A glimpse into my son’s brain…

Yesterday Keilan and I were chatting about his upcoming Equine Therapy course.  I was asking him if he was excited about it. 

To back up a step, this equine therapy is a 9 week or something class that helps teach self control and emotional health and well being and basically continues to help him learn skills to make better choices from his ADHD.  I’m super excited for this class foe him  

His thoughtful response surprised me a bit.  Partly because it reminded me that he’s not so little anymore, now that’s he’s in the 4th grade; and partly because of the amount of thoughtfulness.  His response made it clear to me that he had thought a lot about this before I even asked the question.  

Often I get frustrated by his repetitive bad choices.  But his response again reminded me that as much as I get frustrated by his behaviour choices, I am not alone. He too is frustrated by his own behaviour choices.  This isn’t a perspective I often think of or remember.  I tend to fall into the category of getting upset with his intentional bad choices.  The fact that he actually doesn’t always like his own choices doesn’t often occur to me.  His ADHD often controls and leads his poor choices and I forget this.  I forget sometimes that he’s come a long ways in his journey of self awareness and self control and emotional health.  Yes, he has a long ways to go, but he’s come a far ways down his road already.  

Back to his comment.

He replied to me that he loved horses and he was super excited to get to go to horse school.  He said he also really wished I could go horse back riding with him again.  And he then told me that he was happiest about his horse therapy classes because it would mean that when he finished he could return to Kung Fu and because he would be better able to control his emotions and actions he would have more fun and be able to finally get a new belt.  Then he told me that his big plan was to do good in his class and learn to control his emotions and actions so he could succeed at Kung Fu and then he would get stronger and be happier and then he could go back in swimming lessons and he would be more successful than last time.

Part of me was shocked by his response.  Part of me was proud.  Part of me was sad.  He carries the weight of his poor choices much more than I realized.  He dislikes them as much or more than me.  I just have to try to remember that when he’s in the middle of making one and I’m trying to help him not and his ODD is in high gear.  

My Amazing Kids…

Here goes…

Anyone who knows me well knows that I’m not one who over praises my kids.  Don’t get me wrong, I praise them for what they do.  I just don’t over exaggerate or inflate their accomplishments.  I feel strongly that it isn’t helpful or healthy for the child and the only one benefiting is the parent.  And that is because the parent is selfishly getting their self esteem and pride from their children’s accomplishments, instead of their own.

I’ve tried really hard to be a real parent who allows her children to sink or swim all on their own merits.  I’ve tried to allow my children opportunities to thrive and to soar.  But I’ve also tried really hard to be honest in my praise and criticism.  Contrary to popular opinion, not everyone can do anything they put their heart and mind to.  I truly wish it were true, but it simply isn’t.

That being said, we’ve made so many sacrifices to give our children opportunities and to help them reach their potential.  I will be honest though, we’ve also passed up on some other pretty amazing opportunities that have been offered our children.  Like when Karyssa was 3 and she was scouted for ski racing and they were ready to exempt the age 5 rule for her.  Or when Katie was scouted for the synchronized skating team, but we knew that we would never be able to afford the travel in 3 years time.  

But, despite our passing on various opportunities we still managed to give our children plenty of opportunities to learn and try and thrive.
All this to say, In different ways every one of children has surpassed me.  And I’m very proud of this!

Kieran has graduated High School with a certificate of proficiency in the French language, from France.  

Katarina has achieved her purple belt in kung fu. She can play the piano amazingly.  She can pick up any sheet music and play the song.  A skill I don’t have.  She got perfect scores on her rhythm exams in band.  

Karyssa has a heart that is empathic and she loves people.  She can spot a person who is struggling and just goes to them.  She is always quick to help and loves fully.  She has long since passed my kung fu skills (which are none!) and piano skills (almost none).  She can sit at the piano and make beautiful music and she can run around in band play the percussion amazingly!  She has such potential which I can’t wait to see where it takes her!

Kianna is a joker.  She can make almost anyone laugh.  And her humour is wide and varied.  She is sensitive to those around her who are alone or lonely.  She knows how to love people well.  She is already such an amazing young lady and I look forward to watching her find her wings and her gifts and soar!

Keilan is my little firecracker!  He has shown me that anything is possible, and with enough work and dedication and commitment one can make real strides to conquer their struggles.  He is the picture of grace and love and forgiveness.  Sometimes we can’t see these gifts of his, they are covered up by other distractions.  But, if you take the time and give him the space and opportunity and accept his struggles, you will see it.  And it will leave you changed.  His isn’t an easy life.  He is so easily distracted and he has to work 100x harder than the rest of us to keep his focus and attention and to do remember to obey and not defy.  But he will leave his mark on the world.  I can see it already. 

I am happy to see my children surpass me in their skills and abilities and become amazing people that will make a real difference in the world!  I don’t care how smart my kids are, I never have.  I care how caring and loving and kind they are.  And all my kids have this in spades!

