Monday, November 23, 2009

Use your words

I spent all week working on my novel. Doesn't it sound like fun?

It was actually the opposite of fun. It was a hard week, but I think I've crested the wave now. I'm still a little behind schedule, but not by much (only a mere 2k words), so I'm not going to sweat it. This is the last week of NaNoWriMo 2009, and I feel like I've grown a lot more through the process this year than I imagined was possible.

Especially last week. Last week my kids derailed into screaming mimis. Kitty Bill gets frustrated pretty easily, always has. But lately he has been turning into a fairly collected little person. For a four-year-old he's an incredibly focused and creative little guy. We've been working so hard with him to make sure that he emerges into this compassionate, intelligent being. But there's one thing that chaps his hide and bares his inner monster--- sisters. The more my girls play with German-speaking kids, the more they lose touch with their ability to "use their words" with him.

When they are playing with other kids that don't speak English there is very little language usage. Things are mostly mimed or broken down into single-word commands or verbs. Speile?! Komm! Halt! They play together beautifully for the most part, but after a few hours of this, my girls forget that they CAN speak English. They forget that they need to use their words to communicate properly and appropriately when we are together and a situation arises. This is especially obvious with Moonshine, as she's just now growing more and more comfortable speaking in German; it's like she switches over.

And this is a big problem! They forget that Kitty Bill is only four. Because he's changing so rapidly and beginning to be able to fully engage in imaginative play, they forget that he's one of them-- an English-speaker. Because he hasn't yet learned to use his words, they forget that he can understand them. It's really confounding.

Ever since they were small I've been reminding them to use their words. Do you want something? Use your words. Have a problem? Use your words, not your hands. And to complicate things ever more, kids in Switzerland use their hands. A lot. There appears to be less "mothering" going on here than you would normally find in middle-class America. It's more of a dog-eat-dog society amongst the youngsters. And I'm not okay with that for my kids. I'm really not.

The fallout from this is screaming. Lots and lots of screaming. It makes it hard to write, hard to think, hard to homeschool. Hard to just be together.

On top of that, I've been looking at my own words. I've been pretty frustrated lately about a lot of things. Frustrated about my blog, my time, my energy. Frustrated by society and living in a foreign country and the fact that I haven't been home in eighteen months. I miss my family, my friends, my homeschooling community, and my grandmother--- who is 85! We just bought plane tickets for a trip home so I can hug my grandmother.

It's a four-thousand-dollar hug.

Painfully expensive. But the sound of her voice when I phoned her and told her we were coming? Priceless. She's ecstatic!

Those are the kinds of things I want to use my words for--- to bring something to the table that lifts people up. And I don't feel like I've been doing that so much. I feel like something has got to change here. I feel like I'm spinning my wheels, going in the wrong direction, or simply just not doing enough. This week I feel like either owning my words and making them count or shutting up entirely.

I don't know what my focus is anymore-- am I writing for myself? Or for you, my loyal readers? Judging from the comments recently, I think there are three of you-- does anyone else still read this blog??

My question this week is, what should I be bringing to the table? What could I be doing with my words that would truly make a difference?

12 comments:

  1. I read your blog! :) I'm sorry you are feeling frustrated. It's hard when the kiddos are not getting along. It wears me down. I'm sorry I don't have any great advice, but I am sending warm thoughts. Take care of yourself today!

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  2. I read your blog. I love your blog. It has been such an inspiration to me over the years. I wish I could say something that would make it all better for you, because my heart aches for you and the situation you are in. I can empathise in a very very small way. I really hope things get better.

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  3. I read your blog! And I find great inspiration from the work you do. You are in the middle of an incredibly difficut time, but you aren't alone. My difficulties and frustrations are not the same as yours, but they are real too. How to do what needs to be done? How to decide what that is? I have faith that you will figure out what to do to regain your sanity, even if that is simply find your zen spot in the middle of the screaming and wait for everyone to grow up a little :)
    Good luck!

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  4. not only do i follow your blog faithfully, but i find it inspiring. actually i tend not to leave comments because i think no one really cares about my comments...oh the tangle of words, validation,self doubt...
    as the mother of a third grader who has finally embarked on the OT today i am very aware of the power of words. use them to create our world anew each day .

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  5. I love your blog! You are wonderfully inspiring. Remember to fill your own well. It is so hard to fill others buckets when you are feeling empty. I hope that you feel ease as you finishing your writing.

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  6. You know I'm reading.

    (I take notes even.)

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  7. Thank you Shonda, Sarah, Alyss, Hobbit, Magical Mom, and Happily Ever After for your incredibly sweet comments. I appreciate each and every one of you. Really and truly.

    I think you are all onto something. I needed to find my zen spot and fill my own well... and I need to find a new direction, or discover my old direction, or something like that. I have some ideas. *thinking, thinking*

    And Happily Ever After, you made me laugh. Thanks for taking notes, lol.

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  8. Anonymous8:57 AM

    awwwwwwwww bless your heart.. I know what you mean.. I started a blog only to not keep it going. sigh.

    I love your blog, you are very creative and I enjoy the inspiration I receive when I read your home learning sharing.. so lovely and helpful..

    I found you, gosh, a year or two or so ago and I'm not sure if I ever commented or not.. I was offline for about a year and got back on this summer and am not sure if I will stay on once the new year comes on.. but please know that your blog is read and appreciated.. I say tho, that your appreciation of your work being recorded this way is far more important than any of our praises.

    blessings on your journey,

    kimberly

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  9. I've been loving your blog for the past couple of years. My children go to a Waldorf school about 40 minutes from where we live, and I keep thinking that some day I'll homeschool them instead of making the trip, but it hasn't materialized that way yet. Reading your blog helps me to stay connected to that idea, and I've thoroughly enjoyed reading of your adventure of taking this journey on while in another country....especially a German-speaking one!

    I can understand your feelings about blogging...I've taken a rather extended blog break myself. I find it easier to read everyone else's than to write my own these days. Just know that if you do choose to take a break or stop altogether that you will be missed, but we will understand!

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  10. Dear Sara, I hope December has arrived with peace in your home. I very much enjoy your blog, even if I do not get to check in as often as I would like. I also do not have as much time for my blog as I would like, and so wish I was able to share more... maybe some day.
    I'm glad you are making a trip "home".
    Wishing you and your family a wonderful holiday season!
    Renee :)

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  11. Thanks Kimberly, Bunnie, and Renee for the very sweet comments. They mean so much to me.

    I've been thinking a lot this week, maybe it's time to change things up a bit....? I know it's time, I'm just resisting change.

    And Kimberly, what I saw was actually a lot of greed and copyright infringement. Bad stuff, I say, but I'm reminded that it takes all kinds in the world. But more on that later.

    Thanks again everyone for the nice comments!

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  12. Well, figures when you feel like no one is reading your blog, I don't show up until a week later. :}

    I'm very excited for you about your trip to visit your family! I wish you could make a stop here too, but...maybe next time, maybe next November? =) One can hope!

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Thank you for taking the time to leave a message. I appreciate your sweet words so much!

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