Every cloud has a silver lining. When Garin was studying proverbs last week in his summer workbook, that was one that he read aloud. All of us were sitting together at the table, so I used it as a teachable moment. I couldn't resist since I am an avid fan of both idioms and proverbs. Confidentially, or perhaps not, Garin and I lived that proverb.
We have hit the skids again with Garin and his computer. Just when I thought things couldn't get any worse than they were during distance learning, they got worse. The situation involved being on the computer without permission in the wee hours of the night watching YouTube videos, while everyone else was fast asleep. This has happened more than once, over the past two weeks, according to what Garin told me. I made this discovery at about 1 AM this morning. I had no choice but to nip the situation in the bud (there's a good idiom). Today, there no computer at all. Tomorrow, we shall see. I am left to figure out when it will be appropriate for him to rejoin his virtual summer camp classes. Given COVID-19, and the challenges all parents are facing having kids stuck at home, this is not ideal timing for this problem.
Garin expressed appropriate contrition for his actions, which I took as a healthy sign and I appreciated it. Nonetheless, he was sad that he would not be able to participate in his classes today. I was sad for him and also for me. That meant I would have a moping 12-year old on my hands all day to contend with. That's never fun.
When we were discussing today's possible plan, last night at 2 AM as neither of us could sleep, I told Garin that he would probably have to help me with projects (to be determined) today. Although hardly happy to hear that news, he is smart enough to know that when you've crossed your mother, you lose your right to have choices. Everyone knows that.
After I returned home from my walk this morning, I found him on the couch with his favorite pug blanket draped over him, sulking. No surprise there. I let him know at that point that I had chosen our project for the day. I had chosen the huge, overwhelming, and much-dreaded photo project and had done so by design.
First, I had intended to get back to that project for months, so I genuinely wanted to do it. Second, I knew that it would convey to him, by its magnitude, my disappointment in him. Certainly baking a loaf of bread or batch of cookies would not send the same message. I had seriously considered vacuuming baseboards, as they are in desperate need of cleaning, but decided that might make him feel too much like a boy Cinderella. Maybe I'll reserve the baseboards for the next infraction if there is one, god-forbid.
We started the photo project around 11 and made a good deal of progress. He helped me sort hundreds of photos, decide which ones should go in the album, and in which order they should go. We had fun looking at shots of the kids at Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas, from that year (2016). We laughed at the funny photos of chunky "Baby Miles" and all the other silly moments. We had a lot of fun together.
I remarked to Garin how much nicer it was to have him by my side, helping me with this daunting project, rather than doing it alone. To my surprise, he replied to me, "Mommy, it was nice helping you with this project today." I could tell that he was surprised at how the day turned out. I sensed that he enjoyed the project and the time with me, rather than being on his computer, even though I am sure he missed not taking his Environmental Heros class. I also detected a sense of relief that he didn't have to contend with the computer today and all the negative temptations that come with that beast.
I haven't had a quiet and happy day alone with Garin like that in a very long time. Since the beginning of the quarantine, it is has been nonstop screen-time, zoom meetings, and general chaos at our home. Because the twins and Miles were busy on a wonderful new camp today online (Kindacamp), Garin and I were able to have that special time together. I was calmer than I have been in months, as was he.
Last night as I lay awake at 2 AM, unable to sleep, fretting about Garin's entire future, I envisioned a day filled with metaphorical dark clouds. Instead, we both experienced a silver lining, and what a lovely surprise it was for us both.
I found this heartfelt apology card from Garin, when I returned home from my walk.
Garin and I rolling up our sleeves and braving the daunting photo project together.
Miles and the twins did this fabulous class on KindaCamp today. They had a ball! there were videos, demonstartions, yoga and much more.
Miles the Menace's idea of partaking in virtual camp.
The twins working hard on their insects, while Miles worked on hard on breaking the window treatment.
Catherine so proud of the three insects she made.
A ladybug, a bee and a butterfly. All lovely, just like her.
Graham doing the Insect Yoga class.
Garin and I finished off the last four months of 2016! Hooray for us!
On to 2017 tomorrow. Only three and a half years behind now!
Garin enjoying a little pool time after all his diligent help today.
Graham, our resident pastry chef, made us brownies tonight for dessert. I could get used to this!