Things are going fairly well in our household lately. Zach and Sophie went trick-or-treating together and it was a cold, yet precipitation free evening with a nice moon. We had a lot of fun. I was thrilled to have such a great evening with my family. Everyone had so much fun.
Zach was once again Thomas - OK OK - I know- isn't this the second or third year for that? Yes. It is such a convenient costume ( can be worn over bulky winter coats if needed in our tropical Syracuse climate) and he still loves Thomas. Plus - having worn it before, I think he sort of gets the point since we aren't able to verbally explain to him what Halloween is.
Steve took the kids off to the adjacent neighbors houses. Then he decided to pass out candy while our a family friend and Sophie took off in one direction and Zach and I went off in the other. He had a blast! He was so much fun. He rang the doorbells (too many times if I didn't pay attention - oops!) and when prompted said trick-or-treat. When people put the candy low for him to grab his own - he took it and dropped it in his bag. We did 0.7 miles - both sides! We at some point ran into Sophie and a friend and finished up with them. She was so darned cute even though her wig on her costume kept falling off her head. I think she really loved being able to go out with her brother.
Now this might not sound like anything significant to a lot of you, it sounds just like a typical Halloween, right? That is what makes it so significant to us. Whenever we don't have to think too much about what we have to do, that makes life so much easier for us. Unlike some of Zach's other developments, what I appreciated about this is that it was effortless, there was no preparation beyond what I did for Sophia - OK your right, even less preparation since I punted on the costume for him. :)
Pictures you ask? Ahhh errr.... yeah, well like I said, "no thinking".
Zach has recently begun chewing on the collars of his shirts and the cuffs of his sleeves. In behavioral terms, we have put this on "extinction". This means, for the meantime, that we ignore it and see what happens. I am wondering if his 6 year molars are pushing in and causing him to do this since he never did this before. Now as for Sophia - she is like me - likes to chew on things ALL the time. My chronic nail biting is a huge embarrassment for me - and she has a lighter version of it that started roughly 2 years ago. It makes me so sad that she might have learned this from me.
I had an adult in my life that was also a finger nail biter. I can recall trying to discuss this with her and she wouldn't talk about it. I remember going to my doctor and asking for help - to which he responded that out of all the bad habits to have - this one was benign comparatively. He went on to explain that if I would force myself into quitting I would likely take on a new behavior to replace it - and something with more consequences, like eating or smoking.
I have to tell you folks, knowing how my nail biting is worse than ever and done primarily at home, I have been wondering if I have been to blame for my kids oral fixations - a combination of genes and modelling. But then I recall the time when I began to chew my nails. I was on my way to a violin lesson, and looked down to see slightly long nails - nothing excessive for the normal kid - but for a violin player too much. My violin teacher was known to pull out the nail clippers right during lessons, and I can recall a snip that was a little to close to the quick. So I can recall taking care of business en route to the lesson. It's funny that I realize that might have been the beginning of the habit. Nervousness was paired with nail biting.
Yes, I over think things. All the time. I waste time doing it.
Sophie is busy this fall and I am almost happy that soccer is over for now. Whew! Sophie is enjoying all her activities - Girl Scouts, ballet, French, religious education. We are in preparation for her first penance. Unfortunately, our parish priest is very ill, and won't be able to attend the actual service. The instruction for first penance has been parent instructed which means that I have procrastinated and onyl begun working on it this past week when she is due to make her first penance December 5th.
I have discussed my struggles with faith before - but know in my heart that I want to give Sophia the sense of safety that I had from growing up within the Church. Although during these past few years especially after a priest who we had begun to befriend left the area, I have felt sort of deserted by our Church community. Having gone to them for help, we ended up being requested to set up the help ourselves for the church. I studied disability ministry a bit and realized that I could not afford to overextend myself and further. I was left feeling bitter. Had it not been for reading other mothers' blogs who had the same thing happen - I would have taken it more personally. I chalked it up once again to those not affected not "getting it".
Reading the materials for this sacrament has been very emotional for me. I feel like I have always had a very deep belief in a lot of the teachings of the Church and I struggle with the fact that I always felt that others don't take the teachings as serious as I did. This sacrament has always left me a little dumbfounded though - the emphasis on apologizing to those you hurt was never emphasized strongly enough in my opinion. Either way - I am not sure if I am connecting with God or just my core beliefs, but this journey Sophia is travelling has certainly brought up a lot of emotions. I always seem to take things more seriously - could this more "black and white" view of things be one of those genetic things that I passed on to my kids?
Thinking I was volunteering to pass out donuts, I signed up to work at Sophie's Penance Retreat. I showed up to find out I would actually be teaching a small class. (!!!) Oops. It was really no big deal - and extremely well organized. There were several breaks for us parent instructors and I had the opportunity to speak with some of the women who organized the retreat. In the end - I met a woman who was very open to seeing if we could get some of the kids with autism to receive their sacraments - particularly First Communion. She was a sassy smart Mom with whom I felt really comfortable. She likely doesn't know how her understanding and "can do" attitude gave me such a sense of faith again.
Now on to Thanksgiving we go....