Monday, June 16, 2008

Daddy Daycare

So I've been a flake. I know it's bad, I really want to be more diligent, but I think it's all about finding a rhythm. Have been busy trying to freelance, worked hard on two projects that took a lot out of me and have no guarantees to bear fruit, but I had to try. We'll see where it goes.

I'm writing today because I've been experiencing a bit of depression and it has had a lingering effect. Generally the blues don't last long for me, a good nights sleep and I'm good to go, but this one hasn't been so simple. Of course it revolves around our kids. First some background.

We always worry about our kids, and our peace of mind is directly tied into their happiness. I know it sounds ridiculous, but I can't help it. When my kids have a bad day, my day goes down the tubes, as well. When they have a good day, I'm on top of the world. What makes it so hard is that kids are under constant assault by the cruel, hard world of children.

Our daughter has developed a new best friend in one of our neighbor's kid. We are friends with the parents, so it works out well. This friend is a school kid, she goes to the local Waldorf, but she and Audrey share many common friends, and they have fun together.

The parents asked us if we could help watch over their daughter this summer as they both work, and we agreed to some extent given the good relations between the kids. The truth is, I would bend over backwards if it meant our kid's happiness.

The problems that always lingered in our minds is that this friend is way more integrated in the conventional academic world, and this played out this past weekend, where she totally ditched A in favor of a school friend. I was devastated, it really bummed me out because it was like a light switch. Goodbye A, hello friend.

They were jiving so well over the past few weeks, playing all the time, spending so much time together. Our daughter is only seven but we love the idea that she's developing a best friend, though in the back of our minds we should have known this was coming.

The truth is, A's buddy is way more of a conventional kid. She doesn't read, she functions well in large groups of kids, and since she's in school and is heavily scheduled, is probably more reliant on people providing stimulation for her. All trademarks of daycare/regular school kids.

A is way more self-reliant, she can play in her head for hours, she reads books like they were popcorn, and serious chapter books on a middle school level. She creates entire worlds out of nothing that most kids cannot grasp. It sets her apart, and in a group student setting, places her on the fringe.

So here's the situation. We have agreed to watch this girl over the summer. Nothing has been set for the long term. We will watch her this week, and then it's up in the air. The parents need some help, they both work and she needs a place to stay. We are homeschoolers so we are home, though that doesn't make us any less busy.

This girl showed her true colors this past weekend, so naturally I'm not as enthused about having her, especially given the difficulty of watching over multiple kids. Now I know I tend to overreact, things change and isolated moments are exactly that. And I know I shouldn't get too wrapped up in the emotional lives of our kids, but I can't help it.

I'm dreading watching over this kid, but maybe I'll be pleasantly surprised. Or not. Why can't I see these things coming? Maybe that's not what life is all about. And kids need to deal with life's issues, they need to know that it's not all gloss and fun, people can be mean and turn on you.

There are important lessons to be learned. It's just hard to watch it happen.

That's it for now. Stay tuned for more drama. Thanks for reading and take care.

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