Friday, September 08, 2006

Back to School

School is in full swing, and thus far my DD has gotten on the bus each morning with a smile and a wave, sailed off it in the afternoon like she owned the world, and skipped home with me proclaiming that she "loves school." (If this sounds uneventful, well - it's hard to explain without giving you her life story what an enormous deal this is and what an immense burden of stress and anxiety it lifts from my shoulders. ) She's still herself ("we went to the gym today and the other kids played games, but I just did my own thing") and I am waiting with interest to see what the teachers make of her, and how long before I get a call to discuss her behaviour. I am never sure how soon to initiate The Discussion - partly because I want her to have the opportunity to be seen with fresh eyes, and partly because when I have been proactive early on, I have invariably been condescended to as an over-involved mother who thinks her child is different. Then they meet her and it rapidly becomes apparent just how far off the standard Bell curve she really is, but I always wonder if things would go more smoothly if only they had fair warning.

She is, in a word, More. In good ways - precocious, articulate, frightningly bright - and also in ways that are not necessarily bad, but do generate conflict - stubborn, independent, sensitive, impulsive, and fiercely non-conformist. It is particularly the latter that creates friction in a school environment, and more worryingly (to my mind) tends to obscure her intelligence, because despite endless discussion, she just does not comprehend why she must perform menial and repetitive tasks - like colouring Barney inside the lines or copying endless lines of letters - on command, and at the same time as everyone else. So she often refuses, which is perceived as meaning that she can't. I know doing unpleasant tasks on cue and in deference to authority are valid life skills - but in the past it seems to have been the overiding focus of her school experience, and I can't believe it is the only thing she needs to learn. At the same time, the whole "gifted" business has become such an abused and overused notion, that I am reluctant to approach it even tangentially. I want her to become a responsible citizen, and make the most of her innate abilities - I'm just not sure how to get that out of the school system.

There has been knitting:

Actually, the body is now finished, and fits like a very curvy glove (to my immense satisfaction and relief), but since I was not farsighted enough to bring along the software for my camera, I have to wait until the card is full and pay $11 to have it downloaded to CD, so most of my photos are several days out of date by the time I post them. Yet another scenario that will hopefully be remedied in the near future.

Also more silver crochet:

My BIL the carpenter will help me get my bench installed and functional this weekend, and then I can resume work at the jewellery which will, with any luck, become my primary contribution to the family income. A scary and immensely exciting prospect.