Monday, April 17, 2006

Conversations with A Son, A Daughter, A Nephew

My son is thirteen and obsessed with the weather, especially thunderstorms and tornadoes. Around 5 am one morning this spring, a huge clap of thunder shook the house, announcing the arrival of the latest storm. From across the hall I hear an excited, "YES!" and then nothing more. That's my boy!

He is finishing up his first year in all regular classes. He has struggled a bit with the transition as he now has to be responsible for everything himself. We learned recently more of his history (he is adopted); he tested with a math deficiency years ago. We already knew he struggled with math as Mom and Dad have struggled with patience in helping him with homework this year. A large part of our frustration is the repetition of the same questions over and over and the same mistakes over and over. This is very evident in the joy of fractions, decimals, and percents and all of the conversions therein. At least once every evening, "Dad, 7/8, that's 1/2 isn't it?" or "90% is 1/2 isn't it?" "Yes, son. In the end, all fractions do reduce to 1/2...and a river runs through them."

My twelve-year old blonde-on-the-inside daughter called home from camp one evening this past week to tell me that she was having a marvelous time, things were very different than what she expected, and just to let me know, that she was "still in two pieces."

Palm Sunday weekend, my son and I went to visit my parents at my ancestral home. My sister and her two-year old son live with Mom and Dad. Grandma told him that it would be bedtime soon and he would need to put on his pajamas. He replied, "I want Spiderman."

Pajama pants were on and he was attempting to get the pajama shirt on. One sleeve was down his chest with the other down his back. He was struggling to get his arm through the sleeve and had chosen the wrong sleeve for his right arm. Grandma and Grandpa were saying, "Let Uncle Matt help you." My attempt to help was met with resistance and raised voice, "I DO IT MYSELF! I DO IT MYSELF!" I told him, "Spiderman is going to be on your back, let me help you." He further insisted. "I DO IT MYSELF!"

He managed to get his shirt on successfully. But when looking down at the front of his shirt and seeing nothing but blue, no Spiderman, he began jumping up and down, a little panic in his voice. "NO! NO! NO!" and tried pulling the front of the shirt around from the back to fix it.

I laughed so hard I snorted.

It was suggested again to let Uncle Matt help fix it. To no avail. He would only trust Grandpa to fix it. Grandpa had to convince him that he would actually have to take his arms back out of the sleeves to resolve the dilemma. Good job, Grandpa!

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