Friday we were busy with Afrikaans and part of our work for the day was to conduct interviews. Jason was promptly nominated as the first person to be interviewed and as always we had some brilliant answers from him and spent most of the time laughing. He really could be a standup comedian. Homeschooling would not be the same without him.
Some of the questions were very straight forward…the usual what is your favourite food, colour etc.
Zander was also interviewed and one of the questions asked was what is you biggest wish.
“My biggest wish is to be able to read.”
There was a very short moment of silence, where both Jason and I knew we had to handle this answer the correct way. We don’t want him to feel any less because he battles to read. We want to acknowledge the fact that he does, as well as give him praise because he never gives up.
My heart broke. In that very moment my heart broke for him. Why should his biggest wish be to be able to read? Why not to meet his hero (who BTW he said was me), get the newest electronic game, new cellphone or whatever it is that young boys desire? Why the ability to read fluently? Life can be very unfair.
However, I am very proud of him. Proud that he is not embarrassed to admit he is dyslexic. That is doesn’t mind asking for help if he is not sure how to read a word. He is fine with the fact that his friends will correct his spelling. I’m proud that he actually types whatsapp messages instead of sending voice-notes. Not the lazy kind of typing (where typing 2morrow is such a time-saver! What on earth will you do with that extra split seconds you saved) No, even my dyslexic son takes the time to type out the words.
Zander, I love you. I love how you accept the hand dealt to you even though I know it can’t be easy. I will forever be proud of who you are.
Remember that you are allowed more than one wish.
Your greatest supporter
So this wasn’t the easiest of years.
Zander recently told me that I was often short-tempered this year. I was rather suprised. That is something that I work hard at not to be. I homeschool him to give him a better education. An education with less stress. Being short-tempered would go against what I’m trying to do. I do understand though. I had to homeschool while getting chemo, while ending up in hospital too often, through operations and radiation. All while supporting my mom as much as I could.
It was a tough year. Yet, here we are at the end of it and he excelled. He has an average of 79% with 3 distinctions. I could not be more proud. I could not be more proud because he managed to work harder when I was able to. I’m proud because he never ever complained – even when I was short-tempered. I’m proud because he is such a good kid. He is sweet, caring and has the biggest heart. He does his best to be easy-going. He is very much like my dad.
We had his art class prize-giving this week. He goes there every Wednesday, the entire morning. That’s his Wednesday “school” (which means that we had to fit school into just 4 days a week!) He loves it. He loves Aunty Amanda. He loves all his friends there. It’s just perfect for him.
She mentioned that we must remember that we are firstly their moms. That building character is just as important as education. That the matric certificate you get to show during an interview takes a few seconds for them to look at but it’s the character that will be the deciding factor in the end. It’s very true.
I think he built a lot of character this year. He has grown up some. Sooner than I wanted to, he had to cope with my illness. The possibility of losing both his mom and Ouma. He had to cope with seeing us in hospital (too often), sick and barely able to move around.
He did it though. He did it with much help and love from his brothers and Kyla. He is one amazing little guy.
Enjoy your holiday, Zander. Can’t believe you are almost in High School!
The public school children went on their Grade 6 tour two weeks ago. Since I try to give Zander the same opportunities
and more as his public school friends, I decided to give him a little tour of his own.
We went zip-lining on Tuesday. It was a first for all three of us (Jason went with, since it was just days after finishing my cancer treatment and I didn’t know how my body would cope). We loved it. My body … not so much. Shame, the one guy was actually very worried about me. In the end I could barely get onto the bakkie. I couldn’t speak, I was so out of breath.
Let’s focus on how much fun it was though! Poor Zander was a tad light and on the last zip-line he got stuck on the line. His weight could not bring him all the way down. He handled it like a pro though and just enjoyed the view while waiting for them to get him down.
That Thursday we decided that it will have be an educational trip, so took him to the Cradle of Mankind. He then went into the Sterkfontein Caves with my dad. This was a big deal, since he has claustrophobia. He did so well though. He loved spending the day with my dad. There is something special about learning from your grandparents.
