Tuesday, August 04, 2009
Can you see the urchin in the blue shirt, hiding up in the fig tree?
The figs have begun to ripen this week, so our older two boys have spent a lot of time climbing the dusty, spider-filled branches to collect the fruit. Eldest is especially fond of sitting up there, sucking up the gooey red insides until he can't reach any more.
I hope those branches will stay strong enough to hold him for a very long time.
On Saturday, he participated in his first kung fu "form competition." The students demonstrate a memorized series of stances, blocks and strikes used to develop fluency. Each class has its own form, using the moves practiced at that level.
Eldest is in the advanced kids class, but he is the youngest by a year. He practiced his form at home all week to prepare for the competition, and we were very proud of him. Middlest has also started taking kung fu, but the beginning students didn't participate in the competition. He happily cheered on his brother.
The focus at the kung fu studio is "Discipline, Diligence, and Determination." It's been a good combination for Eldest, who at times has reminded me of a cross between the Absent-Minded Professor and Maria vonTrapp, with plenty of Hagrid thrown in the mix!
We were watching "The Sound of Music" tonight, while packing for another trip tomorrow. The boys like the part when the nuns at the abbey sing about Maria.
The song always reminds me of my firstborn. How do you catch a wave upon the sand? But tonight for the first time, he recognized himself in it. I noticed a look on his face. A little bit uncomfortable, a little self-conscious.
"If I were a girl, I'd be named Maria," he said to me, rather seriously. "You'd name me that because of the movie."
He's the child who loves to wander outside by himself, listening to the trees, talking to the bees. He doesn't walk, he bounces. He loses his shoes every day, forgets to finish tasks, and entertains his brothers as often as he irritates them.
"I like Maria," I said. I want him to know that he is not a problem. He is adored, even when he is driving us a little bonkers.
We have watched him mature so much over the last year, and lately I'm just trying to figure out how to keep up with him. He already knows more than I do about most of God's creatures. He remembers everything he's ever heard on Animal Planet, Discovery and National Geographic.
Last week he said to me, "You know, Mom, there's a difference between unschooling and homeschooling. Can we do a little more homeschooling?"
I think that means he's ready for more input from me, more suggestions, more sitting down together to study something new. Less "letting be."
Well, sweet boy, I will make my best attempt at it.