The Goose is the type of kid who needs routine. He likes knowing what to expect, has a hard time transitioning between activities, and “What day is it today?” is always the first thing he says to me each morning.
Now, since I can’t predict what is going to happen every minute of every day, you can imagine how difficult these long summer days can be. Especially when plans change unexpectedly. Like when a play date is postponed because one of his friends is sick, a trip to the beach is cancelled because of bad weather, or we need to make an unexpected trip to the grocery store.
When it comes to food, my husband will eat anything. If it’s on his plate, he’ll try it without hesitation. Even when dinner doesn’t go as planned, I know he’ll eat it without complaint. And he’s happy as can be eating a plate full of leftovers for dinner once a week. (Spaghetti, taco cups and potato salad? No problem!)
And then there’s me… the picky eater.
When I was a kid, I remember seeing my father exactly two times. The first time, I was around four years old. He came to visit me at my grandparent’s house and brought me lots of gifts. And lots of promises that he’d come back to see me soon. The second time he came to visit me, three or four years later, I had wised up. Even though he brought me even more gifts, made even more promises that he’d be back soon, I knew he wouldn’t. And I was right…
Even though I was raised by a single mom, I was not without a male presence. I had a kind, caring, loving grandfather who spent summers taking me to swim classes, parades, and beating me at Jeopardy. I had uncles who taught me about cars, power tools, and what kind of music was cool. But, no matter how wonderful they were, they weren’t a dad.
Now that school’s out for summer, The Goose and I are getting ready to head up to Cheboygan, just like we do every year to celebrate the fact that it is finally getting warmer!
The Goose loves going to Cheboygan, and for the past few weeks all he’s been doing is talking about all the places we’re going to visit while we’re there, all the people we’re going to see, and all the food we’re going to eat… he’s definitely excited.
Today is The Goose’s last full day of Kindergarten. I spent a lot of time last night trying to decide whether I should take some time to sit and relax, or if I should get busy cleaning the house, as I doubt I’ll have much time for that after today. I decided to do a little bit of both… we’ll see how that goes.
Because I’ve essentially been childless during the day since September, having The Goose home all day, every day is going to take some getting used to. And re-learning how to get things done while keeping him entertained is going to be my biggest challenge. We don’t rely on the television or the computer to keep him occupied, and we strive to limit his media time (including iPad, television, computer and video game usage) to 45 minutes per day during the school year (25 minutes after homework is finished and another 20 minutes before bed). Even though he’ll likely have a bit more media time over the summer, I will still need to find fun and interesting activities to keep him busy during the day.
A few weeks ago I shared the gift that The Goose and I gave his preschool teacher at the end of last year. This year, as he finishes Kindergarten, I wanted to give his teacher an end of year gift that was homemade – but, I also wanted it to be something that she would really use and enjoy…
You see, this year there were 27 children in The Goose’s Kindergarten class. And even though his teacher did have some help (a parapro in the morning, another parapro for part of the afternoon) that is a lot of kids to handle! I spent a lot of time volunteering in his classroom, and I can tell you that his teacher was dedicated, patient, and really cared about the success of each of her students.
The Goose is not the most graceful child. He is constantly falling down, tripping over cracks in the sidewalk, and falling off various pieces of furniture. The knees are worn out of all his pants (luckily, I have perfected the pants monster knee patch), and he is has more bruises, bumps and scrapes than I can count on two hands.
There you have it. My kid is a major klutz.
When The Goose was a toddler he loved, loved, loved going to the garden and helping pick vegetables. We’d spend hours out back looking at each plant, talking about what was growing, who was going to eat it when it was ready, and deciding if we were going to plant it again next year. While I loved having him in the garden, it drove me crazy when I’d look away for just a second, and he’d seize the opportunity – picking a tiny green tomato, a miniscule green pepper, or an eggplant that was no bigger than my thumb.
After spending two summers trying to keep him from picking vegetables before they were ready, I’d had enough. So, last year we decided to give him his very own garden. (Yes! Kids can garden, too!) And it worked out wonderfully. He was able to plant anything he wanted, pick anything he wanted, and he was always full of pride whenever he’d show his garden to people who came to visit.
This past Sunday we attended the final mass at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, where my family has spent nearly every Sunday morning for the past eight years. Though we knew it was coming, and had some idea of what to expect, it was still a sad day both for our family and our friends at church.
My husband and I were introduced to St. Pat’s by his sister, who had been a parishioner there for many years. We enjoyed going there, and began attending St. Pat’s on a regular basis. Since this was well before we were married, and the church’s location in midtown Detroit was perfect for us. He’d drive in from his home on the west side of metro Detroit, and I’d drive from the east side. And we’d meet in the middle. We made the journey week after week, year after year. After we were married we’d still make the drive. A lot of our friends and family wondered why we continued to drive to so far to go to church when there were several churches near our house that were absolutely lovely. Here’s why we stuck around…
It’s almost summer, and we all know what that means… School is quickly coming to an end. At the end of each school year I like to give The Goose’s teachers a gift to show our appreciation for (1) Teaching him all kinds of new things throughout the year and (2) Putting up with him and his crazy antics.
I always let The Goose help me decide what to give his teachers, that way it really is a gift from him. Last year, The Goose wanted to give each of his teachers a plant. While I am a tried and true lover of plants (just ask my husband – he brings near dead plants home all the time and marvels as I bring them back to life), I realize that not everybody has a green thumb, and giving out plants as gifts is sort of risky.