A reader asked for a general update on the fam.  I have fifteen grandchildren now, from a one year old up to an 11 y.o.  Four of them are boys, each of the four daughters who have babies has one son.

All are doing well, active, crazy, fun, adorable, and practically perfect in every way.

A couple needed speech therapy, and I have to tell you, Covid restrictions are ridiculous for that.  They can either do it thru a screen, which might work for an adult, but it’s not great for a frustrated child.  One of them, more than once, has heard the therapist praise the child for getting a sound right when it wasn’t right, and vice versa, because of the faulty connection. To meet in person the therapist is required to wear a mask, which defeats the purpose.  These are the rules for the clinic, and finally a private therapist who does not have to mask up for person to person lessons was found and more progress (and happier progress) was made in week one than previously.

I’ve been asked by the oldest grand-daughters to teach them hand sewing and crochet, and I have tried, but I am not a very good teacher of the handicrafts.  I hardly know how and why I do what little I can do, so it’s hard for me to explain this to one of them, or to show them what they are doing wrong when they make mistakes.  And when four or five at once lean over my shoulder clamouring for attention and help, then I get twitchy and  anxiety levels rise.  But we are working on it, slowly, slowly, slowly.

A couple are taking music lessons.  Recitals have been virtual only, but we get to attend a real life recital soon.

One of them cries a lot at music lessons and practices because there’s a lot of perfectionism going on and a very sensitive soul who doesn’t want to stop music lessons. I have had a child similarly easily prone to tears, and I’ve often heard other mothers say that if something makes your child cry, you shouldn’t keep going with that something, be it a school book or a chore or a music lesson.  I hate that advice, to be honest.  Tears don’t mean the same level of pain for every person- we all know some just cry more easily than others.  Tears also can be manipulative, they aren’t in either of these cases, but we know they can be and this advice seems perfectly calculated to bait a child into just that kind of manipulative use of tears.  Resilience is a vital skill, and I think it’s better to hug your child and help them work through the hard stuff than to hug them,  throw up your hands, throw in the towell and give up on things that make them cry.  Obviously, I don’t mean go all abusive Victorian schoolmaster or Spartan trainer and be harsh.  Work with your individual child.  I just don’t like the attitude that basically equates tears with an automatic end to any activity that prompts them.

I loved what the music teacher told that one’s mama about the tears.  “It’s okay to be passionate.  My sibling was the same way, and that sibling is now a professional musician performing before major audiences.”  I paraphrase, but the key word there is passionate- passions are high feelings, high feelings bring on high emotions, which includes tears with passionate kids.  Help them work through the tears.

The little guy who was given a horrible diagnosis of probable death by the age of two is now 10, crazy active, sweet as sugar, thoughtful, creative.  His lego creations are astounding.  He recently dug up clay in the backyard, molded it into several cute and artistic figures, and painted them- all on his own. He still has to take special and quite expensive medication, and he has to endure regular blood draws, and they are still hard and painful, but he has become quite the stoic about it, which kind of hurts to see.  His condition is quite rare but it isn’t the one first diagnosed and that means we are not in dread everytime somebody sneezes.

The ‘little boys’ are not little anymore.  They are  teenagers. The older one sounds like a man on the phone.  They live in another state, and its further than I can drive. They are in school and not loving it much.  One does all his work on the computer at home, the other goes to school.  He was working, too, but found the hours too much. They are hoping to come up for a visit soon, but the plans keep getting pushed back.

They are all full of life and vim and vigour, and as my very southern dad used to say for some reason, “Full of vinegar and applesauce.”

The grandkids are all within a drive of a bit over an hour to about 45 minutes, although one family is moving out of state soon.  I’ve cried over that, but since I went to the Philippines for two years and four of my grandchild were born while I was there, I can’t really fuss about it, can I?

In my ideal life, I’d live in the Philippines for six months of the year and here for six months, but I don’t see how that could happen.


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  1. Kris Tyree
    Posted May 11, 2021 at 3:10 am | Permalink

    Thank you so much for the update. I know your life has changed so much from the old days and can never be the same. It is good to hear of all those little ones again. I always felt as if we were just neighbors and I longed for the day we could have a cup of tea together and chat.

  2. Frances
    Posted May 16, 2021 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the update. Glad they are all doing well and the “little boys” growing and learning (however reluctantly.) Are all the grandchildren homeschooled?

    Do you hear anything from the summer-visiting boys from (was it?) Ukraine?

  3. Anne-Marie
    Posted May 21, 2021 at 11:50 pm | Permalink

    Lovely to read the update! How is the FYB?

    • Headmistress
      Posted June 3, 2021 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

      Still in school, still struggling with finances, working for Amazon quite a lot. Single.

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