Saturday, January 16, 2010

Zoinks!

Jinkies, Shaggy. Nobody's at FJC today. Scooby-doo, where are you?

Let's split up, gang. Some of you head to Hopeful Parents.

Like, the rest of us will click here:

Ruh-roh

Nice work, Scoob.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Fly


Mother-talk and rather cliche, but I will venture that both of my girls can fly. Cate flies in recognizable ways - her charm and wit take her up. She glides when she smiles and sings, when she reaches to bring others up with her. Her kind and encouraging ways are easy to identify, her curious mind is a clear signal of the intention to fly higher. She has grace of her own making, fueled by a willingness to challenge what doesn't seem just in the world. She leaves a jet stream of promise behind her.

People often miss Addie's flights. They are looking beneath her, expecting her to stay on the ground, to need their help and patronization to move a few inches across the earth. But they are not seeing her, they are seeing what they expect of her. If those eyes were raised, they'd just catch Addie's little curly-toed feet carried up and away by her own power.

She fights for everything. She fights with a patient smile and retractable displays of interest. If you won't see her clearly, she refuses to see you. When she ignores those who expect little of her, it is taken as evidence of intellectual blockage on her part. And Addie lets them take it that way. In this, she takes wing. She flies too high for the underestimators to note. They are of no use to her.

Children of diverse physical and/or cognitive functioning are constantly evaluated, assessed, tested. Addie launches above this testing sometimes, deeming it out of context and irrelevant. Often, that is indeed true. She flies again. When she is not being tested, when she feels the faith someone has in her, when she trusts they will raise their eyes to meet her where she is; she delivers. Not an incremental piece of progress towards the goal, but a huge chunk of mastery that proves that even when we said "she can't," she clearly could, but chose not to. And we see this amazing and seemingly sudden feat as whole, not as small attempts. We give her a bigger wad of credit - a larger slice of belief-in-Addie pie - each time she chooses to unveil her potential for believers in these sweeping ways. Thereupon, she takes off again.

For us, her family, the metaphor of flight edges as close as it can to literal when Addie is in the water. She has a control in there that she doesn't have on dry land. Her composure is nearly regal, her wingspread strong and wide. When she lifts her head out of the water, her expression doesn't change - the dauntless beam from underwater rises with her, half moon eyes and cheeks dripping water and temerity. She kicks at us when we hold her in water too deep, small nudges to tell us that she'd like to try on her own. For a long time, we saw only what we feared. We did not let go as she asked, we did not let her try.

But we didn't know back then that she could fly.


Now we know. And as with Cate, my husband and I are just here to toss our girls up and honor their individual flight patterns. We stay on the landing strip to catch them, fuel and detail them during periodic stopovers, preparing them to ascend again.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

And the winner is....

That was your drum roll.

video

Addie said that there's a 3 way tie: JACQUI, ANNETTE and BRENDA AND MOLLY share the honor. Congratulations. Cate and Addie and I are still deliberating the form your award will take, but will be in contact with individually your for your FJC interviews. Thanks for your thoughts all!

For your reference, the Contest.

The girls and I talked, then thought, then came back and talked again. The truth is we liked all the ideas and wished we could do all of them. Even the "keep it" ones made us smile. Ultimately we decided on a few basics. We'd keep the whole 50$ together and hand it over intact, which knocked a few entries that entailed breaking it up out. We wanted to give it to a person and not an organization or gift administrator, so that left a few more out. We really liked Jacqui's thinking points and considered them throughout the deliberation. We do look at it as an investment more so than as a gift, like a planting of a seed. But we also wanted to wait for inspiration, to be a bit spontaneous about it as Brenda and Molly suggested. Annette's story about someone in trouble right in her own kid's school made us realize that we wanted this small bit of cash that blew in on local winds, to stay in our community, we wanted to plant it in our own backyard, so to speak. In fact, all three of the winners had that in common, the reminder that there are people who might need a boost up right next to us, if we are willing to see.

Nicely played winners and all entries. Reading through the original finding of the bill, the contest rules, the submissions... really gave Cate and I some food for thought as we enter 2010. We will both be focusing a bit more on the fact that we have enough so that we are not in need, that we have enough so that we might share more.

On to execution of the hybrid plan. We have a few gardens in mind to plant this little seed in, but we're still talking about it. On our list are those that would take this tiny windfall as a sign to do a good turn for someone else. And of course, the tale of the handing over will be found here on Farmer John Cheese...someday. I know better now than to throw out time frames.

All the very best in 2010 and every year that follows.
Terri, Cate and Addie