Boyo had only started ballet in the last quarter of 2010. Now he's had more than a year of it, with many performances, and is still focused and intent. We've had ups and downs with behavior and some issues in school, but I'm happy to say we are ending the year on the 'up' side. We're still riding the wave of 'The Nutcracker'-induced good behavior (which we think is due to the effect of performance demands and being surrounded by a positive atmosphere of kind, helpful people) and it seems to have pushed him into the next phase of maturity. We hope. There also appears to have been another advance in Boyo's musical ability, as well; almost as if he is appreciating that what he is playing is music, and listening for mistakes and improvements.
Anyone remember the old Virginia Slims ads? Girlie really has come a long way, Baby. She has begun to advocate for herself and articulate what she thinks her needs are, as well as negotiating food choices and making compromises toward good nutrition. She is doing consistently well in school with fewer accommodations, and has begun doing homework independently; occasionally with little or no supervision. Last spring Girlie officially became a puppy raiser for Guide Dogs of America and has grown a lot in regard to learning responsibility, both for herself and the dog she is raising.
Both kids have gone entire days without getting into serious, screaming conflict with each other. This is the first time I feel comfortable putting that down in black and white. In the past few months I have witnessed them playing a game cooperatively on more than one occasion. Admittedly, I'm listening for signs of tension mounting so if necessary I can interrupt with a reasonable excuse to stop the game before it degrades, but hearing them laughing together is a miracle I despaired of ever happening.
Dearest and I are pleased and surprised with all the progress made, and happy for some of the differences made in our lives as a couple. We occasionally have uninterrupted conversations while the kids are awake. We feel there is plenty to celebrate, in spite of all the rough times we've had.
My New Year wish to family and friends is that you find something to celebrate in life. Such a simple little wish that may require maximum effort, at times - but we can do it if we remain strong. And when you find that thing that's worth celebrating, especially if it's in the midst of a mess, or a heartache, or a tragedy, revel in it. Do a little dance. Happy New Year!
|Tiny little sweater, knitted for fun, on a 6" artist's model.|