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Thursday, April 11, 2019

Schroeder is TEN.

In the car the other day, Stephen and I listened to a podcast about the enneagram.  Maggie asked me what number she was.  I told her I wasn't sure.  We are still getting to know each of you.  You are still getting to know yourselves.  The enneagram has given me a new way of observing my kids, though.  For example, certain numbers have more energy than others.  Schroeder has energy.  He's up for a walk or a bike ride.  He's gets excited about a fun project or Littlest Pet Shop role playing game with his two younger sisters.  He wants to help cook dinner.  He's eager to join soccer and volleyball.

Schroeder is in fourth grade.  His teacher was Julian's fourth grade teacher, too.  At the beginning of the year, we went to a parent teacher conference ready to tell her all the ways these two boys are NOT the same.  She already knew.  She knew that he always needs a task or job.  She knew that he sometimes needs help staying focused.  She knew that he was curious and eager and impulsive.  She knew he was kind and funny.  It's always, always a gift to have another adult see your child for who they are...the beauty, potential, and problems.

Schroe has worked hard on making good choices at school this year.  On Valentine's Day, he was eager to start his party and became frustrated with a kid who was goofing off.  He made an offhanded threatening comment to the kid and got himself suspended for the day.  Every comment is taken seriously in today's culture.  I came home and wrote this.

"Schroeder threatened a kid today.  He uses inflammatory speech to gain power.  I want to help him gain power in other ways.  He has power when he believes in himself.  He gains power when he can sit with the truth that he isn't good at everything.  He gains power when he can speak what he means without inflating it.
He was so beautiful to me today.  He was humbled and remorseful.  He was eager to help around the house and thanked me for dinner."

He asked for a nerf gun for his birthday.  We told him no after the Valentine's Day incident.  If you can't respect the power of violence in how you communicate, we are going to limit fake guns.  I caught myself saying, "If you get through the rest of the year without any other calls home, maybe we can get you a new, big nerf gun."  Stephen looked at me like I was crazy.  Yeah, never mind.  Bad idea.

Schroeder has a friend who was recently diagnosed with diabetes.  It's such a scary diagnosis.  He has to go down to the nurse to check his blood sugar around lunchtime.  Sometimes Schroeder goes with him.  He can now tell you what levels are normal or elevated.  I can see his tender heart as he talks about his friend.  

He's also so sweet when he plays with the toddlers at church.  

A friend guessed that Schroeder was my favorite kid.  Ha!  My relationship with each of my kids is different.  They are different people.  There is an Avett Brothers lyric that says, "I wonder which brother is better, Which one our parents love the most?"  and the response to the question is "He said I love you, And I'm proud of you both, in so many different ways".  This is truth.  I'm going to make a print of it and put it in the kids' bathroom.  

I love Schroeder for his energy, his curiosity, his hugs, his dimple, his freckles.   I love that his favorite color is purple.  I'm proud of him for his determination.  I connect with him because we're both middle kids.  Plus, it looks like I gave him all my height genes.  I'm just now coming to terms with how my height has affected my life in a million subtle ways so I'm aware of the subtle ways it might affect him.  That impulsiveness was all from me, too.  You're welcome, kid. 

Happy first decade, my beautiful boy.  

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Baby Noel is here.

She came a few days early, and labor was REAL quick.  My kids says she is named after me because my maiden name was Melissa Ann Clark and her name is Noel Ann Clark.  Sure, why not?!