Showing posts with label DS. Show all posts
Showing posts with label DS. Show all posts

Our Son Got To Meet His Favorite Author: DJ MacHale

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

This definitely falls under First World problems. Lately, we have to stay on Tyler about reading too much. Not the quantity, more like how late he stays up at night to do it. This kid is flying through books. Most recently, he fell in love with the Pendragon series by DJ MacHale. Combined, the 10-book series has just over 4500 pages. He read them all in about  2 1/2 months.

To say we are incredibly proud is an understatement. But. Our son floats through life as though time doesn't pertain to him (is that true for most kids?). We tell him it's time to go to bed, and that he can read until his bedtime, which is 9:00. If we don't follow up, he'll keep on reading. I admit, we've started watching a movie and forgot all about him until we go to bed ourselves.

Since this is one of the only problems we have with Tyler, we usually let it slide. He's a good kid, and reading until 11:30 on a school night is no big deal in the grand scheme of things. So, a few weeks ago when I saw a posting on MacHale's website that he would be signing books locally, I decided to surprise Tyler and take him to the book store.

When we got there, he saw the poster outside with MacHale's photo promoting his newest book.

"Hey, that's the guy who wrote the books I'm reading."

"I know. He's inside. We're going to buy that new book and he'll sign it for you."

Tyler's eyes got so big. "I get to meet him?"

"Yep. You can ask questions, too."

We bought the book and waited for the author to come out. He was so nice to all the kids. He asked them questions, posed for pictures and hinted at new projects he's working on. Tyler was in heaven.

We couldn't stay long because we were on the way to hockey practice, but Tyler was in heaven. He was one of the youngest kids there something MacHale pointed out after he asked Tyler his age. He assumed Tyler was in 6th grade and was surprised that he'd only recently turned 9. We could tell Tyler was proud of himself when MacHale said Tyler was one of the youngest readers (of his works) that he'd met.

Tyler and his favorite author
I really hope we get to do something like this again. We definitely don't have a problem getting Tyler to read, but having him meet the people behind the words he reads I know will make a really lasting impression and reinforce that reading is fun.

Have your kids been able to meet any of their idols?

My Husband plus Extra Plywood Equals | Wordless Wednesday

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Military Life is NOT a Video Game

Friday, November 11, 2011

It's the Soldier, not the reporter who has given us the 
Freedom of the Press. 
It's the Soldier, not the poet, who has given us the 
Freedom of Speech. 
It's the Soldier, not the politicians who ensures our right to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. 
It's the Soldier who salutes the flag, who serves beneath the flag, and whose coffin is draped by the flag.

It seemed disrespectful for me to post this on Veteran's Day because I'm about to violate one of the rules of parenting. I'm going to get on my high horse and judge.

Last week, Phil went into Tyler's class to talk about being in the military. He went in uniform, which because of what he does, is more Marine Corps than Navy. The kids had lots of questions, the first of which was "have you ever killed anyone?*"

I understand. My dad used to get the same question from my classmates when he'd come for Career Day to talk about being in the Secret Service. There's a fascination with military, police etc.; especially for boys. But the questions that came after were the ones that really disappointed me. They wanted to know how he made it through war (he was deployed during Operation Enduring Freedom), what types of weapons and rounds he uses, if he'd ever set off a grenade and if he uses Nova Gas.

Tyler's teacher was sitting next to me and whispered, "where are they coming up with this stuff?!" Just as I replied, "video games," two of the kids said something about Call of Duty 3 and Halo. Parents, your fourth graders should not be playing that game (or any first person shooter). They should not have the idea that being in the military is akin to running blindly through the streets, lobbing bombs and using a gas that doesn't exist.

The teacher and I had to steer the conversation so that Phil could give them real information about the role of the military and what the experience has been like for him. I piped up and told Phil to address real life versus video games and couldn't help but add that Call of Duty isn't for kids.

