Sunday, October 14, 2007

This Time of Year

Being a "band mom" has now overtaken my life. Endless practices, car pooling, competitions - it's time consuming and yet well worth it, in the end. It's amazing what being in band has done for DQ and her self-confidence, motivation, discipline, and attitude. When I watch her out there on the field, I am amazed that she has only been playing trumpet and marching for a little over two months, because she certainly seems like she's been doing it for all of her life - she's such a natural at it. Last week, she was out in 93 degree heat, in the middle of the OSU horseshoe, looking like she was going to throw up because she was so hot (those uniforms are all wool, mind you) - but she was having the time of her life, and it will be something that she will remember forever! Walking down the ramp and onto the field was the biggest thrill she's ever had - and I remembered walking down that same ramp when I graduated with my master's degree about twenty years ago, and that was thrilling, too.

She is still struggling with some of her grades, though, and so I remain concerned. Her ADD still remains an issue, and while she's learned how to compensate for it, it still is difficult for her to stay on task and be organized and complete all of her homework and get it in on time. She's blessed with an incredibly high IQ, but that can make it even more difficult on her because then teachers begin to assume that she is just being lazy or irresponsible, and therein lies a big problem. To those teachers who don't truly understand what having ADD is all about - how I wish you would be able to live with my child for a week in order to develop a truer picture and deeper understanding of this very real and very complicated learning disability; how I wish you could see that it's not a parenting issue (if that was the case, then my other child would be diagnosed with ADD), how I wish you could see that we are NOT looking to excuse her behavior but only explain it so that we can come up with solutions that will HELP her. Isn't that what it's supposed to be about - finding solutions to help the child learn and achieve to the best of her ability?

My oldest daughter will be starting her 3 year BSN program in two weeks. TP received her orientation papers in the mail the other day, and she became quite excited. This break has been a long one (she finished her first year of college in June, and this new college doesn't start until October 29th), so I think she has been getting a wee bit bored. She'll go continuously for the next three years without a break in between - no more summers off or long Christmas breaks. I believe this period of being in "limbo" has been good for her - it's helped her mature in many different ways, and she is beginning to appreciate things which she was taking for granted, and she knows that she is going to need to work hard in order to get where she wants to be in her life. I'm glad she'll be living at home for the next three years - yes, I am glad because I think she'll be able to concentrate more on her studies and stay on track in terms of her faith and her values. She is respectful of our ground rules (so far, anyway!), and has written up a schedule for her first semester which includes studying, working, and a little bit of time for "play".

As for me - well, I'm just contemplating all of these changes within my family. It's a different stage of life for me - still learning how to balance when to let go and when to be near, still learning how to relate to them more as young ladies rather than little girls, wondering what the next 30 years of my life will be like as I age. I've never thought of myself as "getting old" before, yet there are visible reminders that this is taking place, slowly but surely, and I am experiencing all sorts of mixed emotions about this process. I'm three years shy of the age when my mom died (she was 56), and I've always been a little fearful that I will die at that same age as she did. I find myself wondering what God wants me to do with the rest of my life once the girls are gone from the home. My faith is still strong, yet I sometimes feel a "disconnect" with God - and that troubles me because I know that it is I who is pulling back a little, when I really should be openly embracing Him during this time.

I am looking forward to the rest of the fall, what with more competitions (the band qualified for the state competition), with holiday bazaars, with getting the house ready for company at Thanksgiving, and with preparing for the holidays. It's my favorite time of year because I am doing so much FOR my family - and that is how it should be. I thank God for letting me be, as always, my kids' mom.


At 6:48 PM, Blogger Sarah said...

I am glad that DQ in enjoying band! Good luck to TP with her BSN program.

I wish you and your family nothing but the best. You are always in my thoughts and prayers.

At 11:05 PM, Blogger Kevin said...

I was in the marching band from fifth grade through twelfth grade, and the experience was fantastic. Discipline, teamwork, precision, effort, and the thrill of the payoff when all the hard work pays off in the performance. Plus, we got to travel. It's great that she's getting to experience it. My mother's 82 and she still considers herself a "Band Mom" (her grandson is in his high school's marching band). Enjoy every moment.

I've never thought of myself as "getting old" before, yet there are visible reminders that this is taking place, slowly but surely, and I am experiencing all sorts of mixed emotions about this process.

