Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Weekend Open Thread

Screen Shot 2014-07-10 at 1.38.15 PM

I shared this photo on Instagram the other day and wrote: “I want to freeze time right here, just like this.” Drew had just given Jackson a bath, as he does almost every night, and I was out on the terrace squeezing in a little more work before my energy for the day finally gave way to heat and rosé. After he got dressed in his PJs, Jackson came out to say goodnight to me, first curling up right beside me on the glider. “Can I have one kiss?” I asked, and he obliged, saying, “I love you, Mommy.” And for once, he was saying it just to say it and not because he had an ulterior motive (candy, iPad time, TV, “just let me out of my room I’m not going to take a nap!”). Then he got up and moved to the chair where he sat smiling at me for a few minutes. “I like it,” he said. “I do, too,” I replied. And then I took this picture.

And I do like it. I like how he is these days (for the most part), and, for the most part, I like how I am with him. We have an easier relationship. I think a big part of the easier way of things lately is that I am understanding him better. When he started reading a couple months ago, it was like a light bulb went off. His brain is just different than mine. He’s reading sentences now. He’s spelling words I didn’t know he even knew. He doesn’t just count his numbers, he spells each number. He pointed to a stop sign the other day and said, “That’s an octagon.” “What does that mean?” I asked him. “A shape with eight sides,” he replied.

He is endlessly curious and loves learning — is obsessed with learning. I don’t know what — if anything — this means for his future, but I do know that finally understanding and appreciating his emerging skills and interests has made a big, big difference. I think this is probably true of most parents who begin noticing and appreciating and fostering their kids’ own unique skills and interests. It has made things easier and more fun. And before there are new challenges, before he stops wanting to curl up next to me to say good-night, before I start losing him little by little to the world and all the things there are to learn about it, I want more time right here, just like this. Because I like it.

I hope you are liking your right now, too. What are you up to this weekend?

13 comments… add one
  • Bugaboo3 July 11, 2014, 4:13 pm

    Oh my heavens, he is the cutest thing.

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  • Moneypenny July 11, 2014, 4:50 pm

    This is so cute. And really sweet! I love your writing on your more personal essays. And I’m so surprised that he knows what an octagon is. Wow!
    All I have going on this weekend is a wedding. I’m excited for the couple, and I’m excited for the chance to dress up!

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  • Amanda July 11, 2014, 4:59 pm

    I just need to vent since my normal support system appears to be MIA. I just found out that my car needs $600 worth of work that I can’t afford. I was supposed to go on vacation (which is a road trip with my car ) in 10 days. I can’t afford both. My vacation as 10 measly days away…and now I can’t go.

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  • Portia July 11, 2014, 5:21 pm

    Aww, he’s getting so big and smart! I’m hanging out with Bassaio’s niece and nephew this weekend and I’m so excited! But they’re moving far away soon, so every visit for the next month or two is going to be a little bittersweet.

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    • Portia July 14, 2014, 10:06 am

      Saw the kiddos and they’re growing up so quickly! And Bassanio’s niece has like no filter, which makes for some hilarious comments. I’m really going to miss them.

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  • Lyra July 11, 2014, 6:06 pm

    This is pretty adorable Wendy! 🙂
    My day was…interesting. I was unofficially given a heads up by my boss today that there have been talks to salary me and give me a promotion. Which of course is really freaking awesome and great news — except for the fact that if I was offered it and took it I would be doing probably 5x the amount of work, I would likely be expected to come in on weekends, and I would probably not be teaching at all. And I love to teach. I don’t want to be in management and I fear that they may give me an ultimatum like they gave MY boss: take the promotion or leave the company completely. I think I have some power though — they REALLY like my work. I’ve only been full time for 4 weeks… So I’m mulling over that right now thinking of all possibilities. If I have zero negotiating power in this situation they will lose me and I think they know that. I really like a work/life balance thank you very much.
    Other than that I have a really freaking great weekend lined up. Music festival tomorrow, Color Run on Sunday! Except Navy Guy leaves on Sunday and I’m not too thrilled about it. But I’m trying to convince him to travel home in his uniform so I can have the awesome running hug at the airport with my in-uniform Navy Guy. We’ll see if he listens. 😉

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  • Christy July 12, 2014, 12:26 am

    My right now is BUSY. So, I was in work training June 17-20, and then I was on vacation with gf until two days ago. Oh, and we move in together tomorrow (well, today, technically). We’re finally done packing her books (finished mine a while back) and now we’re just waiting for tomorrow. So much to be done. So many books. So, so many books. I have over 600 and she has well over double that. So so many.
    But all in all, my right now is quite good.

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  • Dietcokeaddict July 12, 2014, 8:33 pm

    Wow is he really reading?!?! That’s amazing! Did you do anything special or did he just pick it up? My daughter is Jackson’s age and was upset at bedtime that she didn’t know how to read and couldn’t read herself more books after I said goodnight. I felt bad that she was frustrated. If you did use any tools, could you share what worked?

    I also started reading at Jackson’s age. My parents said it was fairly spontaneous. I can’t remember ever being unable to read. It’s a skill that most people eventually acquire but it’s super cool to be able to read at his age. I can read extremely quickly now and I think it’s because I’ve been doing it for so long.

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    • Dear Wendy July 13, 2014, 7:05 am

      He really is reading. We didn’t push it, but we noticed his interest in letters and tried to help foster that and then from there, he started reading pretty quickly. I wrote a little bit here about the various things we used (toys, iPad apps, books). When we were in st. louis a month ago, my aunt, who was a career kindergarten teacher, said she thought jackson seemed ready to read sentences and suggested writing some simple sentences for him to practice with. My mom wrote out about 5 or 6 sentences the next morning before we left to come back to New York, and Jackson read them all pretty easily (he was also reading simple sentences on menus at restaurants). My mom also got him some “I Can Read” books and Jackson has been reading those pretty well.

      If your daughter knows her alphabet well and can identify all the letters and knows all their sounds, then she’s probably ready to start sounding out simple words. But if not, don’t push it. As you said — it’s a skill most people acquire eventually! (Just like potty-training, I keep reminding myself…).

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  • Taylor July 12, 2014, 10:47 pm

    My right now is full to the brim, and then some. I want to freeze bits if my day to come back to and savor. Lil bit is 6 mo now, it’s going so fast!

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  • Paperwhite July 13, 2014, 10:18 am

    I remember my little guy learning to read. First he noticed single letters and numbers.. There was the laughing No 5 ball on the lottery posters, (look at that funny five mummy!) then he read all the W’s and O’s on the Woolworth’s sign, then read them again on the handle of the shopping trolley.
    The day he read the safety sign “look out for grapes” his face was a mixture of triumph, disbelief (that safety laws have gotten so out of hand) and secret dread that grapes might be more sinister than a mere slippery spot.

    Ok so my weekend was spent with mr axe cutlery lamb farmer. He met me after work in the city so we checked out a new bar and then stuffed ourselves with dumplings in chinatown. then we headed up to the farm. It’s pretty cold and rainy so there was lots of wine by the fire and hot bubbly baths.
    Cheers, lovelies!

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    • Dear Wendy July 13, 2014, 1:32 pm

      I was just thinking about you and the axe cutlery farmer this morning over breakfast (let’s just say I noticed some axe cutlery at the table). Glad to hear all’s well with you and yours.

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  • Lianne July 14, 2014, 9:50 am

    I can’t believe the weekend is already over! I want it back. We went to NASCAR with my Dad yesterday. It was not for me at all, but something I can say I’ve tried! The noise was so intense I needed to take a walk; it was bothering my stomach!

    Wendy this picture of Jackson is adorable.

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