Friday, March 14, 2008

Katie #3 -- The word's "Tenacious!" Really.

I have been seriously deficient in finishing off this NaBloPoMo-inspired series about each of my kids, including going back and giving a Mom's-eye-view of Arwen. I can't promise a post every day until next November, but I am going to work very hard at finishing at least one per week. Call me on it if I don't!

When our children were born, one of the first things Roger did for each of them was pray for them -- hand on tiny head, -- a personal blessing, which then became that child's bedtime blessing. Most of the blessing is the same for all the children, but there's a different special word for each one of them. (".....May God give you strength, and peace, and _______ all the days of your life....") George's word is "courage." Rosie's is "joy." Katie's -- "tenacity."

I have no idea how Roger came up with the specific word for each child (revelation? luck? randomness?) but it is clear that being prayed for in such a way has given each of them the quality named in their blessing. Of course in Katie's case, it's quite possible that she'd have had it anyway. At least we have a nice word for it. "Tenacious" is so much more positive than "pigheaded."

I've already called Katie stubborn, independent, and feisty. To that list you can add, in capital letters, CREATIVE. She's our only left-handed child, which indicates a differently wired brain, and while no less intelligent than her siblings she shows it much more in artistic rather than academic arenas. It took me a while to adjust my mothering style to her. I would walk into the room she shared with Maggie, see the mixture of scissors and paper scraps and ribbon and what-not and begin to yell -- "Katie, clean up this mess!" (Maggie's my tidy one; I knew it wasn't her mess.) Only after years, and a breakthrough in understanding, did I learn to look around first, and say "Oh, Katie, what a lovely mobile! Now don't you think it's time to clean up the stuff you used?"

Katie had some adjusting to do as well. Kindergarten went just fine for her, but when she got into first grade and began to have spelling words -- oh, my! I had gone over spelling words with all the older children, but with Katie... I'd ask her to spell "then", she'd think for a minute, and triumphantly pronounce "T-E-N-H!" A long argument would follow about whether that was right or not. From Katie's point of view, she'd said all the right letters; what was wrong? Getting them in the right order was an unnecessary waste of time.

(This has been in my drafts folder for too long. .. To be continued....)

Monday, March 03, 2008

Quick hello!

I am working on my third post about Katie. I would like to get through all the kids' biographies before anything major changes! But I am dealing with a Katie-induced flurry of costume production and modification (stay tuned for details) and I simply can't do as much as I'd like to.

However, several people have gently inquired as to how I can read in the shower. There are two facets to this: 1) non-valuable lightweight books and 2) long arms. I hold the book in my left hand and wash with my right. I don't usually read while I'm washing my hair, but since it's almost to my waist and is rather a production to wash, I only do it three times a week.

I honestly didn't know this was strange until I was out of college and mentioned it to my roommate. I had always read in the bathtub at home -- we didn't have a shower -- and kept it up in the showers in college, because it was always smart to take a book along anyway since you might have to wait for the few showers per floor. And I couldn't carry a big, heavy textbook down there, so light reading was permissible!

Actually, I guess I should just admit that I'm a book junkie. I have even read while kneading bread dough. (Not such a good idea. Do not try this at home!) If you have any further questions, just ask! And I hope to be back shortly with Katie #3.