Day 86: Board games and violin

So our sleepover Guest was here this morning until noon or so, when his mom picked him up. Before that time (and they woke up at a very reasonable just-before-8am) the kids played with Legos, ate pancakes, and climbed on the magnolia tree. The boys were really sweet together, which is funny because they are such…boys. It makes me really happy to see Boy happy, and he’s had a good couple of days.

We had our first violin lesson since before Christmas today. Boy played well, and comported himself well. The student before Boy is actually the mom of one of the other younger boy students, and I know that my Boy is entranced by the music she plays with his teacher (traditional fiddle/violin) and also keenly interested in the rapport between the two. It is collaborative. They stop and start. They talk about technique; they demonstrate, attempt, listen. They talk while they play. They…nitpick, but happily. It is relaxed.

I know, I know, that Boy wants to do that, to be that, so very much. Relaxed and collaborative. Composed. Jocular. Unruffled.

This morning I could feel his huge brown eyes on Miss A, the mom-student. We got unpacked, he tightened and rosined his bow and got his shoulder rest on, and then just sat in a chair in rest position, watching her. Listening to the beautiful music that filled the room.

And then it was his turn. I could tell that he was doing his best to conduct himself like an ‘adult.’ Holding himself a little more upright. Trying to speak very clearly and pleasantly. And when he made a mistake in the middle of Twinkle and his teacher mentioned it, he almost ostentatiously said, okay, let’s just start in the middle. So politely. So agreeably. And he played really well.

He’s trying to learn to play double-stop, but it’s not easy for him. But he remained unruffled. Kept trying.

And when it was over, and we were putting his things away, he whispered to me, “Mumma, I was so polite, right? I started in the middle of a song and I didn’t throw a fit. Did you hear that?”

His teacher and I agreed that he shouldn’t play in the recital later this month, too much pressure for him right now, but after this lesson I am completely reassured that we are doing the right thing in persevering with violin. I was so proud of him, and it’s clear what it means to and for him.

Girl, meanwhile, occupied herself with a pad of paper and pencil like she always does. It turned out at the end of the half-hour that she had copied down every word she could find in the room. (Picture to be added tomorrow.) She was extraordinarily proud of herself.

All the words Girl could see in the violin lesson room.
All the words Girl could see in the violin lesson room.

After that we hustled to the minivan, drove to a friend’s house to pick up their 8 year-old son, and continued to our library for the first ever Board Game Day! Probably fifteen homeschool kids, all playing board games in a meeting room set up with 4-top tables and chairs. MJoFL (Miss J our Favorite Librarian) had a cart of games and puzzles she brought in for the kids to choose, and I was happy to see the things we donated last fall in the mix. I had also told families to bring favorite games they wanted to play with their friends.

This is something that was actually my idea, and I asked MJoFL if we could do it at the library. I hear, and read, about how games are so good for kids in so many ways, and we have games, but I never play them. And playing them makes me feel antsy and impatient and short-tempered. So it seemed like a good idea to have a venue in which kids can play games with each other, not their moms. Anyway it seemed to go very well. Boy played with three other friends of his, and threw no fits. So, every Wednesday for the winter and spring, Board Game Day 2-4pm.

After that, of course, we had to drop off Boy’s friend and then hurry home to get Boy’s ballet things on for class at 5pm. I heated up some wild rice and kale and pecans from last night and gave that to the kids before Papa took Boy back out. While they were gone I ordered a birthday gift from Amazon for a boy’s party on Saturday, made reservations for our Boy’s birthday adventure (more on that soon), and then handed the laptop over to Girl for some PBSkids.org time. I had ordered a very inexpensive mouse and pad for the laptop since the touchpad is really hard for her, and that worked wonderfully.

When Papa and Boy got home, we all had salad and then got ready for bed.

Tomorrow is supposed to be bitterly cold, so we will stay home, and I will clean and put the Christmas decorations away. Full speed ahead into the New Year.

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