Thursday, February 08, 2007

So what is a parent to do? Aidan reported home on Monday that he hadn't been able to finish his lunch as he had been accosted by a "mean" boy in the bathroom who "double dog dared - which means you HAVE TO DO IT - to show him his privates" {privates = my term not his}. I wasn't quite sure how to receive this information. So... a pause... did you show him? "No" (Phew!). I told him I was glad he didn't do something he didn't think was tight and I was proud of him. I emailed his teacher Tuesday a.m. mentioning it - here is where I wasn't quite sure what I was "supposed" to do. I didn't really expect her to do anything - and Aidan didn't seem traumatized altho clearly it was important enough to him that he brought it up to me. I subsequently learned that he mentioned it to a buddy when he got back to the lunch table who said he knew "exactly who it was" as he had been mean to him the previous year (something to do with a stick). Turns out Aidan's teacher asked Aidan to identify the child (a 2nd grader) at lunch and he and his friend did and the other teacher and principal were notified and I understand that the parents are being notified. It seemed a bit much perhaps! I have been told that the boy has done something similar before and is ADHD (?) and on meds... not sure what being on meds has to do with this but teacher seemed to think that Dr should know about it in case a med change should be made (I can't imagine!). Aidan didn't appear to actual feel threatened although he also says the boy wasn't just joking around. Clearly all kids go through some sexual curiousity and I don't know if this fell into that catagory or bullying exactly. Pete felt I should have kept this info to myself. I asked Quincy's teacher (who I respect tremendously and who has been working with kinder age kids for over 20 years, has her masters and is teaching other teachers) what she (as a mother) would have done. She said she thought it was useful or important to pass along to the teacher so they can know about it and see if it is an isolated incident or more of a pattern or something that needs attention. Also that most importantly that I let Aidan know how proud I am of him doing the right thing and that he can get help if he needs help etc. I was really happy that Aidan felt he could tell us and even more that he didn't feel like he had to do something. I worry about him being suspect to peer pressure and making poor choices because of it. I don't worry about Quincy and peer pressure (we'll see if I'm right!). He is much more confident in and of himself. He is also much less concerned about right and wrong than his brother. So he may well decide to do the wrong thing - but it will be his decision not someone elses... He is happy to try to sneak candy or something like that - Aidan always asks (and points out when his brother hasn't!). I also can't imagine Quincy necessarily sharing the incident with me - in many ways he is much more private than his brother. Interesting how you can see all this at such young ages. We truly do have our personalities from birth IMO.
I love this time of year in our neighborhood. Somehow with our microclimate we are able to support trees in their autumn life next door to trees in full spring blossom while outside my bedroom window the trees are in full winter slumber. Several places within a block or so there are maples (or what look to me to be maples) in full glorious fall color especially gorgeous red leaves right next to fruit trees (plum and cherry?) with little pink blossoms breaking out all over. Pretty darned cool IMO. San Diego was a bit seasonless and to some extent you could argue the same about San Francisco - after all our summers aren't exactly balmy! But somehow with the changing trees especially in our neighborhood I get the sense of passing seasons much more (without the ick of Boston winters or muggy east coast summers). I did love visiting Joshua Tree or other desert lands to the east of San Diego - it was amazing to see them in full spring bloom - little flowers popped up everywhere in the middle of the sand and appearing so fragile yet in reality pretty darned sturdy. It helps to be able to drive to mountains of snow in just a few hours for a few days of "winter". That is about all I need!
the family on the Valley floor with Half Dome beyond

Pete & Quincy coming down the slope - a typical view of the 2 of them.

Sunday afternoon on the green "easy" slope.

A new year... We had our first vacation a couple of weeks ago - off to the snow! Of course CA has been very low on snow this year/season... We had plans to head to Yosemite and ski at Badger Pass for the kids' 1st ski experience. Pete found us a rental in "Yosemite West" which turns out to be a housing development that I think is technically outside National Park borders but logistically is only accessible from the middle of the park - it is pretty much at the base of the turn off to Badger Pass. Great location for us although there is nothing nearby except the mountain... The Valley is 35 or 40 minutes away and it of course has services such as restaurants and stores. We drove up Saturday afternoon and stopped off around sunset at Bridal Veil Falls (ooh ahh). We woke up Sunday morning to the tail end of a little snow fall - we had 2 or so inches outside which translated to 4 or 5" on the mountain - beautiful fresh snow. The resort is relatively lightly used (due to its more remote access than Tahoe I am sure and the fact that it is a relatively "easy" mountain most likely). The weekday Winter Access Passes are total deals. For $49 on Monday I got ski rental, lift ticket, and a one on one "group" lesson. Aidan got the same for $29. Quincy had borrowed skis and thus as a 5 and under child he was totally free. One of his classmates loaned us alot of gear including full ski clothes including helmets for both kids - Will conveniently has an older brother Quinn who is only a little bigger than Aidan. We had both kids take a lesson (2 of them and 2 teachers) on Sunday. Quincy spent the rest of his 2 days skiing going down the slopes holding onto Daddy's hand. Cute! Aidan by the end of day 2 was coming down blue (intermediate) slopes faster than I was (to my chagrin). Impressive how quickly they learn! We spent our last day, Tuesday, tooling around the Valley with lunch at the historic Ahwahnee lodge. All in all a very good trip and plans have been made to return next year...