I'm glad Phil went in to talk to the class. Hopefully, some of those kids will remember what Phil talked about, especially how being in the military has helped him with his civilian job and that he joined as a way to honor his grandfather, who was in the 101st Airborne. 

Video games are not a teaching tool. Video games rated M (meaning 'mature') are not appropriate for 9 and 10 year olds. Period. You letting your young child play games like that means they see my husband in uniform and equate him with a killing machine.

They don't see the training, education and schooling. They don't see that Phil is in charge of planning yearly budgets for his entire unit. They don't see the respect he and his fellow navy members give one another. They have no idea that being in the military is a JOB. And that? Is just plain sad.

*When Phil responded that no, he hasn't killed anyone, the boy asked, "why not?"


Thursday, November 3, 2011

Hi Kiddo-
When you were only a few weeks old, your dad asked Grammy, "is this all he's going to do? Just lie there?" Grammy loves to re-tell that story. She laughs and laughs. Her answer was something along the lines of, "you wait, one day you'll be wishing he would just lie there." She was right. You took your first steps when you were 9 1/2 months old and you haven't stopped going since. Your dad and I can't always keep up, but we're having fun trying. Happy Birthday!

Mom and Dad

Getting Kids to Read Across Genres | Even More on Raising A Reader

Thursday, September 22, 2011

This is 2 of 2 in a series of posts sponsored by Buddig's Sandwich and a Story Sweepstakes.

My son has become an almost mini version of me when it comes to reading. He goes through books like fire, which I love. But he also stays up well past lights out and reads on the toilet (which I don't love). I can't really get mad at him for staying up until midnight since I have been known to pull some almost all nighters myself*. I will get mad about taking books into the bathroom though, because, eeewww.

Where we differ is his narrow focus on the types of books he reads. His feet are firmly planted in the Fantasy aisle of the library. That's not a bad thing, but I've been trying to tell him about all the books he's missing out on. Luckily, I think I found something that can help me inspire him to branch out.

I subscribe to the LA Times. Occasionally they have really nice special inserts within the Arts section. Last week they were highlighting children's literacy and recommended A Family of Readers: The Book Lovers Guide to Children's and Young Adult Literature. I promptly checked it out of the library. So far, it's been a great resource.

I skipped almost half the book since the beginning is about reading to babies and toddlers. The later chapters deal with independent readers. The chapters are broken down into various genres, details what the particular genre has to offer kids (exposure to Greek mythology for example), books within that genre, books for boys and books for girls. I found this passage interesting:
But the real argument for reading fantasy is that, at its best, fantasy stretches the imagination, intellect and emotions in ways that enhance, rather than discourage, children's engagement with real life...

But it can also make abstract ideas concrete, inviting young readers to consider complex philosophical, theological and political questions in uniquely accessible ways.
Huh. Who knew Tyler was getting all of that from something like the Pendragon** series? I'm so glad I found this book, if not just for the index of recommendations. I also love the fact that so many books we read as kids are included. I've been telling Tyler that some of my favorites like A Wrinkle in Time, Old Yeller, Call of the Wild and the like are considered classics (and are still in print) for a reason. Now I have this book as backup.

What about you? Have you been able to get your kids to read across genres? Have yours read, and liked, any of the books from our youth?

*Most recently I've stayed up until the wee hours for Backyard Saints and A Discovery of Witches.
**Tyler is obsessed with this series!


This post is sponsored by Buddig and their Be A Reader sweepstakes. Buddig is nourishing children’s minds as a proud supporter of Reading Is Fundamental (RIF) and the national Be A Reader campaign. During the yearlong Be A Reader campaign, parents and their children are encouraged to create their own reading and literacy experiences wherever they may be. As a proud supporter of RIF, Buddig will provide a minimum of $100,000 through May 30, 2012 to help children across the nation discover the joy of reading. 

How to Enter: To enter the sweepstakes look for specially marked packages of Buddig lunchmeats and go to Enter your code and complete the entry form to enter the sweepstakes. 