Welcome to the club, kiddo.

At 11:11 AM, Blogger HeyJules said...

Val, can I just say you sound so much better than you used to? You seem to be approaching things from a more positive aspect and I am so relieved to see that. I know you've really struggled with this part of your life but I think you're well on your way to moving into the next phase of things with your happiness intact. Keep it up, girl!

At 1:18 PM, Blogger ukok said...

It's fabulous that DQ has grown so much in confidence! I only wish my daughter would find something of interest to her that would get her socialising with others, she is very underconfident in social situations and I worry about that because she is an absolutely fantastic and a beautiful young lady, but no one may ever get the chance to see that because she won't open her mouth!

Val, enjoy your family and enjoy this wonderful time in your life :-)

God Bless you!

At 9:11 PM, Blogger PJ said...

I do remember marching band -- and almost fainting from the heat. (Whoever designed those terribly hot uniforms anyway!!!) But the exhilaration of performing well was well worth the effort...and the heat!

God Bless!

At 10:58 AM, Blogger Julana said...

How exciting! My nephew is a freshman at OSU this year.

Have you thought of consulting Glen Ackerman at OSU Center for Integrative Medicine on Kenny Rd for nutritional treatment of ADD? I went to one of his monthly evening seminars last week. He knows a lot.

Have a great autumn season.

At 11:53 PM, Blogger Julianne Bell @ Family Blueprint said...

Thank you for sharing this with us! I am struggling a bit with my teens. Sometimes I feel like I don't have a clue what I am doing, when motherhood always felt so natural to me...until now. I no longer "just know" what to say or do. Finding my line in the sand seems tougher than before.

I still have little ones too and even they are more difficult than my first bunch. Did I drink too much soda pop during my last pregnancies??? LOL!

You encourage me. Just sharing as you did gives me inspiration. Thank you! Blessings to you and yours, Julianne

At 12:30 AM, Blogger Jean M. Heimann said...


DQ is certainly blessed to have a mom like you who understands both her strengths and weaknesses and can be an advocate for her.

With an LD and ADD diagnosis I would certainly hope that her teachers would consider indiviualized grading. I realize that there is so much subject content that teachers must cover that she needs to know and that modifications are a more difficult concept for some teachers to handle, but she does have a disability despite her high IQ and that needs to be taken into consideration.

Is there someone like a counselor or principal that you talk with about this? I don't want to open up a can of beans and make things worse or more difficult for her, but as a former School Psychologist, I typically worked with techers and made recommendations to them about altering assignments for ADD and LD students. I'm sure you're familiar with some these; ie, shorter assignments, fewer test questions,individualized grading,etc.

I hope you don't mind me sharing this with you. You may have been through all of this already. Thank God she has taught herself to compensate for her disability.

The band participation is great for boosting her self-esteen, especially since she is so talented in that area.

I am a few years older than you and I can confidently say that you really don't have to worry about what you will be doing when the girls leave, as you will find plenty to do. Most people I know who are at that stage of their life have more activities than they do time.

Best wishes & God bless! :)

At 10:40 AM, Blogger My Kid's Mom said...

To All of my Commenters - Sorry it's taken me so long to reply!

Sarah- Thank you!!!! I think of you and your little family often, and keep you in my prayers, too!

Kevin - love that pic! I am enjoying every moment - and yes, the pay off makes it well worth all the hard work (that's true with everything in life, though, isn't it?). What - are you aging, too?!

Jules - Yah, the "old Val" IS returning. I'm itching to get back into writing more often now that band season is drawing to a close. THanks for sticking by me, my friend!

Deb - Your daughter will find something eventually - DQ is 16 and just discovered band a few short months ago, so I'm certain something will come up for your daughter. You always know what to say to bring a smile to my face, my friend!

PJ - Welcome to my blog! And last night, my daughter was grateful for that uniform because it was so cold out!!!! God bless you, too.

Julana - Thank you SO much for that information - I will definitely seek him out. How have you been doing?

Julianne - THank you for your kind words, and welcome to my blog. How I wish that a training manual was provided when we were given kids to raise! God bless you and yours, too!

Jean - Thank you for your words of wisdom. I would like to discuss this more with you via email, if that is all right? DQ's guidance counselor is just not the right fit for many reasons - and I'm beginning to get more than a little frustrated with her. Take care, and God bless.


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