Wow, life goes by really fast sometimes. All of a sudden Georgia and Maya taught themselves to swim, with only a few pointers and the right equipment (goggles! so cute on Maya) and ample opportunities to work on it. And they did it because it was fun, and they were ready for it, and they saw other little kids swimming and knew it could be done. They also had Billy to play with in the water in his gymnastic, energetic way- their leader of fun. And they seem so confident in the water and love to be at the pool. I feel like that's what learning is about- being ready to take charge of mastering a skill, having the right equipment, and having a social atmosphere where people that know things help those who don't yet in a service-oriented way.
has a very wonderful poem in the Love issue of One Magazine. I'll repeat what I wrote in a comment at his weblog: It's so true so true and I'm just glad it exists written down somewhere so we can all share it.
for comedy sketches: Things that are too weird or gross or over-the-top silly when I see them to actually make me laugh but are completely hilarious and the source of serious belly laughs when recalled word for word by their loyal fans.
The top three:
Strong Bad Emails
P.S. I think Strong Bad is the anti-veggie. In a good way.
These are the last days for our friend Mark Finn, Champaign Baha'i and lifetime helper and educator of children. He's very dear and strong-hearted. His body is about to give up his soul though. It's been finished by a long struggle with diabetes. He says he's ready and just wants to help his family with the transition now. Our prayers are offered up for this dear soul as he flies away. We love you Mark!
Update: Mark passed away last night (Friday). I'm thinking about him and hoping for peace for his family. I haven't dealt much with death and I feel really out of my element trying to wrap my mind around it. Definitely thinking a lot about endings and beginnings and trying to make sense of it all. I'm not sure I want to understand it right now because the separation part seems too sad to bear. Maybe because I've been saying less final good-byes to a lot of people (that are moving away) lately and don't want to imagine how it would hurt to say good-bye until we meet on the other side someday. I can think about it a little and how nice that would be, but I'm not feeling it. It doesn't make me feel better right now. I'll be ok. I'm just processing all this in the middle of an emotional time with trying to figure out homeschooling and lots of transitions like that so I feel kind of overloaded.
'I have power deep inside me. The power is waiting to come out.'
I kid you not. She's been watching these videos called 'Preschool Power', the theme song goes like this: 'I can do it on my own. You can do it once you've been shown...you've got the preschool power.' It's got very little kids doing a bunch of Montessori-type activities by themselves, with other kids saying simple instructions behind it. Very cute and great for giving them ideas of things they want to do- making french bread, making their own play-dough and bubble solution, simple magic tricks, simple gymnastics moves, etc.
Maya made this pronouncement while we were walking to the pool the other day. I hope I never forget how she looked at that moment- in her swimsuit, holding a pink floaty noodle, walking through the locker room, looking confident and reflective, just letting me know what the state of Maya was. I was blown away, and at the same time, just felt like nodding my head, and agreeing with such an obviously true staement.
In other news, we've been researching curricula for homeschooling here, and getting connected with a Baha'i homeschooling e-mail list and homeschoolers here. Then I had a great conversation with Layli about how we learn (being twins, it's fairly similar) in circles, non-linear fashion, and experientially and how that never fit well with the schooling we've received. We both want to try to do the things we learn about- and right away- not years, months, etc. later. These are the kinds of discussions I really need to be having right now so I can think out learning for myself and my kids. So then today I started reading a website about an educational approach for homeschooling (or traditional school too) called Enki Education and it fit so completely with what I'm about and what I think about learning and human development, that at first I couldn't see it because it was too close to ME. Apparently, I need to know myself a little better these days. I feel like a baby who has been crying for a long time and getting all out of rhythm and freaked out (me without a direction for homeschool curricula) and then mom appears and nurses me (me finding such a beautiful and complete curriculum that fits me) and there's nothing to see or hear- you can't see the milk being delivered, and there is no more crying. There's just silence and nourishment. That's where I am today. Being nourished and quiet. I can't say Enki is for everyone, but I think it might just be for me. I need to find out more about it, though. It's hard to know everything about a complex system all at once.
Early this morning Maya crawled into our big bed and fell asleep peacefully next to Teresa. When Teresa woke up later (meaning 6:50 am) and realized Maya was next to her, she smiled her big 'good morning' smile, rolled over (a new skill!) and started grabbing at her tummy and face and babbling at her loudly. She seemed to be saying, 'wow! Maya's here! Wake up and play with me!'. Maya tried to gently push Teresa's hands out of Maya's nose and mouth a few times and then just scooted away and tried to stay asleep. But Teresa persisted in her efforts. I tried to distract her by rolling her over toward me and talking to her and actually said, 'no Teresa, let Maya sleep.' It was a first for me to curb her efforts in any way. She just rolled back over to Maya and finally succeeded in her mission to wake up her sister. Payback has begun. (Maya regularly wakes up Teresa, sometimes on purpose, sometimes just because she's a little kid.)
In other sister news, we just had a great visit from my sister, Layli. She helped me get through the week of good-bye-ing and all the other transitions in my life right now: having three kids, starting homeschooling, etc. And the girls played with Lucy better than ever before. They really got into their pretending together and were making up adventures until the minute Lucy went out the door to go home! So sweet.
In celebration of sisters and those women and little women we draw close to us, the daughters and I (and Billly, very important) just started making two quilts- one for Liza and Brent and one for Lucy. We're in the design and shopping phase and it's SO FUN. This is what I live for these days.
Umm.. I don't want to complain, but...MY PEOPLE ARE GONE FROM ME! AND I MISS THEM! Liz and Nate just moved up to Roger's Park this weekend, Liza and Brent will be up in Evanston very soon, and I still miss the 'Susayns' from when they moved in January. I wish I could just say, "Come back to me! Please?" But I can't. Lives keep moving in their own directions. There needs to be some serious visiting though. I love all the people that are still here in Shampoo-Banana (and those that have returned! yeah!), but no one can really replace any specific person that I miss. Here are a couple pictures from good times together with friends. I love you guys! Such wonderful helpers of humanity. Striving to build community and quietly doing great things for each other and the Baha'is here. Heroes, heroines, and champions all. And I've never had so much fun in a Baha'i community!