Thursday, January 28, 2010

Under Age Reading...

There are those moments that come along from time to time that scream, "Blog about me!"

Tonight was one of those moments occurred.

A little background first.

Aislynn is four years old. At three years old she started reading. Gasp! I know, this is obscene and not particularly the norm. Believe me, I know. I taught kindergarten once upon a time. Don't worry, my two year old thinks the letter "I" is a "2." Perhaps I will write about this early reading thing another day, but for now it is important to understand that I have a little reader. Don't worry, this is not a "brag hag" post that will make you puke. Stay with me here. Aislynn reads everything she sees, including some "expressive" thoughts on public bathroom walls, and inside park playhouses. I think you get the picture. As you can imagine, this poses a problem at times.

Which brings us to tonight. And this was a first.

It all started with this.
That's right folks. The Berenstain Bears.

Not long after I put Aislynn to bed did I hear a bedroom door slowly open and my four year old's little face peek into my room. She usually looks at a few books in her bed before falling asleep.

"What are you doing?" I asked.

"Mom, I have a problem," she announced with deep concern in her voice. She then handed me The Berenstain Bears Clean House. Should I be taking a hint here? Aislynn opened the book to this page and said, "Look."

Yep, the "I Can Read Books" index page. No one usually cares about this page, except my child.

I was not at all sure where this was going, drawing a blank, uh...I asked, "What's the problem with this page?"

"This book is haunted mom. See!" she pointed to the title that read, This Book Is Haunted, under author Joanne Rocklin.
I looked at her little face full of concern. This was no joke to my daughter. While trying to take this situation as serious as she made it out to be, I also tried to hold back some laughter at my early reader's interesting discovery.

"Ok," I started, "This book you are reading here is named The Clean House. This page in the back of your The Clean House book tells us a whole bunch of names of other books, see?" I pointed to the list of names including the unmentionable.

Crickets. Blank stare.

"But Mom, this book is haunted, oh no!" she persisted.

At that point I said a brief thanks to my excellent parenting combined with Nick Jr combined with the month of October which apparently had instilled in this four year old a definition to the word "haunted." Through some harmless Halloween-ish themed episodes of Wow, wow, Wubbzy-oh-and honorable mention to Mickey Mouse Club House on Disney. Thanks. (Sarcasm)

"Aislynn. This book is NOT haunted. And the word "haunted" is just a silly word that people use sometimes at Halloween (close enough to the real definition)," I added as a sub point to my original explanation.

"But Mom, see right here, THIS BOOK IS HAUNTED. We have a problem," she persisted with sincere urgency this time. I could see we were not going to get anywhere down my path of reasoning. Time to call an audible.

"I have an idea!" I said very excitedly. As a mom and former kindergarten teacher, I learned a long time ago, that if you say anything in an enthusiastic voice to children under the age of 6, they grow very excited and thrown off track.

Aislynn perked up, "What Mom?"

Eyeing a black pen on my dresser, I took matters into my own hands.

"See, is that better?" I asked
"This book is HAPPY!" she shouted. "Yes, Mom, this is so good."

Big Sigh.

"See, now we don't have a problem," I said. Aislynn was clearly happy with my edit.

"Thanks Mom," she said as she headed back off to bed.

I didn't realize I had to sensor the Berenstain Bears books...But then again, Sister Bear does play "spin the bottle" at her six year old birthday party in Too Much Birthday...

Monday, January 18, 2010

Not a "tween" romance...

Lately I wanted to write something meaningful and authentic...but nothing came. I don't think I have "writers block." I think actually think I'm dealing with "writers blockage." There is so much inside my head-ideas, thoughts, feeling, etc. that I can't actually focus in on any one thing clearly creating quite a build up. So I guess I'll just write anyway and hope I can get things unclogged!

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It always started with a song. Actually, it started with some sort of "drama" that usually involved a boy. Then came the song. The song had to be a major downer, usually a popular and depressing song, and it had to be played on repeat. Of course this scenario also required a locked room with dim lighting or candles. The perfect scene for melodramatic teenage episodes with lots of tears, usually about insignificant problems in the whole scheme of things. Oh to be a teenager again, or not!

When the "teen years" come up in random moments at family gatherings, my father in law can always be quoted saying ,

"Oh, I'd do those teen years over in a heartbeat with the boys (my husband and his brother).

My response is usually a look of disbelief followed by, "Yea...I don't think my parents share those same sentiments."

I was not quite the model teenager. I was the perfect model of sneakiness...except when my mom caught me attempting something sneaky. She said you always have a sixth sense about your kids. Being the ripe age of 29, I now look at "tweens" and teens alike, and think,

You look like you are 5 years old! You should not be holding hands with boys! Let alone doing other things with boys...

I am constantly telling my husband I need a good 1o years to chill out before dealing with two teenage girls. I technically only have 9 years until I am faced with my first teenage girl. I am hoping my sneakiness has not genetically passed to my little ladies.

Lately I notice myself listening to songs about love. The songs are not about a superficial love, a lame boy girl drama, or something absolutely pointless. The songs are about a real, true, and unfathomable love.

I think about my teenage definition of love. How do you define something so shallow? I gave my heart away far too many times. It usually ended with a song, a candlelit room, and many tears. I remember being sixteen sitting in a car with my boyfriend, about to be x-boyfriend, pleading and crying for us not to break up, so afraid of what it would be like to not have his "love." Not the proudest most confident of moments! But there is NO fear in love. I John 4:18 says, "...perfect love expels all fear..."

I grew up in a Christian home, with a loving family, in a Christian school, memorizing lots of verses about God's love. And somehow, I still looked for love in a variety of places. Sometimes knowing something is not enough. You have to really believe it, and feel it, and practice it. I feel like it took me years to "get" that, to get "how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his [God's] love really is Ephesians 4:18." It's a constant struggle to remember this fact and to believe it, feel it, and practice it.

This year I hope to believe, feel, and practice the real love of God in all its hugeness.