Monday, April 30, 2007

Motherly Bragging

Hi all...I have a bit of motherly bragging to do about Girl.

Each year, as the final art project of the year, the eigth graders are required to replicate a masterpiece by a famous artist. Girl chose a piece by Salvador Dali, entitled, "Mae West as an Apartment." A few pieces were entered into a contest with other schools throughougt the Chicago and suburban area. I am very proud to say that her painting was awarded 2nd place, with other classmates also placing in the top 6.

Girl's piece, as well as all of the eigth grade class, is eligible to receive the school's masterpiece award. If she wins, the school will keep her masterpiece and hang it in the halls of the school for posterity. She would receive a replica of her masterpiece to keep.

As usual, we are incredibly proud of her.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

I'm Here - AND THERE!

Hi everone! I wanted to let you know I haven't dropped off the face of the earth! Some of you, actually, have managed to find me. I am writing as the parent-of-special-needs-child/working mom representative at Chicago Parent Magazine's online component. You'll know how to find me when you get there, I promise. Life is still as crazy as ever. If you read the post below this one, then you know that even our sacred "7th Day" is no longer ours. We've been busier than bees, running to this, that and the other - usually at the same time. The band is on a roll and is gearing up to complete our CD!!! Stop on by ChicagoParent and say hi! There are many posts in there that I'd love your feedback on. Leaving a comment is as easy as clicking in the upper right corner where it says, "Join," creating a username & password (kind of like here at blogger), and then just leaving a comment (also kind of like here at blogger). I'll keep writing here, worries, just not as often!

Friday, April 13, 2007

When Did Sunday Become Everyone ELSE'S Day?

Sunday Morning I miss Sundays.  Waking to the smell of sausage, bacon, & eggs, going to church with my grandparents...the day was ours, as a family, to do as we pleased.  If we didn't feel like doing the church thing, we'd sleep as late as we wanted.   Sunday was the day for family...large dinners, family parties, dinner with our own little family; as an adult, Sunday was a day for me to have dinner with my mother, relaxing, letting the kids run around, having fun just enjoying the day and spending time together.  If we weren't spending the day with extended family, perhaps we were with friends, perhaps we were doing house work, perhaps we were just lounging on the sofa, or playing in the park with our children.  We don't spend our Sunday's like that any longer.  Sadly, we don't "own" our Sundays anymore.

Once upon a time, there were no infringements on spending family time together on Sundays, unless it was by another family member celebrating - with the family, or if it was by our own choice to spend our Sunday with friends.  We used to be able to schedule our Sundays- or not schedule and be spontaneous; now our schedule is provided for us.

 Girl plays sports for school and is also a member of one of our village's traveling softball teams.  Typically, during the week, there are multiple practices and games, with the weekends reserved for an early morning practice or a late evening game, though some are smack in the middle of the afternoon.  We just got Girl's practice schedule for softball.  She'll practice three weeknights, once on Saturday and TWICE on Sunday...TWICE,not just once.  They were considerate enough to at least not start the first Sunday practice until 12:45 so that we can still go to church (or sleep to recover from the rest of the week).  She will have tournaments almost every week during the summer  - to the point where we had to schedule her graduation party 6 months in advance to avoid conflicting with a tournament...but that goes with the territory of playing on a competitive traveling team.  It's the twice on Sunday that's killing me.

Personally, I think practicing at all on Sunday is wrong, but I also understand that, as a traveling team, they do not have access to a regular practice space and have to take what they can get.  I'm willing to work with that.  My daughter is an athlete, and incredibly intelligent to boot.  I'd like for her to be able to go to college with a little bit of help from a scholarship, so I'm willing to make the sacrifices...but TWICE on Sunday?  12:45 - 2:30, 4:00 - 6:30....Time for the family comes when?  Time for the rest of the family to do anything comes when?  Time to spend time with OTHER family members comes when?  Nope, not during the rest of the week, there is practice then, too.

Rapelling at ScoutsSmallBoy is in Cub Scouts.  We have our big giant pack meetings one Thursday evening a month.  This typically conflicts with SmallBoy's OT, but the Scoutmaster is aware of this and is totally fine with us being a tad late.  Flexibility.  Wonderful!  Our individual outings as a den, though, are typically held every other Sunday afternoon at 2 or 3:00.  Again with the Sunday.  Mind you, SmallBoy loves scouts and our leader is phenomenal, plans amazing activities for our boys (they're learning how to rapell for their next hike), and the boys get a LOT out of each meeting...but SUNDAY

This week, SmallBoy is starting in an instructional basketball league at school for our 4th graders to get them ready for next year when they really play organized basketball.  I'll give you one guess when it is....YEP.  Right on the nose.  Sunday...sometimes at noon, sometimes at 1:30, sometimes at 3:30.  Again, Sunday's the only time they can get the gym for practice, so I understand, but this is getting a little much.

I sound like I'm complaining quite a bit, but when did my family's time get turned over to everyone else without my permission?  I'd like to say,

"No, my child isn't going to be there for practice (or meeting or game) because it's Sunday, and that's the ONE day that we get to spend as a family doing family things,"

but then the coach's response would be,

"Ok fine.  Then Girl/SmallBoy won't get the opportunity to play,"

or the scout leader would say,

"Ok, but then SmallBoy won't be eligible to receive the badge for this particular activity."

My children attend a Catholic school.  Within the last couple of years, they instituted a rule, due to parents' complaints about Sunday practices, that no sports - practice or game - could begin before noon on Sunday, to allow families the chance to at least attend mass together.  The coaches obliged.  Practice starts at noon, with players required to arrive 15minutes prior.  Go figure. 11:46 is late. 

So we're stuck at the mercy of everyone else.  I feel bad because I get so upset by this and, unfortunately, the kids feel it because it is their activity (that I want them involved in) that is causing this massive upheaval.

I won't ever pull Girl from sports, she loves them, she excels at them, and she has scholarship potential.  I won't pull SmallBoy from Scouts or sports. He loves them, he needs both to help him learn the social pieces that are so difficult for those with Asperger's and autism.

I'm calling out to you for advice, for words of wisdom, for lessons learned by it worth it to say something to the coaches, or just suck it up?  Should I keep the kids from doing the things they love because we, as a family, don't have any time together (bear in mind that we rarely eat dinner as a family during the week either)?  Should I petition for a 4-day work week so that we can have ONE DAY, a measley 24-hours without having to do anything with/for anyone else but my family.  Yeah, pipe dreams.  What do YOU have to say?