Jason's Untimely Thoughts

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Archive for August, 2009

School Timing

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JTB & AEB First Day of School

JTB & AEB First Day of School

Jack and Adelaide successfully started school again yesterday.  Jack is back at CDC.  He’s in the Bear Class this year, which is where he spent the summer as well.  The other big changes for him are the fact that he’s going five days per week and that he’s now one of the oldest kids in the school.  Also that they have a male cook this year.  He has black hair.  They had hot dogs yesterday.  With ketchup.

Jack has started both days by asking if this is the day he gets to start kindergarten.  With most of his friends no longer at CDC, he’s not sure why he needs to be there either.

CDC also has a new policy of calling you every time someone gets hurt.  “Hurt” seems to include almost every normal activity for a four-year old boy.  Thankfully, they’ve modified already to allow for sending text messages or emails, so I watch for those daily.  Today’s message was “jack fell while running on the bike track.  he scraped his knee a little.  he is fine.”

Adelaide is a 1st Grader at Grant, with Mrs. Williams as her teacher.  She has several friends from kindergarten in her class, which is great of course.  With only two kindergarten classes, she also sees the remaining friends frequently.  After a day, she likes math the most.  It seems that early first grade math consists of tracing the number 2.  More advanced techniques will surely follow.  We’re also trying to pack a lunch this year, which was very strongly discouraged last year (by me).

The Grant playground has an institutionally mandated pecking order.  You have to be in 3rd Grade to go on the soccer field, kindergartners aren’t allowed past the log cabin, only the brave chase wayward four-square balls into the cemetery, etc.  So of course the minute they were allowed to play yesterday before school started, all the newly minted first graders ran immediately to the formerly forbidden climber and log cabin!  I assume they also stared menacingly at the kindergartners in the hallways, although I didn’t see that part.

Adelaide will go to Adventure Club after school on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, with dance, grandmother, and sitter combining to take care of Tuesdays and Thursdays.  Jack will also probably get to leave CDC early on Thursdays, so he can participate in the Grant School playground sibling social hour after school.

In all, school is off to a smooth start.  Certainly much smoother than this time last year, for all of us.

Written by Jason Becking

August 25th, 2009 at 2:43 pm

Tailgate E-mails

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Since 2002 or so, I’ve been emailing an expanding group before every home game with our tailgate plans for that week’s game.

Since 2004 or so, then, I occasionally go back and read them.  Normally when I’m anxious for football season to get here.  Like now, like I did today.

Some of them still make me laugh.  Maybe they will you too.  Tailgate emails.

Written by Jason Becking

August 24th, 2009 at 3:54 pm

Posted in Mindless Ramblings

Pennies for Projects

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Adelaide and Jack go to the Bootheel Youth Museum almost every visit to Malden.  It’s a quite impressive interactive museum, especially so for a town that size.

The BYM is currently using a “Pennies for Projects” campaign to raise funds.  Hoping to get to a billion pennies, which seems like a lot to me.

The kids dropped off pennies at their last visit to town.  There’s a nice little write-up and pic on the BYM website.  Allegedly newspaper coverage to come also.  Yay small town newspapers.

AEB & JTB Donating Pennies
AEB & JTB Donating Pennies

Adelaide and Jack Becking aren’t necessarily two individuals the average person would consider calling Bootheel Youth Museum benefactors.  You’d be surprised to learn that these two Missouri residents are not only staunch advocates of the BYM but have become fundraisers as well.  The two children, yep that’s right they’re just kids, their combined age is 10.  They have conducted a Pennies 4 Project fundraiser in their home town of Colombia, Missouri.  Adelaide, age 6, and Jack, age 4, are the grandchildren of Bill and Nancy Green and added their collection of 3,969 pennies to the Pennies 4 Projects bin.

Adelaide and Jack share their love of the museum with their friends, family, and have even told businesses about the BYM.  Nancy shared a story about how animated the kids were, when they were talking with a restaurant owner in Columbia.  The owner excused himself and came back a few minutes later with a jar full of pennies.  Adelaide and Jack aren’t the only young fundraisers the museum has had over the last few months. Malden Elementary School students have collected  3,871 pennies.  The grand total of pennies collected as of August 14, 2009, is 72,526pennies.  The BYM wants to thank all our donors and requests you keep saving and sending in your pennies as the museum hopes to collect 1 billion.”

Written by Jason Becking

August 18th, 2009 at 3:32 pm

Chalkbot Pic, Jargon Filled Post

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Huh? You’re Saying.