Eligibility: The Buddig Make A Sandwich And A Story sweepstakes is open to legal residents of the 50 United States and District of Columbia who are 18 years of age or older at the time of entry. Timing: Sweepstakes begins on Aug. 15, 2011 at 12:00:01 a.m. Central Time (CT) and ends on Oct. 30, 2011 at 11:59:59 p.m. (CT). 

*Five Grand Prize winners will receive a Scholastic book library plus a Buddig backpack filled with school supplies (ARV $200). 
*400 First Prize winners will receive a Buddig backpack (ARV $13.00). 
*118 winners each week beginning on Aug. 22 will receive a free Scholastic book (ARV $10.00).  Limit: 5 entries per person/email address per day

Future Politician?!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

This is one of my cliche Mommy Blogger posts where I brag about my kid. Tyler decided to run for Student Council again this year. I didn't think he would after how disappointed he was to lose by one vote last year. We helped him put together his bullet points and then he wrote the speech. He practiced for us and it was so cute! He gave me permission to post it here. 

My name it Tyler. I've been a student here since kindergarten. I think I should be on Student Council for know that I can give the school good ideas such as:
Menu suggestions for the cafeteria like the Mexican Lasagne my mom makes, the Tony Hawk skate boarding program for PE and once a month Movie Night Mondays!! (double exclamations are his)

Our school is great but I know it can be better. I should be on Student Council because I play hockey so I am responsible and a team player. Thank you for your time and listening and please vote for Tyler. 

Adorable! He lost by two votes this time but he's OK about it and I'm just happy he had the confidence to try again. He's really coming into his own and it's wonderful to see. 

Age Appropriate Books | More on Raising a Reader

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

This post is sponsored by Buddig's Sandwich and a Story Sweepstakes.

I can't remember who I was chatting with on Facebook but the subject was books we read as kids that were totally inappropriate for our age, and someone mentioned Flowers in the Attic. I can't remember exactly how old I was when I read it, but I was definitely new to double digits. How I went from reading Sweet Valley High to that series I'm not sure but those books definitely aren't for younger eyes.

While Tyler is definitely not reading anything near that inappropriate, he has been reading books above his grade level which present some challenges. He started reading a new series, Pendragon by DJ MacHale. He loves it. He says it's one of the best series of books he's ever read. I didn't think I needed to check out the series to make sure it was OK for his age, but I guess I should have. Last night he told me again how much he likes the books but, "they sure do say the H and A words alot."


I mentioned it to Phil and he said it's part of the hazards of having a kid who reads so much (and isn't content with short stories anymore). Eventually, they're going to start coming across things with older themes. I'm not sure why Young Adult authors feel the need to use swear words in their books in the first place. Maybe I'm just getting old.

The language in the books presented a good opportunity for Tyler and I to have a conversation about things he's allowed to do and say versus what we consider 'grown up' language and behaviors. We told him we didn't mind him continuing to read books with the occasional bad word as long as he's not repeating them. This has also been a good lesson for me to investigate the books he's interested in a little before I let him read them. When we want to know if a movie is OK for Tyler to watch, we go to IMDB. I was looking for a similar service for books but couldn't find one.

I can only imagine we'll run into this type of situation again, especially since Tyler favors the Sci Fi/Fantasy genre. Tell me, how do handle this in your home? 


This post is sponsored by Buddig and their Be A Reader sweepstakes. Buddig is nourishing children’s minds as a proud supporter of Reading Is Fundamental (RIF) and the national Be A Reader campaign. During the yearlong Be A Reader campaign, parents and their children are encouraged to create their own reading and literacy experiences wherever they may be. As a proud supporter of RIF, Buddig will provide a minimum of $100,000 through May 30, 2012 to help children across the nation discover the joy of reading.

