Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Whole and Real (mature or immature?)

Working on a new page for my unschooling site, I came across a quote:
At the age of eleven, Holly has had very little exposure to the idea of what is kids' stuff and what is not, and so her television and movie tastes are personal and calm. She will watch Teletubbies on the same day she might watch Stand By Me or The Rocky Horror Picture Show. She likes music, she understands The Green Mile, and she's analytical about the messages various PBS children's shows intend to present, about school or self esteem or history or math. It's fun for me to watch her watch TV.

Holly's not eleven anymore, she's sixteen. The last two movies she's seen in theaters were "In Bruge" (which she says is too rough for me), and "Alvin and the Chipmunks" (which she and Marty went to see at the dollar theater and were happy to find it was 50¢ night).

Some others in my world seem to be acting mature (more acting than maturity involved) or are sadly stuck in an immature stage (which they'll probably figure a way out of someday, after some trauma).

I know I'm bragging now, but I'm also very humble about it because I didn't know it would happen this way. My own kids are mature and yet still childlike. They're interested in all kinds of everyday things, they laugh easily, they play around without self-consciousness, but when the moment comes for someone to need to figure out what to do in a serious situation, they're right there.

It's one of my favorite unforeseen benefits of unschooling, that they grew up without shucking off former stages in an attempt to prove they were big. They just WERE big, from the beginning. We didn't let anyone make them small. And because they were strong, they could afford to be gentle. (I totally lifted that line from 35-year-old SCA writings about knighthood, and they might've been lifted from other places before that.)

The new page (still in progress, but I guess they're all in progress) is Food Fun. The inspiration for it came from a link I found on this blog: xanga.com/juliepersons (nice music there, too!) and the quote above came from sandradodd.com/t/holly.

I love my kids in ways I didn't know mothers could love teens and the newly-adult. Kirby, Marty, Holly—thank you. You've not only made my life better, and your dad's, but because you've been willing for me to tell your stories as they unfolded, other people's lives are better too.

Holly's self-portrait up top is from a recent museum day, and I had promised to put photos there. Now that I've found them, I'll do that. sandradodd.blogspot.com/2008/02/explora.html


Dawne said...

I think you have the right to brag Sandra! Your kids are well rounded... enjoying all things around them! I had someone tell me a month ago that she couldn't believe Ashley was 16! They said she seems soo young, yet mature for her age! why?-because she finds enjoyment in many things around her that may be child-like at times--why not--she is still a child of a sort, so why shouldn't she! Yet she is very mature in more ways than most 16 yr. olds up here and the parents are wow-ed by her, in her replies and her views of life! --I brag... I am their mom... I have bragging rights...lol! So do you on your kids--I also believe many brag about your kids... I know we do--I think YOU, your DH and your children are an amazing family unit! A wonderful mentor and role model for many to look to! !(I too am also humble at the same time since I didnt know it would turn out like this-- since mine were not always unschooled)---AND I had my doubts--not so much in them as myself, worrying about not always guiding them where and when I should/could!--But so far, life is good and I am proud, as should you be of what you have accomplished--you are wonderful!! Hope this made sense! :0)

Melissa said...

I love this Sandra, thanks!
Especially that 'they were big, from the beginning"

Sandra Dodd said...

Holly wanted me to change the place where I said "both my children" and I was willing to do that, but what it said is this:

"My own kids are both very mature and yet still childlike. "

My own three kids are very mature and at the same time still childlike. I read it as I wrote it, but she saw it as saying my kids are (both of them).

I guess I can just drop "both" so the new version (if I don't get distracted and forget to change it) would be
"My own kids are very mature and yet still childlike."

Shell (in NZ) said...

"They just were BIG, m the beginning"...hooray!

I can still remember at age 12 thinking it was time I "grew up and stopped liking cartoons". I liked other stuff, but I couldn't shake my love of cartoons...it's still here, and technically (sort of) I am grown up now!

Anonymous said...

They just WERE big, from the beginning. We didn't let anyone make them small.

That made me mist up! What a beautiful statement. I've wondered at how my children don't have that burning desire to "be big"--they just are.