I watch the Tour de France every year, the race amazes me.  It’s the reason we have all those high channels on our TV, which now mostly give us Disney XD and other junk.   If you’ve ever watched, you notice the randomness written on the routes in chalk or whatever each stage.

This year, Livestrong and Nike teamed up to make a “Chalkbot“.  You could tweet (use twitter) your message to them, they’d write as many as they could on the course.  Today I received the photo below of the message I’d sent them during the race.  (actually a DM on twitter pointing to a twitpic, just to add some more jargon)

The message was printed here, according to the GPS info anyway.

SEMB Sill Loved message in 2009 Tour de France, by the Chalkbot

SEMB Still Loved message in 2009 Tour de France, by the Chalkbot

Written by Jason Becking

August 14th, 2009 at 11:35 am

AEB Pedi

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The kids are in the Bootheel this week, last time with the family down there before school starts again on August 24.

Adelaide went to Cape yesterday to spend the day/night with Eric, Chantelle, Bianca, and Solie.  Although I’m sure she saw Eric too, think girl time was the main point.

AEB Pedi

AEB Pedi

Written by Jason Becking

August 13th, 2009 at 8:28 am

Posted in Kids

Evolution of Coping

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I wrote the previous post July Sucks hurriedly and realized later that I’d been overly negative.  Perhaps naming it July Sucks wasn’t the best way to start.  I was writing mostly to write something, both for this space and the space in my head.  As I’ve said countless times, just putting the words down helps me organize my thoughts and move on.

Thinking about that post a bit more, though, plus a couple of conversations afterward leads to this one… where I flat out admit that things are going pretty well.  That’s especially true in comparison to this time a year or even 6 months ago.

For a long time (“long time” defined here as a period of between 2 hours and 10 months that seems to have lasted much longer than that) the simple acts of making sure we’d all eaten, bathed, gone to bed on time, and made it to school/work on time were enough to almost make me crazy.  Occasionally they did make me crazy.

My instinct and my need was to make as much of that a routine as possible.  Tried to provide some variety in the routine, but the routine itself was helpful to all of us, I think.  This is still true and explains why I’m willing to have a party full of people watch us freak out when we leave at 9:00, rather than continue on with them, because that’s way past bedtime for us.

That said, though, the weekday routine is really pretty old hat at this point.  There are still flare ups, melt downs, and side events, but generally we’ve got that covered.  (With great help from those that provide the variety within the routine.  This can’t be overstated.)

Not sure I’m making the point adequately, but that’s huge progress.  Even weekends, as down as I can get on those weekends without plans, we generally make it fine.  I still very much struggle personally with the days, nights, gatherings, and events that are supposed to be ‘fun’.  Mostly because they’re not all that fun for me.

I don’t mind at all answering almost any question from people I know, but dread answering questions from strangers.  I can clarify for as long as anyone cares to listen, but don’t really want to tell our story from the beginning.  The questions from people I know feel like honest conversation, which happens too infrequently due to time and circumstances.  The “dread” conversations don’t really happen that much at all, but the dread of them is still there.  Then those gatherings are still smack-me-in-the-ever-growing-forehead reminders of missing.

The day-to-day missing is easily coped with at this point (slight overstatement).  The reminders are the same, the view out the windows to the cemetery is the same, the self-pity and solitary loneliness have become habits that are handled well enough.   The gathering missing is just still too new.  The pauses in conversation where Sarah and I would seek each other out to compare notes, or trade off watching the kids, or just to make fun of whatever are what I’m unable to cope with well as of yet.  The pauses still happen, but the completion of the pauses does not.  This is still most clear, of course, when we hop in the minivan and drive off.  The passenger seat is full of junk instead of a passenger.

Everything I’ve described seems natural to me.  I don’t mean to be pretending to provide any insight, except into what I’m thinking.  I have no idea what the appropriate timeframe of any of it is, except that whatever seems right to us would have to be appropriate.  And that progress comes in lurches both forward and back.  (My 20-year high school reunion is coming up, wasn’t there someone nicknamed Lurch?)

Lurches included, progress is happening.  About this time last year I had a conversation with a friend about “getting through another hour”.  By that measure, progress is substantial.  I now tend to think more in terms of getting through this week.  At some point, maybe this time next year, we’ll simply forget to worry about getting through the week and the coping evolution will be nearer completion.

speaking of evolution, screw ku.

Written by Jason Becking

August 3rd, 2009 at 2:57 pm

Posted in Mindless Ramblings