are not learning at school. The girls look as though they have come from a nightclub or street corner, the boys and girls are loud, rude, uncouth. They throw litter, they swear, the have no manners that are evident.
H asked her if she thought every child that attends a state school will leave, at 16 with all of life's most valuable lessons AND walk into a great job. No answer.
I asked her if she thought we were doing this for fun? I told her that we have adult children as well as the little ones and we knew what they needed just as we know what these boys need.
We have the advantage of seeing where we went wrong with the big kids and are determined not to make those same mistakes.
There is little to no discipline in schools these days, the teachers are not allowed to do anything but talk. It is clear that most of their time is spent trying to contain the unruly kids and keep things under control, little time is left to teach.
I have seen how kids change when they start senior school, it seems they have to become hard faced and disrespectful just to keep from getting bullied. I am not going to send my sons into that environment.
Children with aspergers are perfect targets for bullying. They do not read social signals, they don't understand when someone is teasing, they are naive and will keep trying to be friends with people who are not friendly. I have seen Eli run after kids after they have told him to go away, I watched as he shrugged his shoulders, smiled and ran right after them sure in his mind that they really wanted him to play. I don't know if Eli has any kind of autism, I do know he is delightful and touching and I want him to stay that way.
It is not a schools job to teach my children how to be polite, kind, respectful, well mannered. It is not a schools job to guide my sons into adulthood, helping them to learn the skills needed to function and prosper in this world.
It is a schools job to teach my children academics, to help them learn to read, write, study, to explain mathematics, science, history. Unfortunately, because all the powers of discipline have been taken away from teachers, they don't get to teach the things they should be teaching.
I am afraid that we may not be able to teach him everything he could learn in a good school with enough attention from a patient and able teacher. I am not afraid that we have taken him away from such an environment.
My children are not rowdy, they are not hyperactive, they are not disruptive or unruly, they do not cause problems for teachers or other children. They can sit in a classroom without making a sound, for hours and hours. They do not want to be noticed.
A classroom with 30 children and one teacher and an untrained assistant, with children who do have ADHD, or ADD, children who love to be the center of attention, who shout and disrupt, who are apt to hit out or damage property. Who do you think is going to get the attention first? Of course my quiet children who would rather be forgotten than noticed will be left to sit and suck their thumb or draw pictures of cars, they will be allowed to sit and watch what is going on because 2 adults with 30+ children physically cannot do anything else.
I am not venting at the teachers, I understand why things are the way they are. What I am doing is standing up for my children. Elijah especially because he was already suffering, he had fallen so far behind that it wasn't even an option to leave him where he was.
I am thrilled at the difference in him already. H and I, as we do, have fallen, without speaking about it, into a routine that ensures Eli is busy, engaged and learning from the moment the older boys are at school until they come home.
When H takes Seth and Isaac to school, Eli and I read and then we talk about what we have read, we discuss the story, he reads and I explain and then I read to him and watch his eyes grow wide as he enjoys the story. He then draws a picture of his favourite part of the story.
When H gets home he takes over and Eli and H do some Math work and penmanship.
At 11 Eli and I go out together, either shopping ( where he works out what we need, how many potatoes, how many bread rolls etc) we went to have lunch in the restaurant where Jordan is a chef and he was allowed into the kitchen to make his own pizza. Today we went to a mansion and he tool pictures, he had a clip board with questions on that he had to answer, he had to ask workers for the answers to some of the questions. He drew pictures.
I am amazed at how pretty much everything can be used as a learning tool.
He has been to the allotment with H and they learn about how plants grow and what they need to grow well.
AT 2pm H takes over again and they do some more writing and work.
We have a diary and a picture diary, we are taking pictures of places we go and are going to make a scrap book to record what he is learning.
On Monday he said "This is the very best day of my whole life" I am aware that for his whole life, because he is so affable and laid back, he has trotted behind, we have done exactly what his teachers did because he is so easy to care for. I feel sick to think of the damage that could have been done to this little boy just by doing nothing. I am so glad we saw what was happening and are doing what we know needs to be done to help him be the very best he can be.
I am sure that we will pray a lot in the effort to teach Eli, I think, if we decide to teach Seth and Isaac when they leave primary school, we will pray more than we have ever prayed before. It is a huge undertaking to do this, it is not a decision we have taken lightly. We are not young parents and it is exhausting to do this but we are parents, we had these children and it is our responsibility to make sure they have what they need, that they are safe, happy, secure and in the best possible position to grow and become well adjusted and happy adults with all the skills they need to live and grow in the world.
May the Lord help us and enable us to do what we feel is right for our children.

Labels: ,