A book I found….

Several months ago, as I wandered around Chapters waiting on my daughter to spend her gift cards, I came across a book.

This book is called: Take a Hike with your children by Lynda Pianosi.

This book has 41 hikes in Banff, Canmore, Kanaskis. and Lake Louise.  All hikes are within 2 hrs of Calgary and are child friendly and all but a few are 5k or less.  

I bought the book.  And I decided that this summer I would take my children on as many as I could.

Today is Father’s Day. It is also our first opportunity to check out a hike in this book.  The descriptions are excellently written.  You know as a reader exactly the difficulty and terrain before you go.  It has a guide that tells the reader all sorts of things including if there are rest benches along the way and flush toilets or picnic tables or outhouses or if it’s sunny or shady.  It even gives a plan b for every hike which is things like a playground or visitor center, for the days the kids just aren’t going to go hiking.  

I highly recommend this book to every parent of young and old children!

Happy Father’s Day…

Today is Father’s Day.  A day intended to celebrate and honor all dads.  
Every year I try to plan an activity that we can do as a family.  We have had family bbqs in the backyard by the pool and get togethers with friends hiking and BBQing in kanaskis. We’ve gone to Calaway Park and Banff on the gondola.  We’ve gone mini golfing and swimming.  Every year is a bit different.  I like it that way.

But every year is also the same.  We celebrate the fact that my kids have a Godly father.  A man who sets a good example of love and hard work and dedication and concern for his family.  His faith is an example to his children and I.  We are grateful for him and we love him to the moon and back!

Loyalty…

I am by all accounts a very loyal and dedicated person.  I have been at the same job for 15 years.  We have attended the same church for 12 years. left for almost 3 to help start a new church, and have been back for a year now.  I have been married 21 years.  I am loyal, probably to a fault.

However, I am feeling quite guilty about my entire lack of loyalty in one thing.  That is homeschooling overseeing board.  I am committed to homeschooling and adapting it as my son’s needs require.  However, I find myself at the end of year 2 and unhappy with my facilitator.  We changed oversight boards in November when the NDP government tried to close Wisdom homeschooling.  An act the courts rejected, but we had already moved boards.  

Here I am working on my education plan for my son’s grade 4 year and I am just discontent and feeling the for isn’t there between what I’m trying to do and what my facilitator wants me to do.  

So going into year 3 of homeschooling and we will be moving forward with a new school board.  That’s 3 for 3!  I’m really hoping this one is the last one!  

I think it’ll be a good fit.  It should offer him opportunities to make some new friends and practice more of the social skills we’ve been learning the past 2 years.  Skills like self control and not being first.  

In the meantime I will take solice in my husband’s words…I am not disloyal.  I am simply looking to find a school board that can support me in the ways I believe is best for my son to learn at this point in time.  And for me I need a board that sees the value in technology and using it in education and doesn’t try to eliminate all technology from the education process.  There is certainly great things to be had from traditions and the way things used to be done.  And we shouldn’t throw that away entirely to embrace technology.  But there is a balance and Keilan does best with a balance of both, not either one alone.

From the mouths of babes…

Yesterday I was driving Keilan and Karyssa and Kianna.  Karyssa looks at me and says “You will be a great grandma!” Kianna responds “and you wont even give your grandkids candy!”.

I responded, “Oh yes I will! And then I will send them home to you!”

Kianna then said, “Ok, fine.  Then youll be a great grandma because you will come to Calaway Park with me and the kids and you will play with the little ones, while I am the Great Mama and ride all the rides with the big ones!”

I love my kids!  And I plan on being the involved and fun grandma.  But when the conversation is with my 5th and 8th grade daughters it is a bit weird! 

But in the meantime I will continue being the best mom I can and taking time to do the silly little things with them, like having a noon hour bbq for my daughter and her friends…which is what started the whole conversation!

What if we’d waited…

What if we had waited a couple more months to buy our home?  What if I hadn’t been able to convince Jason on March 4 to go to the Livingston Community original open house celebration?  What if we had decided to wait another 2 or 3 months to buy?

Well, I don’t think we would be buying.  At least we wouldn’t be developing the basement.  We for sure wouldn’t be getting what we are.

Our house that we are buying was the last small lot in phase one available through Jayman.  And to purchase the exact same house today would cost almost $50,000 more than when we signed March 6.  

At every turn Jayman has treated us amazingly well!  Yesterday we got our first photo weekly update of our home build.  We have had several issues that have come up along the way and they present us with the problem and solution simultaneously.  We got an enlarged upper floor and a 8 ft garage door instead of 6ft and a poured concrete patio instead of a wooden deck.  Of course all of these upgrades came at no charge to us since they were solutions to various problems that arose along the way.

I am super glad we bought when we did!  Otherwise homeownership wouldn’t be a mere few months away; it would be out of reach yet again!