There are some games we play that the boys have always loved. And one of those is referred to as “making a sandwich.”This usually consists of me putting blankets, pillows and sofa cushions on top of them and then attempting to take a bite. Today, J got very excited at the idea of doing this and controlling the structure of the game. He went from being a sandwich, to whispering to me how and what we should pretend to be, to eventually being the Stinky Cheese Man who manages to escape every time I went to bite into the sandwich. In some ways, its similar to the book,”Pete’s a Pizza.” My favorite part of the game is watching him come up with new types of roles for me and for him. I love watching his imagination unfold. I’m curious if this is something mothers do with their sons or if this is a game best experienced by rowdy fathers and sons?
I hope this question elicits more of a response as the boys get older. But for now, I hear very little about Kindergarten A and less about the Yellow Room. I don’t know what I’m expecting. I’ve learned to make my questions more specific,” what did you bring up for current events?, what exactly does the line leader do? did you go to the park? How is Punky the guinea pig? and Thor the turtle? We have advanced though from no response at all to Ry raising his hands. I can only hope I learn more in first grade and Red room.
Montrose hill called to us once again this holiday weekend. We came by bicycle, Rollerblades, scooter, and training wheels. I’m always surprised by how much prep work goes into a 45 minute excursion. I had to take down the seats in the Honda Odyssey, then lay down the over sized tarp, roll in the bikes, pack the snacks, and drinks and load everyone on to the mini-van so we could leave.
Once there, it was well worth it. Ry raced ahead of everyone in his red, motor-cross bike. My wife scooted along on the silver and blue Razor scooter, well aware of any bumps on the bike path. And J, wearing his bright red Sesame Street helmet, carefully paced himself on his bike with training wheels, while I cruised around on my Rollerblades, hoping to not fall on my unprotected knees.
Ry decided he wanted to ride down the hill. While somewhat reluctant, we agreed the worst that could happen was some grass burns. He walked what felt like a very long journey to the top of the hill. I gave him the thumbs up. And then he pedaled, coasted, and screamed for joy,”WHOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!.” We went back to the van, had some drinks, snacks, and made plans to run through the sprinkler when we got home.
How do we know when our kids have special talents, strengths or abilities? How do you know what you’re kid’s good at? I still tend to think his teachers will tell us or his grades will show me or if he scores many points in a game, I’ll know. Sometimes I’m waiting for the answer to come to me in some concrete formula, that I miss other opportunities to learn about my son’s strengths. And then this morning, Ry wanted to demonstrate the songs and dance movements his class will perform at the all school show.
He knew all the words to “Old Dan Tucker,”and was quite expressive with the movements. Also he integrated the dance steps and silly movements. And most importantly, he was having fun with it. I was genuinely impressed. I immediately thought if he, as a kindergartner, can do that for a school show, he can probably do that with plays for a basketball team. As someone who really struggled to learn plays on a basketball team, I have a real appreciation for someone who can listen, learn, and incorporate new information. All skills which will serve him well throughout his life.
After leaving home and heading for work, I thought about what I would write about today. I assumed I would later focus on the school show. And then, it hit me, this morning’s performance in the kitchen is just as important as tonight’s at school. How often do we as parents, worry, anticipate, and prepare for the big event and then miss it because we are then thinking about what to do after it? Sometimes the good stuff is right in front of us if we just look and listen.