We knew that the school were spending their last day at Gold Reef City. So we planned our week in such a way that we would be there at the same time. Quite a gamble since it’s a big place and we might spend all day looking for his friend. We were lucky though and managed to find him. Zander spent most of the day walking around with him. I was SO proud of him. He went on almost all rides. Even ones with a 9/10 fear rating! My poor dad went on one of the rides with us and was sooooo sick afterwards. I felt so bad for him. Gold Reef City was definitely the highlight of the week for Zander.
I really am blessed with children who have the most caring personalities.
Zander and I were driving in the car yesterday when he said the following:
“Mom, I get R100 pocket money” I want to give R25 of that to …… and R25 to ….. because they don’t have a lot of money.
Now, R25 is not going to buy them much if anything but that is not the point. He is willing to give away half of his pocket money because those families have less than us.
How absolutely sweet of him to be thinking of these families. We weren’t talking about people with less money than us or how blessed we are. They were just on his mind and he wants to help.
I do love that child very much.
Happy 12th birthday Zander. I am so very proud of the person you are. You are compassionate beyond your age. You love so deeply. You have trust in people and see the good in everything. You have a sweet, pure heart. I hope that regardless what life throws at you, you will always choose to see the good.
I’m sorry for not being able to give you the best birthday ever. You deserve the best, every year. Maybe tomorrow we can have the Wimpy breakfast you are supposed to have on your birthday. Maybe I feel better tomorrow.
For now though, sorry that you had to walk into our room and see me sleeping most of your birthday. I found the photo on your phone and I wonder how many times did you walk in to check on me.
Happy birthday sweet boy.
Next year, I promise.
I have some health issues going on at the moment and I thought that we had been pretty good about not talking much around Zander. The older brothers are supportive and old enough to understand that it might end up not being anything serious any way, so they know. Kyla and Zander know the bare minimum.
Zander is very much a mommy’s boy. He also gets anxious easily. Which is why we try our best not to let him know what’s going on. At least not until we know what is going on ourselves.
He was lying next to me in bed tonight when all of a sudden he said that he will commit suicide if I died.
My heart stopped.
He is 11 years old and he even thinks about it! Of course I immediately said that I plan on living 113 years. That he does not have to worry about anything happening to me. He said that he won’t have anything left to live for if I die. I told him that by the time I am 113 he will have great grandchildren whose names he can’t remeber. He will have a lot to live for.
I don’t know if this is just something that crossed his mind now? I am wondering if it could be because Tommie’s cousin just passed away unexpectedly. However we didn’t discuss that in front of him either.
I mean we could all die right now. There are no guarantees in life. I just hope I get to live until an age where he doesn’t feel I am all he has to live for.
Sometimes I am at a loss of words, unsure how to make him less anxious.
I can’t believe he said that. I can’t believe he even thinks about that.
That. That is why.
However there is so much more. I can’t possibly put all of it in words and I can’t possibly remember all of the positives but let me try.
- Time. He gets to spend more time on a subject if he needs to. There is no rush to get to the next class or worrying that the rest of the class has to wait for him.
- Time again. Class doesn’t have to be 25 minutes. If he is enjoying a specific topic, then we spend more time on it. Learn more about it. We don’t stop at what the book says. We learn more. Google. Youtube (our best friend)
- Time again. If he is tired or battling to concentrate, I just skip the lesson and do it on another day.
- Our relationship. We have always had a close relationship. (as I do with all my children) however he is now more willing to open up to me. He is a happy chappy. That is not always a good thing, since under that happy smile there is also anxiety, sadness, worry, stress. Only recently he has started sharing the more negative side of things with me.
- Bullies. We don’t have bullies in our school ☺ (One of the reasons I wish I could homeschool all my children – bullies have no idea how much they hurt someone. By the time they are grown up and realize it, it’s too late for the person who was bullied)
- His friends aren’t just 11 years old. One of his closest swimming friends is 14. It’s not limited by grade.
- Stress. He has so little of it now.
- Confidence. He is another child. Where he used to almost battle to talk to other people or hide behind me, he will now have conversations as though they are long lost friends.
The list is endless actually. He is happy. He is doing well. As an example, he got 82% for history. He did not learn for it. We did no revision. It was from what he learned when we worked through his book (google and youtube as well) No stress. Just from the time we spend on the subject, to make sure he understands and enjoy it. It’s not a punishment. It’s fun. He wants to learn more because we make it fun. We live the history. We don’t read the history.
Anyway, off subject again.
He is happy.