Tuesday, March 02, 2010

So long and ...

Not saying "adieu" but it has been so long since I blogged about this boy.

We had a good Christmas despite my being rather busy and distracted trying to sew and embroider handkerchief orders. I was surprised (in a pleasant sort of way) to be overwhelmed.

We had my niece en route home from Warwick on exchange and son was pleased to have some company. It was fun listening to them both chuckle at Spongebob Squarepants, etc.

At church he was sheep #3 or something at Christmas production. I was stuck at home mostly with a terrible cold. Then I learned that he was asked to do a Scripture reading at the Candlelight service. I could not attend this either as my tinnitus (from the cold) was so bad I wouldn't have coped with the sound levels. From all accounts he was outstanding.

Back at school in January they started working on their ESB (English Speaking Board) Exam. This is something the school has chosen to do with the boys so that they could gain confidence in speaking.

Son had to recite a poem, give a three-minute talk, read a passage from a chosen book and answer questions from the floor, made up of his classmates and their parents.

He decided that his talk was going to be on Philosophy. We worked together on it for a bit. I helped him with the outline. He wrote it out, and then I tidied it up.

This evening we heard him trying to memorize this speech.

There's a drama production at school. He auditioned but said he did not want a major part. A classmate decided that he had to give up his part (poor boy had been in and out of hospital for operations) and the teacher offered the part to my boy.

He gamely took the challenge. This was soon after an episode at school when we had the impression that he was being bullied.

It is always about Games. He has Late Games on Thursdays and he often comes home in tears because of something that happened at Late Games.

On this occasion he was inconsolable and Mum and Dad both found it very upsetting. At the same time he would not name names of the people making him so upset. So we set about thinking up strategies to counter this.

When we had a chance to speak to the Games Master it appeared that our son was just a poor loser. Well, that may be so, but in my books jeering at a failure is not gentlemanly behaviour.

On the whole I am really enjoying this time of his life. I've often said that nine-year-old boys are "silly". Our son is silly, often, but most of the time he is a real delight. We have wonderful conversations, especially at dinner, and these will be precious memories in the future.

At the parent-teacher consultation all the teachers only had good things to say about him. Their challenge is to stretch and extend him.

Son seems to have done very well in that area of late. Either he is not so gifted after all or he has learned to cope much better. He seeks his intellectual stimulation in his own ways, reading science magazines, being one of them.

We've been taking him to ski lessons. He wanted to go on the school ski trip for as long as he has known about it. Desperate to learn to ski because ... James Bond skis. Basically anything Bond could do, he wishes to do. That is why he is keen to learn to fly.

The first lesson was a disaster. Mum and Dad, not having had ski experience at all, did not know how to get his boots on, did not know how to secure the gloves into his sleeves, did not know anything, full stop.

He got snow in his gloves and we saw him fluffing around and Dad, by now furious, was going to take him home straightaway.

Something clicked and he survived that first lesson. Last week he came so close to being able to get onto the main slope. Had it not been for some of the other children in the group holding him and Nat back, they would be able to get onto the main slope at the next lesson.

"Nat", she's the girl in the group of whom son said, later on in the car, "I think I'm in love with her."

We think he is just winding us up.

Still it's one more lesson on the training slope before proceeding to the main slope.

And as a result of ending his ESB speech on "42" (the answer to life, the universe and everything) we started reading The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. The film happened to be shown on TV at the same time. Son has watched it several times and has memorized chunks of Stephen Fry's narration.

Son is really growing up. O! Clarinet exam (Grade 3) next week (O no! not again!), and we're all cool about it. Don't panic! Son tells me he knows where his towel is.

So ... THANKS for all the fish!

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