Happy Valentine's Day

Valentine's day is a very commercial day, all wrapped up in expectations and disappointments and commercialization. But, despite my jaded attitude about the candy and the cards and the balloons and flowers, I see the day as a great opportunity to say I love you to a sweetheart. Actually, I take every day as a great opportunity to say I love you to my sweetheart.

Some days, it is a mumbled "luv u" on the way out the door. Some days, it's a passionate, overwhelming "I love you" as a show that something is going well. Sometimes "I love you" is the same as "Thank you". And, sometimes it's another way of saying "I'd kill you dead in your tracks if my laser vision wasn't on the fritz".

But my favorite is the "Luv you" said on the way out the door. That one means I'll miss you and I look forward to when we are back together and safe under the same roof, focused on the same things again. Because, really, that's what love is all about, right? Being focused on the same things again and being glad of it?


I've been reviewing my weekend and have found myself at my desk with a bunch of notebooks scattered around that hold the details of my life. On top of the quilting notebook and the work stuff notebook and the details notebook that contains my many lists, now I have a spanish notebook, full of my scrawling script of things to remember; words translated, verbs conjugated and usage hints.

There is no half way here. I either jump in with both feet and help my child in school...or I don't. I can't just sit back and watch, waiting until the grades slip to the point where she can't recover.

Here's what the teacher and I learned from both of us talking to Sydney. She told the teacher that spanish is boring. She told me that spanish is hard. For my kid, those are the same thing. When it got hard, she stopped paying attention and didn't put the effort into it and it got boring because she couldn't understand what was going on in class.

The teacher let them do group activities and my devious child realized that if she got with a group of students that learned spanish as their primary language, she'd get all the group stuff right. Then, they rearranged her schedule and she got moved to a different class and suddenly, grades started to drop.

And, that's where dear old dad kicks in and does what dear old dad does best...he solved the problem. Okay, so she still can't speak spanish after our weekend cram session, but she can speak it better and she has a better understanding of the chapter the test was on. And, we both think she will do better on the retest that the teacher is offering her today.

But for me, there was a lingering anger that I shared with Rob, but never with Sydney. She created a situation where everyone in the house lost a weekend because she didn't want us to get involved from the beginning. She wanted to keep us out of her stuff, and when she couldn't handle it, then we had to sacrifice to help her out. And, it makes me just the tiniest bit angry.

Okay, a lot angry. But the closest I got to expressing it was after we had played a two hour game in spanish that I invented and we both enjoyed, I pointed out how fun it was and that we could have been having that fun all year long.

Giving up our own time to help them out when they need us is what parenting is all about, huh?

And, I walked away from the weekend with a feeling of great success. I worked hard and I did what I needed to do. And, I walked into work with that feeling of confidence from success. And I'm feeling better about work, too.

So, I guess I'd better get to it. Take care and have a wonderful Monday.

p.s. I got the whole "bad" side of my shirt unsewn last night and most of that side put back together this morning. I'm going to take the other side apart as well because I can do better than I did. I'll post more about what I learned as a sewist from that experience tomorrow.



Sunshine said...

:) Okay, explain this to me: you put a shirt together, probably did some family-related stuff and posted on your blog all this morning before work? How early do you get up? If I manage to eat breakfast and brush my teeth in addition to the mandatory getting dressed before work, it's a successful day for me ;)

Mad about Craft said...

Oh! the joys of parenthood! I have to be honest & say I'm glad I'm out the other end, not that I haven't stopped worrying but they now have to solve their own problems as they are grown ups!

Coloradolady said...

I would like to say, if you need more help than you can handle...my daughter had spanish from age 3 to college...she might be able to lend a hand...I'd certainly be willing to ask her, and after all, she is right there...somewhere...close!

Andra Gayle said...

As a teacher, I have to say thank you for doing your job as a parent! You wouldn't believe how many parents don't!
As a parent I have to say, I understand your frustration as I have an almost 13 year old myself. Thinking I am going to have to take up pre-algebra again to help her through!