How to Enter: To enter the sweepstakes look for specially marked packages of Buddig lunchmeats and go to Enter your code and complete the entry form to enter the sweepstakes. 

Eligibility: The Buddig Make A Sandwich And A Story sweepstakes is open to legal residents of the 50 United States and District of Columbia who are 18 years of age or older at the time of entry. Timing: Sweepstakes begins on Aug. 15, 2011 at 12:00:01 a.m. Central Time (CT) and ends on Oct. 30, 2011 at 11:59:59 p.m. (CT). 

*Five Grand Prize winners will receive a Scholastic book library plus a Buddig backpack filled with school supplies (ARV $200). 
*400 First Prize winners will receive a Buddig backpack (ARV $13.00). 
*118 winners each week beginning on Aug. 22 will receive a free Scholastic book (ARV $10.00).  Limit: 5 entries per person/email address per day. 

Lemons Into Lemonade

Thursday, June 30, 2011

A few days ago I got a really fun invitation in my email. It was for a press event this morning to see a new cheetah exhibit. It started super early so I made Tyler's breakfast last night and had it in his lunchbox in the fridge so he could eat in the car on the way. He didn't wake up very well so we were late getting out the door. Naturally, there was early commuter traffic. I took a chance and drove the coastal route more than halfway there which allowed us to make great time.

Except, the event wasn't at the San Diego Zoo in Balboa Park, it was at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park in Escondido. In my defense, though the two sites are no where near each other, the Zoo Safari Park used to be named the Wild Animal Park. We haven't been to either in ages and I haven't wrapped my head around the name change yet. I felt like such an idiot and said as much when I emailed the PR contact to tell her what I'd done. Next time, I really need to read the *entire* email!

I wanted to make it up to Tyler somehow and he loves going to the military base to look at the planes and tanks. Since we were in the lower part of San Diego I took him to the Flying Leatherneck Museum.

We ended up having a nice morning. It was a good way to fix my colossal screwup though I'm sure he would have much rather had his picture taken with a cheetah. 

So I don't feel so alone, please tell me if you've screwed up the way I did?
How did you end up making lemonade?

If you're into military planes check out my Flying Leatherneck Museum Flickr set

Apron Strings: To Cut or Not to Cut?

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Lately I've been feeling some tugging on my apron strings. Tyler is pulling, asking for more independence and trust. I'm a little afraid to give it to him, but also conscious that I don't want my own fears to infect him. I don't want him to second guess himself or not trust his instinct because he hears my voice inside his head.

A few weeks ago at after school pickup, he asked if we were walking home and was disappointed when I said no. Then he asked if he could walk home alone. Of course my first thought was "hell, no." But my clever boy played me like a violin. "You could drive along next to me." I didn't have a good reason to say no to that. Darn him for being so smart.

I thought about it for a few seconds and said yes before I changed my mind. We went over checking the driveways to look for cars backing out, what to do at the crosswalk and which way I wanted him to go to get to our neighborhood. I had him wait for me at a point just beyond the school's driveway.

I pulled the car around and waved. He set off. I'd let him get a little ahead and then catch up to him. I was hoping I wouldn't make the light at the intersection so we could go through together, but I did. I pulled over just across the street and craned my neck to watch him cross. Seeing my little guy on the busy corner brought a mix of emotions. I was anxious, proud, scared of the other driver's and happy he was following directions so well.

After he made it through the crosswalk I went home and waited for him. When he walked up the driveway, he was grinning ear to ear.

"That was fun, I want to do it again!"

Phil and I talked it over and he's OK with Tyler walking home if some of the other parents agree, too. We'd feel better if Tyler walked home with a buddy. I was all set to to agree and tell Tyler he could start walking home at least one day a week. He's going to be in fourth grade and will turn nine just after the new school year starts. 

