Responsible parenting and leadership are a start. In between reaching for the sky (Toy Story rocks).

Screw the darkness. I prefer the lightness of Pop.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

To Own Their Own First Takes

Life is a series of first runs that we rerun with fragile memory. No matter the amount of fretting and anxious prep, every scene is a first take -- no do overs or over-produced multi-edits -- one take whether we're ready or not.

And most of the time we're not. But that's okay, because this reality show is the realist of them all, and one with script after script of blank pages, where the story appears as we live it, the reappearing ink full of light and shade, color and smell, taste and touch, and plenty of tears and smiles.

The first days of school each year for many children are full apprehension and fear, the pits of stomachs holding fast rabid squirrels bouncing off rubber walls. I remember my first days of kindergarten still to this date, over 45 years ago. And while most of the details have since washed away over time, the feelings I had are still quite vivid: my nervousness, my shyness, the longing for home and my mother who had just dropped me off, and the sheer terror of meeting strange adults and other children I had never met before in my life.

The years to come were filled with less and less fear and a greater social stability, one that I would enjoy well into adulthood, and continue to in my unwritten pages of today. As parents, that's one of the best things we can hope for with our children beyond the security of food and shelter.

The past few years for Beatrice included auditory processing delays and a social angst that hurt our hearts to witness. All we could do was encourage healthy responses to these transitions and do whatever we need to do to support her, and her sister of course, who continues to break stuff while dressed as a princess.

Bryce has no social qualms whatsoever, but her aggressive tendencies (i.e., hitting and kicking) are a work in progress for sure. Bryce still struggles with exotropia as well and the eye doctor still isn't sure she'll need eye surgery in the future or not. Until then her cute little pink glasses with transitional lenses rock our world, just as much as she does.

While always being "on" academically since her preschool days, Beatrice has now blossomed socially and is more comfortable than she's ever been in social situations. She couldn't wait to start second grade. Frothing at the mouth to start, those rabid squirrels driving her onward to new life experiences. She may be more "boyish" than "girlish" at the moment, but that doesn't matter to us because the only moments that do matter are those when she happily adapts and enjoys her scenes.

Bryce made the leap to kindergarten this year, and due to dropping enrollment in our district, she was put into a combined kinder/1st grade classroom. We were a little apprehensive, as was she, but what was perfectly clear on her first day was her reaction sitting at her new desk with her name tag proudly displayed in front of her -- she kissed us each goodbye and sent us on our merry parent way. No crying or fear, just ready to rock her next feature film.

We definitely have the Bridges to Kinder preschool program to thank in helping develop both girls early on. Of course I have the Mama to thank for her tireless parental guidance, Kidpowering and helping me play my best supporting Daddy role.

We know we are blessed and never take for granted our family's pivot points and plot twists, because we want our girls to own their own first takes, regardless the memories replayed again and again, and replayed they will be.

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