No real agenda on what to write. Just figured I wanted to write something.
The last few months I’ve had to spend a week every few weeks away from the kids, helping my parents since my dad’s accident. It’s rough. I know the kids are fine, I know that J understands what’s going on (to a degree) and K is okay. It’s not that I feel like being away from them will be bad for them, it’s more that being away from them is bad for me. 😛
I don’t know what kind of dad I thought I’d be when I was growing up – like my own dad, I assumed. And for the most part, I think that’s not necessarily wrong – some combination of my parents, at least. But I think at least a few years ago, it’d be like some balance of work, parenting, etc., and priorities would shift constantly. They don’t, really. They’re #1. Pretty much all the time.
I’ve been trying, consciously, to be less of a helicopter-y type than I think my instincts want me to be. To give space to the kids to let them work out their problems. To let them explore & play, and take some risks. When they’re playing with each other, to let them play with each other instead of with me & them together. To not interrupt them when they’re drawing, or building stuff, and lending a hand only when they’ve exhausted their own resources. “Benign neglect”, I think, is the term I’ve heard, and it sounds right. 🙂
It’s harder than I thought it’d be! But the things that K draws & builds out of Lego are amazing to me. The books that J draws & writes are as well. The amount they learn, the speed at which they learn it is a constant source of wonder. K can be a bit of a spaz – there are times when I wonder if he just gets completely disconnected from reality, jumping from thing to thing, and whether he’s able to concentrate on things. And then there are other times when he gets so focused & into something that you can’t break his concentration at all. It’s always funny to find ways in which he’s so different from J that whatever expectations I might have about how things will go end up completely subverted. He made a Lego T-Rex the other day, and it had all the right features of a real T-Rex, down to using the little c clips as two-fingered hands. Brilliant.
J’s ability to write has really evolved, and the level of information & detail that he retains from things… well, it certainly exceeds my own ability to retain new information. Reptiles are the obsession of the day, and man – there are some funky reptiles around. Weird snakes with bizarre faces, “worm lizards”, all kinds of things I’ve never seen or thought about before. I wonder how long this obsession will last, because while dinosaurs is a popular one, and he can see birds every day, it’s rarer to see lizards or other reptiles wandering around on a daily basis. But we’ll see. Interesting to be learning more.