But then I saw a story on my local news about a nine year old who was run over and pinned underneath an SUV. He owes his life to his backpack and bike helmet. Now I'm back to my original, "hell, no" with a side of, "not in this lifetime." I told Tyler, actually I apologized, that he doesn't have the same childhood we did. When I was a kid we roamed, didn't check in with our parents and didn't need to have pre-arranged play dates. I wish Tyler could experience being a kid the same way we did.

I know I have to let go. It's time. It's the right thing to do if I want Tyler to be self reliant and independent. But dang it, I'm not ready! My apron strings are fine just the way they are.

How old were your kids when they started walking home from school?

Questions Kids Ask

Thursday, June 2, 2011

This morning Tyler asked me, "Mom, is Zoe a mammal?" I wasn't even out of bed yet, let alone fueled with my first cup of coffee. I had to reach way back and try to remember the technical definition of a mammal before I could respond. 

Our Fur Baby
Of course, after I dropped him off at school I turned to Google to make sure I'd given him the right answer. 

What out of the blue questions have you gotten lately?

Future San Diego Padre | Wordless Wednesday

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Hoorah! | Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Thanks for the Warning

Monday, May 2, 2011

Happy Mother's Day to me?

Tyler: "Mom, I'm sorry."

Me: "What for?"

Tyler: "When I was coloring your Mother's Day card at school, I messed up."
Me: "I'm sure it will be fine."

Tyler: "I don't know how to draw faces. I accidentally gave you a beak."

Me: "Oh, well, uh, thank you for trying."

Tyler: "I'm sorry I drew you ugly."

Me: "That's OK."

So now, in addition to Phil being out of town for two weeks and the 7am hockey game on Mother's Day, the only card I'll be getting is a portrait of me with a beak. 

The joys of motherhood. :D

Well Played Kid!

Monday, February 28, 2011

Tyler and Phil rough house with each other at least once a day. Tonight, they were play fighting when I walked into the room. Tyler turned to look at me and Phil popped him one.

DS: "Hey, that's not fair!"

DH: "You weren't looking, how is that not fair?"

DS: "Mom distracted me!"

DH: "So, now it's mom fault?"

DS: "Yeah, because she distracted me with her beauty!"

All together now: awwwwwww.

Raising Kids Who Read: Parents Don't Give Up!

Friday, February 4, 2011

I've heard some parents say they can't get their kids to read or that their kids don't like reading. To that I say, why not try reading with them? I just had a whole classroom full of kids, sitting quietly at their desks, hanging onto my every word. I wonder how many of those kids' parents, the ones who think their children don't like books, would be surprised to see their child so engaged?
Books, books, books, books, books, books, and © 2008 Kenny Louie | more info (via: Wylio)

My son's teacher has made reading a priority in her classroom and I love it. She has a giant class library, the kids have assigned reading time and she's asked parents to volunteer to be Mystery Reader. That's what I did this afternoon. We parents give her five clues going from generic to specific that the kids use to guess who the Reader might be. She starts the clues on Monday and gives one a day. It keeps the kids excited, gives them something to look forward to and makes reading fun, the way it should be. 

It's true there's a lot more to distract kids than when we were younger, but reading is such a gift! I can't imagine not making as much of an effort as possible to give that gift to my child. The kids in Tyler's class today loved being read to! I took The Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle Treasury with me and read the Won't Pick Up Toys Cure. The kids laughed and I asked them questions.

When I finished the story they clapped and asked if I would come back again. "We love it when you're Mystery Reader!" "Will you bring Mrs. Piggle Wiggle again?" Talk about feeling like a rockstar! To paraphrase the Grinch, my heart grew three sizes. And when one of Tyler's classmates hugged me on my way out? It totally burst. 

It makes me sad to think that, for some of those kids, the classroom might be their only exposure to be reading. Especially since they so obviously enjoy Mystery Reader Fridays. I'm sure I'll get a little flack for saying this, but I wonder how many parents who feel their kids aren't readers just gave up too soon?

