Friday, May 14, 2010

Operation KidConnect....MONDAY?!

Wondering what this is all about? Click here!

Well HI there! I haven't seen you for a while! I apologize for being inconsistent, but I've had just a few things going on. For the past few weeks, I've been on the hunt for a day care for my son. It is time to re-start my internship, get on with life, and finish my Master's Degree. But as we learned this week, there are many things you can't do in the workplace, and I'd like to add one: You can't bring your 2-year-old with you. I know, right? Surprise, surprise! I hope that amidst the busyness of your week, you were able to make some special, purposeful connections with the children in in your life. It's really difficult! I know! I was in the thick of it this week, ankle deep in work (not yet knee or neck deep, and for that I am thankful) and requirements, and...ugh. The important things just slip away sometimes. I encourage you to find new focus on the little things you do each day to be a positive force in your kids' lives (or other kids).

Being that it was Zeke's first week of day care, there were many tears shed...by both of us. We both needed some encouragement, except he's very difficult to talk to, not because he's emotionally unavailable...mostly just because he's two. So I try to encourage him in little, different ways. Every day I tell him what a good boy he is, even after 10 time-outs (because trust me, after a day at day care with no nap, there are at LEAST 10!). I tell him that mommy and daddy love him and love each other. Y'all, it is SO important that our children know that we love our significant other. I know there are many different situations out there--divorce, abuse, hostile marriages, and I honestly CAN NOT speak to those because I am not in those situations. But if you are married (or even in a committed relationship), and you love your spouse, your children need to know. We also give him "special treats." Sometimes we'll go to McDonalds (like we did this week) or sometimes we'll give him some cookies. Really, anything can be a "special treat" if you call it one and make it feel extra-special. Zeke now asks for them: "mama, special treat ice cream!" He's so sweet. One of the main sources of my anxiety over him being in day care (especially this first week) was that he would feel afraid or lonely, or like we didn't love him. So I try my hardest to let him know how much we love him, verbally, and in other ways as well.

On Thursday, my nephew K1 was recognized at a special event at the University of Florida in Gainesville. The event was only for the super-smartiest kids in Florida schools. Just to give you an idea of how smart you've gotta be to attend this thing...you have to score in the 90th percentile of all Juniors and Seniors in High School........

AND be in 7th grade.

That's right, my 7th grade nephew scored in the top 90th percentile of Juniors and Seniors in HIGH SCHOOL. So at the age of 12, he's already scored higher on the SATs than I did. I. Feel. So.....Not. Smart.

But do you know what's really neat? K1 never makes me feel stupid. With the exception of an incident in early elementary school where he stood up on his desk and declared himself smarter than everyone in the class, including the teacher (he got in pretty big trouble, as I recall...once my sister, his mom, stopped laughing), I have never seen him outright FLAUNT his intelligence. He has EVERY right to, by "worldly" standards. The kid is brilliant. But he doesn't rub it in anyone's face that he is so smart he has already skipped a grade. K1 (really, both my sister's kids AND her two step-sons) are extremely polite and kind. So to encourage Kevin on his special day, I sent a card along with my dad (the proud Grandpa had to attend the event!) for Kevin. I, of course, failed to write down the exact wording for you, but it talked about how proud we are of him and that his actions and abilities speak louder than any bragging could. When you've got a great kid (or when you ARE a great kid) there is no need to brag. If the child lives in such a way that others can see their "light" shine, they are living in humility and with a humble heart. And that, I believe, is more valuable to society than a perfect SAT score.

Do your kids know how proud you are of them? Have you encouraged them to be humble and let their abilities speak for themselves? What do you think about encouraging them to do that this week?

**DISCLOSURE: Hallmark sent me some awesome cards from their Kids' line for this project. They did not pay me, and my opinions about the cards (if I even feel like expressing an opinion rather than just telling a cool story) are my own and were not brainwashed into me at some secret lab at Hallmark Headquarters. I promise. You can show Hallmark some love by visiting a store and buying something, or even following their PR department on Twitter. They're great!

3 comments:

Erin said...

I was just wondering where the Operation KidConnect update was for the week and considering sending you a message of some kind to ask. :) I'm glad that it is still going, even if it doesn't have the same priority any more due to your internship. Here's a question you might be able to help me answer. How do you find a mailing address for a child in your life without asking family members? I'd like to surprise my KidConnect kids, and leave out the awkward feelings on both our parts as we try to create a relationship.

Rachel Boldman said...

Hey Erin!

I was beginning to think no one was reading! I'm glad you've got some kids you're purposefully reaching out to.

Whitepages.com is a great resource--if the parents of the child you're looking for are in the phone book, they should be on there. You could also do a basic google search for their names and see if anything comes up. Are you connected with them on facebook or even through email? You may be able to send out a blanket "hey y'all, I'm updating my address book" email through any social media format. I do that a lot :) Also, any other family members you know might be a good resource. You may be able to ask an extended family member for the child's parents address without feeling TOO weird

It is awkward, isn't it?! We're such an individualistic society that we feel weird when trying to form connections with others. Well, that's one theory...and it makes me sound smart. :)

Thanks for doing this with me!!!

Erin said...

I never thought to branch out into the family, I got too wrapped up in avoiding the drama. It might be easier than I thought to get the info. Hoping to do it quick, as one of the two kids has a birthday coming up!