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.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Nearly Normal

We're getting there. I was trying (until that little outburst on Saturday) to blog only about the (many) happy bits of arriving here in Whistler, because who wants to hear about maternal anxiety and bureaucratic insanity and all the basic stress and uncertainty that a huge life change (even a very positive one) brings? Then a friend sent a snippy email demanding to know why I hadn't personally advised her of the details of our lives or gotten on with a particular business project when I was, according to my blog, possessed of endless leisure time with which to knit and sip Guinness, and my biggest worry in life was the whereabouts of the cat. It occured to me that perhaps I had edited out a little too much authenticity.

I find blogging a very interesting form of journalling. Despite numerous attempts, I have never regularly kept a private journal on paper, primarily because I tend only to write in it when I am tremendously unhappy about something I can't verbalize - consequently, it is heavily weighted towards the morose and maudlin and not exactly an inspiring (or accurate) record of my existence. Writing with the (even slim) possibility that it will be read calls into play my achiever's drive to write well, and forces me to critically review where I am choosing to expend my thought and energy. I do have an unfortunate tendency to pessimism, and choosing to narrate the positive aspects of daily life is an excellent antidote.

So, speaking of positive, last week we took the gondola up Whistler mountain for a bit of alpine hiking and the annual family photo.

We live in a condo about halfway down the photo on the far right.

Looking towards some of the ski runs on Blackcomb mountain:


Gratuitous scenery:

Of course I brought my knitting!:

Alpine flower season is almost over, but I still found and photographed loads of inspiration for future explorations into colour and texture.

And, more good news - we should have cable internet hooked up by the end of the week or beginning of next, which will mean the end of 12 cents a minute blogging AND a return to daily blog reading! I feel like I'm missing so much, but I can only afford so much time online at the moment.