There are so many options for reading besides 'traditional' books like digital books and ereaders, that there's plenty of opportunity to expose kids to reading. Maybe through these more 'techy' methods, there will be an increase in kids who learn to love reading. At least I hope so.

Are you kid readers? Do you have advice for parents who want their kids to read more?

My Kid Told a Racist Joke: Advice Needed

Monday, January 31, 2011

I'm so upset right now I don't know what to do. Tyler got in the car after school saying he had a joke to tell me.

"An American, a Canadian and a Mexican get on a plane."

As soon as he got the words out I bristled. I knew where he was going and I wasn't happy. I'd not heard the joke before but there's no way a joke that starts out like that is going to be good.

He finished as we pulled into the driveway. I put the car in park and, I'll admit, I lit into him a bit. I kept my voice calm but he could tell I was very angry. I told him jokes like that are not OK, not appropriate and he's never to repeat it.

I asked him to substitute a white person, black person and an Asian in the joke. Was it still funny? Did he still think it was OK to repeat?

I asked him if he'd heard the words racist or racism. He hadn't so I explained their definitions. I talked about Columbus, slavery and immigration. I didn't get too deep into those issues since he's only 8, but the examples I used from TV we've watched were things he could relate to and understand.

I told him what I was most angry about, that a joke like that is making its way around the playground. I told him I was angry at the situation, not at him. He told me which friend he heard the joke from. It's a little boy he had a playdate with a few weeks ago. Tyler said the boy heard the joke from someone else. I believe him. I don't think he's devious enough to make that up on the spot to protect his friend.

My dilemma is, should I call this boys mother and tell her what her son is saying? I know that, for the boys, the joke was funny because someone gets punched in the face, not because of its undertones. As kids they just hear the slapstick. But it's something I would want to know about. How do I even begin a conversation like that?

If someone you only met once called you with this information, how would you take it? I want to be clear that I'm not accusing her son of being a racist, merely passing on the information. I don't want to put any strain on the boys' friendship. But, I hate to think of the (blond haired, light eyed) boy telling the joke again around someone some of the older kids and having one of them call him out. I hope I'd be opening the door for Tyler's friend and his parents to have a conversation about acceptance. What if it backfires?

Would you call the other mom? Has another parent ever called you with something like this? Have you ever made a phone call like this? HELP!

Our Hockey Player: Wordless Wednesday

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Childproof - Until They Can Read

Thursday, December 9, 2010

regulatephoto © 2010 anna | more info (via: Wylio)
From the 'funny things my kid says' files: 

Tyler just got over bronchitis. When he started his medicine I reminded him that he's not allowed to take it by himself. One night at bedtime he offered to open the cough syrup for me. I let him try knowing he wouldn't be able to. He asked why the top was just spinning and I explained what child proofing is and why it's used with medicine. 

A few nights later I told him to get ready for bed and that I'd be down shortly to give him his medicine before he brushed his teeth. When I got downstairs I saw him put the bottle down really quickly and he had that guilty 'I just did something' look on his face.

Tyler: Mom, can I ask you a question?

Me: Sure.

Tyler: If the people who make medicine don't want kids to be able to open the bottles, why do they print the instruction on the top of the lid? 

Me: That's an excellent question. You figured out how to open this, didn't you?

Tyler: [looking sheepish] Yes. [then excited] Wanna see me?

I had to laugh.

Give the Gift of Reading {Scholastic Giveaway}

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

*CLOSED Congratulations Cindi!*

Phil and I both love to read. We wanted to pass that on to Tyler so we started reading to him when was a baby. It's been gratifying to watch Tyler's love affair with books develop. He was so happy to get his own library card! When we go to the library I recommend the books I read when I was his age.

He's almost finished with The Chronicles of Prydain series, he's started Judy Blume's Fudge books and some of the Encyclopedia Brown series. He's inherited his father's love of Sci Fi and Fantasy too. We think it's great that his bookshelves are so diverse.

