Calvin and Hobbes

Brennan and I are reading C&H.  It reminds me a LOT of him.  Actually, the mom and dad remind me of us.  One of the panels had the dad decked out in mountain biking gear while the mom laughed at him.


It’s us.

Next week is Bren’s parent-teacher conference.  He told me tonight that he’s working in second grade math.  A little over a year ago he started into kindergarten.  Now he’s reading at a 3rd/4th grade level and doing second grade math.  He’s creating creatures in his journal – drawing pictures and captions – and making up songs for them.

He’s also trying to teach his little brother to read, which cracks me up – Aidan has his own ideas about the world and I suspect Brennan won’t dissuade him from his path.  But that’s just my opinion.  Aidan has his own and so does Bren.

Anyway, I’m going to the P-T conference next Wednesday.  I wonder how it’ll go?  We adore his teacher and we’re thrilled with how happy and well-adjusted he is in her class.  He has friends, he hasn’t missed a day sick since the year started on August 31st.  No tummy aches… The crying is down to every few weeks (if that).

It’s an amazing difference.  He does the normal kid thing – dragging his feet about homework some days and his printing is sometimes scary and sometimes great.  But I don’t feel like he’s the dodo bird in the classroom anymore.  It’s difficult to explain how discomforting that was last year.  And the kids are funky and creative – intense and curious – bossy and just a bit driven.  There’s no sense that Bren is an outsider like we got last year… and that’s the sad thing – now that I think about it, that’s how it felt.

Todd and I couldn’t do anything for him.  All we could do was try to help him manage the situations that cropped up.

OH!  And there’s no bullying like last year.  Amazing what a difference that makes!

Aidan appears to be Bren’s Hobbes.  The two boys were playing tonight and I got a vision of what the future is going to be like.  It’s a sweet thing, watching them play together.  They get into altercations, but for the most part they are happy and play well together.  As Aidan finds more of his confidence, the dynamic changes between them, but it’s still big one leading small one.

One final thought on the whole education thing…  I am really beginning to think that Todd and I help Brennan navigate the new things he’s learning and we teach him about giving it a try, but the sponge-effect we see?  It’s all him.  We’ve never forced things on him.  We’ve offered information if he was interested and we’ve been there to read stories, count with him, and talk about the world we live in, but it has never been about drilling things with him so that he could “compete.”  It has always been about satisfying that curiosity and feeding it little nibbles here and there.

He already surprises me.  I was going to write that some day I think he’ll surprise me, but the fact is that he already does.  Anyone who views young children as limited or as “simple” really truly has not spent much time around them.  There is an amazing amount of processing and assimilating going on in their minds.  What we see and hear from them is just the tiniest tip of the iceberg with them.  Do not think, just because they may not have developed the sophisticated language to express themselves yet, that they don’t have sophisticated thoughts and ideas percolating in their brains.  They do.

Maybe if we listened with less of our adult prejudices and biases, we’d hear some fantastic ideas.


On a bummer note:  Bren’s tummy is upset.  My tummy is miserable.  I’m praying we don’t end up with a bug before our fun tomorrow night.  We have plans with some friends and I’d hate for the boys to miss out because of being sick.  What a miserable thought.

Time for bed and sweet, wonderful sleep.  The kids are zonked in their beds.  The dog is curled up in a warm corner.  Todd is off enjoying some much needed social time.

It’s a Friday night in our household and it’s peaceful.

What more could you ask for?



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