Monday, 23 May 2016

Some home reading

We do home reading with Phoenix about 4-5 nights a week. We almost always read books before bed,  but I can't always convince Phoenix to read aloud to me. We get books sent home from school as part of their home reading program. Sometimes we get to them, sometimes, depending on what else is happening that night, we don't. I also have a few sets of levelled books that I bought at Costco. The set we read has books from level A to C. The books we get from school are level B, up from level A which she started at. For anyone not familiar with levelled reading, this is a great reading level for a child in kindergarten to have, let alone a child with a developmental delay.

Tonight I got Phoenix on video reading a level A book. This is one she likes a lot and requests to have me read to her. Night time isn't the best time to be challenging Phoenix with her reading. She's tired, she's had a long day and she has been working hard all day. So I frequently have to read the page first and have Phoenix read it next. You can hear her try to get out of reading, but she eventually comes around.


Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Wishing that things were different.

We've recently put Ash and Wren into swimming lessons at a local pool. Mike takes Wren on Monday and Ash on Tuesday and I am left with the remaining 2 kids to hang out with after dinner.

Last night I took Ash and Phoenix to the backyard and pushed them on the 2 seater swing and then we walked to the park to have a play before bed. While I was pushing the swing I reflected on how nice it was to just have 2 kids for the evening and how there is much less conflict between the kids with one of them removed. 

What I realized last night was that at no point did I wish that anything was different. 

When Phoenix was in her younger years I would fantasize about what she would be like if she didn't have DS. 

When the twins were newborns I would fantasize about what it would be like to only care for one newborn.

In both instances this kind of fantasizing was just a reflection on how hard things were for me. With Phoenix, my distress had to do with the depth of work that I needed to do on myself. With the twins it was more of a reflection of how physically and emotionally draining it was to care for 2 babies at once.

Nevertheless, 6 years on from Phoenix's birth and 2.5 years on from my twins birth, and I don't wish anything was different. It wasn't my children who needed to change. It was me. And I have.

So I don't wish things were different. I don't wish Phoenix was different. I can't, because I don't want to reject the awesomeness of all three of the little people whom I have the privilege of raising.








Thursday, 14 April 2016

Just Listen

What's the positive in this?

I've witnessed a number of situations lately where I've listened to people tell hard stories of things which are happening to them. Abuse. Cancer. Poverty. Angst. Depression. Anger. Hard stories. Painful stories. Sad stories. And this is what I hear very well meaning people say:


What's the positive in this?
 
 
I die a little inside when I hear platitudes like this.
 
I cringe.
 
And when I think back to times where I have been in pain, or going through difficulty or dealing with pretty heavy shit, I feel ANGRY about this sentiment.
 
 
Because its OK not to see the positive.
 
 
Because its OK to just acknowledge someone's shitty experience.
 
 
Because its OK to just empathise.
 
 
Because its OK to just listen.
 
 
Just Listen.
 
 
Don't fix. Don't counsel. Don't turn it into something it's not ready to be.
 
 
Don't ask: "What's the positive in this?"
 
 
Just Listen.