I think reading opens so many doors. People who are well read are on their way to being well rounded. We see the benefit of Tyler's love of reading in his schoolwork and how much he likes to write stories. It feels good to see Tyler with a book. Loving to read is something he will always have.

When Scholastic asked if I wanted to host a giveaway so someone else could give the gift of reading I didn't hesitate. Books are one of my favorite new baby gifts. The sent me two books to review; Captain Sky Blue by Richard Egielski; and It's Christmas, David by David Shannon.

Both of these were really cute. It's Christmas, David is perfect as a bedtime story book for parents to read to young kids. The sentences are short and the pictures are colorful and fun. Captain Sky Blue is also a good bedtime book for younger kids but is also good for new readers.

Would you like copies of your own? Scholastic gave me a HUGE prize pack filled with the most popular children’s books in the marketplace to offer one lucky reader!

One winner will receive these titles: Captain Sky Blue, It's Christmas, David, Ook and Gluk as well as Tony Baloney, Odious Ogre and I Spy Christmas A Tree! The prize pack is valued at almost $90.

How do you win? You know I like to keep it easy. 

1. Is reading important in your home? What are your kids' favorite books? Do they love to read or is it a chore? Answer any (or all) of the questions in the comments and be entered to win (required).

2. I MUST have a way to get in touch with you! I will have to delete comments with no contact info.

3. Comments will close on Tuesday, December 14th at 11:59pm CA time.

4. I will use to draw the winner and post the results/notify winners via email and Twitter.

5. For two extra entries: (not required) Tweet, and/or blog about this contest and leave each of your links in a separate comment (three contest entry opportunities total). You will need a free Twitter account.

6. If the notified winner has not responded within 48 hours a new winner will be chosen.

7. You do not have to follow or subscribe to this blog as a method of entry (but you're more than welcome to!). Tweet as often as you like, but only one Tweet will count as an extra entry. Leave one comment for each entry. Here is the URL to this post:

8. The contest is open to US entrants only. 
Thank you to Scholastic for supplying the review and giveaway items! Good luck!

Would You Turn Down Free Tickets Because of Your Child's Sports Practice?

Monday, October 4, 2010

I haven't done as well as I think I can at being a Yes Mom when it comes to sweets and computer time (though I have bought Tyler two popsicles). But I think Phil and I do kick ass when it comes to doing things with Tyler that make lasting memories. Last Friday, I didn't tell Tyler until after school that he and I were going to Disneyland. We stayed overnight, and the next day we checked out all the Halloween stuff in the park. 

I'm so fortunate with all the things this blog has brought me. I try to share my good fortune with friends and family whenever I can. I invited our neighbor's kids to go with us as a thank you for watching Tyler when I was in Vegas. They declined because they had a busy weekend planned. I invited my other neighbor. No, sorry, dance and karate. 

I invited so many people, and got the same answer each time. Everyone declined because of their kids' schedules. I have to say I was totally surprised. I literally could not give the extra tickets away! I agree that we have to teach our kids to honor their commitments to their sports. We've had that conversation ourselves when Tyler complains about being too busy. 

But the way I see it, Tyler has his whole adult life to be beholden to someone else and to feel the weight of commitments he can't ignore. Childhood goes by so fast. It won't be too much longer until, as far as Tyler is concerned, the only things Phil and I will be good for are rides, spending money and keeping him fed. Now is the time to make memories. Now is the time for bending the rules a little. 

We've taken Tyler out of school for fun stuff before and we don't feel the least bit bad about it. Tyler has told us more times than we can count, "this has been the best day of my life!" We're so lucky to be able to have given him that. To us, that's part of what being a parent is about. Even though we didn't have company, Tyler and I had a great time together. I just wish the friends I invited had been able to see beyond the missed practice to the potential for lasting memories.

What do you think? Is it OK to miss a class for something like this? Would you have gone? 

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*Disney provided our hotel accommodations and tickets to the parks.
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