Sunday, February 24, 2013

Overthinking Boogie Board Surfing

I love this photo of 10 year old Annie enjoying boogie-board surfing after being taught how by her 14 year old sister, Emma.
It captures a huge moment.  Trying new things can be challenging for a person prone to perfectionism.  Trying new things can be daunting when there's someone else in the family who makes everything look easy.  Learning to do new things from someone with whom you are wrapped up with in relationship as complicated as sisterhood is humbling.  Having real fears and not letting them prevent you from moving forward is a hard thing to master.  Teaching a sensitive perfectionist type can be frustrating.  But there was magic in the air the other day.  Both girls were patient and persistent, the timing was clearly right for Annie to learn this skill with a little loving instruction from big sister, and the resulting success built pride and confidence and I hope enthusiasm for trying other new things.  Emma experienced the joy of helping someone succeed in doing something they didn't think they could do.  It also built trust, love, and appreciation between the girls.  Well, at least it seemed like all these things to could have been that they were just having fun boogie-boarding ;-)
The girls have been out of school for more than two weeks.  An "unprecedented" snowfall accounted for a week of it and school vacation the other.  Here's an incomplete list of some of what they've been up to:
  • Three young adult novels read with pure and total abandon
  • Measuring snow
  • Practicing patience regarding the making of snow ice cream
  • Finally making snow ice cream
  • Loving snow ice cream!
  • Drawing, drawing, drawing
  • Watching Born Free and liking it
  • Watching the Cake Boss episode in which Make A Wish Foundation children had their dreams come true
  • Watching Dr. Who with Dad
  • Watching Dirty Jobs with Dad
  • Building a snow cave
  • Building sledding runs
  • Sledding
  • Being bored
  • Baking, baking, baking
  • Playing with friends and a beloved cousin
  • Friends sleeping over
  • Winter Guard practices and competition
  • Airplane travel from Connecticut to Florida (and back, sigh)
  • 6 days, 5 nights spent visiting grandparents and sharing space, stories, and time together
  • Relaxing on a tree swing overlooking the Gulf of Mexico
  • Climbing trees in a lagoon
  • Finding a secret place among the plantings
  • Choosing post cards
  • Grocery shopping
  • Enjoying a very relaxed mom
  • Boogie board surfing
  • Teaching boogie board surfing
  • Learning boogie board surfing and feeling satisfaction, a surge of confidence, and overwhelming joy
  • Attending a drum circle and having eyes opened to a wide variety of people!
  • Practicing photography
  • Taking walks
  • Swimming with dolphins in their natural habitat (OK, so they were a bit far away, but still!)
  • Watching Mom's child-like enthusiasm for standing in the Gulf of Mexico while pelicans pelt the water and a pod of dolphins swims by
  • Observing a turtle
  • Observing geckos
  • Watching the behavior of sea birds (deciding sandpipers are a favorite)
  • Confirming that pelicans do roost in trees
  • Being pooped on by a pelican in a tree
  • Hunting for shells
  • Hunting for shark's teeth
  • Visiting with adult friends and listening to stories
  • Seeing a nearly full moon above the water at 3:30am
  • Having a cold and finding the pleasure of napping in the sun on the beach
  • Snuggling
  • Playing Words with Friends
  • Persisting with Word Scramble and getting higher and higher scores
  • Watching Jeopardy
  • Cooperating
  • Relaxing
  • Having no schedule
  • Cooking for self and others
  • Eating new foods
  • Thinking critically about urban legends
  •  Watching the workings of a swing bridge
  • Watching the workings of a draw bridge
  • Doing laundry
  • Taking an unsupervised trip to the camp store for popscicles
  • Taking mile runs
  • Sisterly bonding
  • Cleaning
  • Dancing
  • Singing
  • Playing on the computer
  • Building fires in the fire place
  • Causing a kitchen fire and putting it out
  • Making thumbprint valentines
  • Unboxing a brand new laptop and setting it up with software and such
  • Painting
You know, it's really been a magical time.  Reminiscent of the best of our homeschooling days.  Tomorrow things will "return to normal" as everyone heads back to school and work.

But, today...


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