Monday, August 18, 2008

The Answer To Life's Problems

I have found it. Much searching for nearly 37 years (ouch) has yielded, this past weekend, the answer to life's little and big stressors.

We like to call it "running away." Others call it by another word: "avoidance." Or "sticking one's head in the sand."

While I didn't literally bury my head, I did go directly to a little sandy spot at the Oregon coast in order to clear my noggin of the swirling homeschool storm. (Not that homeschooling looks to be stormy. My own resistance, futile, was a storm of sorts, and has now blown over thanks to a brisk ocean breeze. Or sandstorm. Whatever.)

Look at this brand of serenity now:

And take a peek, if you will, at a little corner of my favorite place:

Here's a dizzying view from the library there:

Just a little walk away on a stormy day:

Plus a little bookend of peace and perspective:


Now that I'm back to reality: I was going to review that puberty book today. The American Girl book. (I'm sure there should be a little "tm" there by The American Girl, but I'm not that HTML-savvy. Plus it irks me a tad that it's possible to copyright or trademark those three words. Another rant for another day.)

Madeleine and I have been reading this book a little at a time. She'll be 10 in December, and I'm not really as deep in denial (as it may seem) about the relentless march of time and its stealthy theft of my girls' babyhood. Some of Madeleine's friends are already experiencing the changes the book discusses (notice the way I can't bring myself to name even one of those specific "changes.") and it just seemed like time for us to talk about growing up and what that means.

So I'll touch on my opinions about this book, not official and review-y, but, you know, like a mom telling other moms what she thinks. I know one neat mom blogger who was horrified by the book's extreme attention to detail, but in our family, the illustrations and frank tone the book employs really work for us.

Are we ready for the five stages of development? Not exactly, but we're ready to talk about them. It's a little like reading "What To Expect When You're Expecting" when what you're really trying to do is decide whether to get pregnant. Except there's no deciding about puberty. Unless you're Peter Pan. Yeah, so, the What To Expect comparison doesn't work at all.

The American Girl book goes through "how to" take care of "your changing body," right down to encouraging girls to be modest and discuss with an adult how much if any makeup might be appropriate. Yes, it has cartoon-like drawings (in my opinion, pretty tasteful) of skin issues (read: pimples) and even drawings of the stages that might lead up to the need for a training bra. It also discusses mood swings and sensitivity. I LOVE that it does this.

My analytical daughter always needs to know what's next. This book worked for us. What have you found that works for you in talking to your kids about changes?

And, in a related matter:

I am much encouraged about homeschooling. Today I visited with some amazing parents who are spending lots of time learning with their children, and I remembered: That's really why I wanted to be a mom. I am so blessed to have the opportunity to learn along with my girls, to be present while they continue to experience this awesome world we inhabit.

So, yeah, it's sappy. But at least I'm not paralyzed or panicked anymore about forever screwing up their baby educations. For the moment. And, as we have learned on this blog, until further notice....

1 comment:

Agent K said...

Said book still freaketh me out! I will be sticking my head back into the sand and anticipate return to reality sometime after the 30th birthday of my daughter.

Somehow just the mention of the 'What to Expect..' book makes me want another child or 10.