Thursday, September 16, 2010

Living joyfully


Here's Stefan soaking it all in on Mt. Rainier in Washington state. Ah, the joys of being a toddler -- no, now preschooler! He always brings a smile to strangers' faces as he runs by them. Stefan is almost always exuding joy from every ounce of his little active body. Yes, ACTIVE! I was thinking of signing him up again for the Chinese class he took last fall, but he cannot sit still! Especially if there are other kids around. A normal trip out includes my chasing after him, worrying about losing sight of him, dodging the crowds as he wiggles quickly through them, ahead of me.

Things feel like they're falling into place properly now. I feel happy and well-balanced. I have time to think about my novel that I won't start writing until November 1 (I'm so excited -- I've got a character, a supporting character, a vague setting, and a non-existent plot!). I have time to volunteer at our homeschooling school's resource center (fun!). I have a few moments here and there to sing an opera aria or two in a very acoustically live area of our house (joy!). I write in a cafe and take a jazz dance class every Sunday morning (so wish for more of these exact mornings). I have time to write out a customized math lesson every morning for Maylin (she needs variety, just the right amount of easy and challenging work, and games -- logic puzzles, sudoku, hidden pictures to graph, and fun word problems). I am teaching Maylin piano and she likes it and is doing great! I have time to take Stefan to a beautiful park nearby and enjoy the serenity (no people!) and the scenery (amazing view of the bay, including San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge). I am enjoying Maylin's own interest in writing, as she types away (now on her second page of a story entitled, "The Dolls").

Recently, I asked her again what she wanted to be when she grows up. She replied as I expected, "an artist." But then I asked her, "what kind of an artist?" Maylin answered, "An artist that writes and draws." The drawing part was nothing new to me. She draws almost all the time. Now, she is writing almost all the time as well. Her own self-initiated projects. Stories, pen pal letters, e-mails...and her writing is good! And I really can't claim any credit for it! Except that I model a lot of that for her. She sees me writing and typing, sees that I enjoy it, and then does it herself. I think that parents modeling positive behavior is so important and much more influential on our children than we think, and much more influential than anything we tell them. Actions speak stronger than words?

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