There, all that’s out of the way, now. Good things have been happening, too! In my last really, really rough patch I would try to blog daily about the things I’d accomplished or the good things that had happened. I can’t blog anywhere near daily, but I can attempt to get back into the rhythm of writing down the good stuff when possible, to remind myself that even when things are horrendously bad there is still positive to be accentuated.
Sparky’s two-week session of day camp came to an end on Friday. We had a parents’ tour that afternoon, where we went from activity to activity and the kids showed off what they’d learned. He very obviously adored science, because he sat right next to the teacher and raised his hand to answer every question. His focus and control in his karate class blew us away, and when the bell rang to move us to the next activity we rushed up to the teacher and asked her if she taught. She no longer does, although she gave us the name of the school in Boucherville she learned at, so we’ll look into that. (Seriously; this kid not only learned all the moves she taught them, but the first kata, and did it all in two languages he doesn’t speak.)
Drums was next. Now, there was a problem with drums. The first Friday, the teacher met us when the kids came out and said that there seemed to be a disconnect, and that Sparky was doing a lot of trying to talk his way out of working on what he’s been given in class. “He’s a perfectionist,” I said, “and if he thinks he can’t do something well right off the bat he tries to talk his way out of doing it at all.” “Exactly,” the teacher said, giving me that complicit aha-so-you-know look. He suspected Sparky might be happier elsewhere. He advised thinking about it over the weekend and bringing an answer on Monday. It was done with a lot of respect and obvious care for Sparky’s enjoyment of the experience. Over the weekend we talked about how it was okay to not be great at everything as soon as you started, and how he could always ask the teacher for help, and if the teacher was willing to send home the notation we could help him with the first two basic rhythms that the teacher was asking for by the end of the two-week period, and he was okay with that. So he stayed in drums. Well, on parents’ day, the four other kids did their turns and were all amazingly good, and right away we knew what had happened: Sparky was comparing himself to kids who were almost twice his age and who very obviously had previous experience with drums. And when his turn to show us what he’d done came, he sat at the drum kit and kind of folded in on himself, and just couldn’t even play. So his teacher suggested that after the choral concert at the end of the afternoon, we’d meet back in the drum room and he could play for just us, with no other kids or families around. He agreed to this readily, and we moved across the hall to his art class, where of course he’d had lots of fun.
The choral concert was great — I love hearing a group of kids sing, they’re always so enthusiastic and all over the place — and then we went down to the drum room again, where Sparky picked up his sticks and played his rhythms for us without a problem, including fills that he’d only learned that day or the day before. All of us were very proud of him. The teacher said that he suspected that it had been the noise and intimidation factor of the other kids’ skills that worked against him, and the fact that it was the biggest class of kids and so Sparky just got buried in the noise, being the youngest and the least accustomed to the experience. We all told Sparky how happy we were that he’d stuck it out and achieved his basic goal. And to top it all off, he had the excitement of breaking one of his drumsticks, splitting the tip. We told him that Marc Le Guen and Daphne, our friends who drum, would be very, very proud of him.
All the teachers, monitors, and coordinators said how much they’d enjoyed having him, and asked if he was coming back for the last two-week session, but he wasn’t, because we’d only registered for one session since we didn’t know if it was going to be a good fit or not. We’re definitely going to send him back next year, though, hopefully for four weeks.
Owlet enjoyed the camp experience, too! She loved being social with everyone when we dropped Sparky off and picked him up every day. She especially loved the little girls, who would drift nearby and peek at her. She’d toddle up to them and reach over to touch their hair or their cheeks, or reach up for an adult’s hand. It was fun to sit on the grass with her and watch her interact with people, with delighted grins and the occasional hug. I think she’ll miss it.
Work has gone well, too. I finished the YA novel edit and sent it in (after working till midnight the morning before it was due, gah). The coordinator sent it to the author almost right away the next morning, and the author sent a note that very afternoon that was passed on to me, saying that she’d glanced at the edits and they were great, to thank me very much for my work, and that she was glad I’d enjoyed the book. That’s huge. It’s hard to receive edits as an author, so to get a thank you made my day. I try to deliver my edits in as supportive a way as possible, because as an author myself I know how crushing any edits of any kind can be. I also indicated that I was more than happy to do more YA fiction edits for the new imprint, which my coordinator was very glad to hear. So that’s two freelance cheques that should arrive in August. It feels so good to be working again.
I am participating in the Ravellenic Games this year (a mass knitting event that runs parallel to, and in celebration of, the Olympics), because my online July 2001 mamas knitting group is a fantastic bunch of people who wildly support my flailing attempts at knittery, and they were such good sports about me geeking out about spinning during the Tour de Fleece. I am knitting my very first cotton washcloth, and not only am I purling, I am now over halfway done, and I only cast on on Friday night!
I skeined up the Rambouillet I finished plying, too, and dear gods, it is possibly the most beautiful yarn I have ever spun,and I have spun some very nice stuff. The colours are a bit odd in photos, but in person they’re really lovely and subdued, and it’s just so soft and silky to touch.
I think I will cuddle and pat it for a while, and then I may earmark it for socks. Rambouillet is now currently tied with BFL/silk as my top wool to spin any time, anywhere. Oh, I am so very far behind on photographing and sharing shots of my handpsun over the last year. I know there are photos of the heathered red mystery wool I spun longdraw missing, and a bunch of the coloured fibre I did last spring and summer like the Louet Karaoke top in “Parrotfish,” some Projekt B batts and braids, and that sort of thing…
I think that’s about it for now. We’re currently in countdown mode for Owlet’s first birthday. She’s been walking for a while, but I keep calling her a baby. I’m giving myself the rest of the week to use that term, and then we really must officially switch to “toddler” or “little girl.”