Tuesday, January 08, 2013 • 4:50 AM Comments ()

Friends, Concentration, the Sky

posted by Sarah Werthan Buttenwieser

2013 has begun with a lot of around the kid time, a fair bit of work, a newfound addiction to the very stressful, heart-pumping Homeland (eight episodes in, being watched with the eldest son while I work out on the elliptical; we’ve watched just about every single day so I am pretty sure that television is currently good for my health) and some pretty skies. That oddly shaped week last week is over.

During my time with—well, really in proximity to—Saskia and Arella on Sunday I was reminded that pretend is the work children do. There was an elaborate game of family going on. I had to stifle the urge to answer to “Mama” because I wasn’t the mama in the game. I can’t tell you what they pretended because I didn’t listen too hard. I am a master of benign neglect.

They also did some pretty amazing tracing together of the pictures in Arella’s new sticker book. When they are together and share in moments of concentration, I feel as if I get to glimpse their studious selves. I am already quite familiar with their dreaming and giggling and not-getting-along and snack-loving selves. This one is newer to see for sustained periods.

Saskia reveals a similar look in her eyes sometimes when she’s in gymnastics class. On the balance beam, she can only be described as intent. I guess she can also be described as highly coordinated for a person of her age.

Anyway, I note that as we return to something approximating “real life” I am grateful for friendships—not just mine, but my children’s and my husband’s and my mother’s. Many of my peeps resolved in some way to make friendships a higher priority this year. I think they’re right. Friends sustain us. Alongside friends, we grow. Yadda-yadda-yadda. Two other good things for me as I relocate my rhythm are the ever-changing sky. Winter brings a slightly different palate and it’s so pretty. Lastly, we weren’t on the list for not yet returning our envelope with signed notice that we’d seen Remy’s math assessment sheet. I felt palpably together for not f*&^ing up. What that says about me… hmm, but the dear husband emailed me back that he’d experienced the same.

Three things to share:

Recess is crucial to children's development. You don’t say? I was less polite about this when I posted it yesterday.

The way I’d describe the essay from Modern Love on Sunday is how love can propel self-awareness.

For Kveller, I wrote about my surprise that Saskia’s hair—formerly long, currently short—mattered to me. Readers took issue with the fact that we buzzed her hair at all, my reminder perhaps as to why no one in the preschool class has chosen to follow suit for purposes of fashionability?

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