Sunday, December 22, 2013

The Bush boys are free!

It's school holidays!!!! Thank goodness. The last few weeks of school/preschool are always busy but this year it was extra busy with Carter having two pre-school 'graduations' as well as a Christmas concert instead of just the one Christmas party.

 Tony has just completed Year 2 and had a rather busy final 2 weeks himself. He was awarded a Citizenship Award at the Presentation Assembly. This award pretty much sums up Tony's school attitude perfectly. He follows the rules and wants to do well. We are so proud of his efforts this year and know he is thrilled to be on holidays as he gets extra free time to play the new video games he got for his birthday. He is great company and asked if he and I could go on a 'date'. I gave him a big, fat "YES!". 

Carter is taking the big step of starting school next year. He is mighty excited. Anthony and I used to have some concerns about Carter getting 'walked over' by other children. He is confident around adults, but from what we had seen, he is more of a push over around children closer to his own age. I remember seeing him at the park a while back and he was able to hold his own with toddler age kids, but as soon as a boy his own age gave him a push and told him he can't go down the slide, he just looked at the boy like he couldn't understand why he would be so mean. 

I think preschool helped and whilst he doesn't retaliate or hit other children (thankfully), I was hoping he would learn to stand up for himself.  

I can tell you he has. A bit too much.

At his pre-school graduation last Thursday, the children all had some free play whilst everyone was arriving. From across the playground, I could see Carter wanted to play in the cubby house but two younger children were blocking the doorway and wouldn't let anyone else in. Carter sought out the children's mother, brought her over to the cubby house and reported what was happening. 

I was quite pleased that he handled himself in such a manner, even if he had resorted to 'dobbing'.

Later he found a ball and was playing with it. I was talking to one of the teachers and could see him playing but a few minutes later he was no longer in my sight. I went for a wander to find him and spotted what looked like his shorts behind some bushes. I walked around to see two older boys (about 10) walking away from Carter. I just knew there had been some kind of confrontation and went to ask Carter if he was ok. I asked him what happened and he said;

"Those big boys were trying to take this ball. I want to play soccer with it. They were trying to be bullies to me."

I, of course , was concerned about my 5 year old bring confronted by two older boys and I crouched down and said;

"Are you okay sweetheart? You still have your ball there, did you ask them to let you play with it?"

With all the confidence in the world, Carter replied ;

"No. I just said 'get lost you big losers and leave me alone!'"

I'm not so pleased with how he handled this situation. Well....maybe secretly a little pleased.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Smarty pants

Anthony and I, we are raising men. At least we are trying to.  I know it sounds more correct to say we are raising boys, but we arent raising them to be boys, we are raising them to be men - we are just still in the early stages of our quest. 

A few weeks back, I wasn't feeling so crash hot. Sunday morning we woke up for church and I was supposed to be teaching a youth Sunday School class. I felt rotten and Anthony insisted I stay home and he would take the boys to church and teach my class for me. To be honest, he would actually be doing my class a favour as he teaches much better than me.  

He got our little men ready and they left waving goodbye and blowing me kisses. I waved goodbye back from the doorway shouting one last;

"Be good for Daddy!!"

The shoe has been on the other foot before and I was the one taking the boys solo and after a big pep talk telling them I needed them to be extra good, they shocked me and were fantastic. I was certain this was one of those once-off miracles.

When they all returned home a few hours later, I tentatively asked how the boys were. Anthony told me they were wonderful. Knowing them too well, I asked what he had bribed them with. Anthony said they had had a chat in the car about behaving well. He expanded upon this by explaining to Tony and Carter that by being reverent at church, they were doing the right thing and the best reason for doing the right thing is simply because it's the right thing to do. 

Even though they are 8 and 5, they were able to comprehend this idea that you don't make the right choice out of fear of punishment, or because you want a treat, or because you are following someone else.  You do the right thing BECAUSE it's the right thing to do. 

Raising men can be a little overwhelming, but I'm pretty fortunate to have a smarty-pants along side me to help.  He teaches them to be the kind of men I want them to be.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Getting in the spirit

I love December, mainly because I love Christmas. I don't love the stress that comes with December though. There are so many events on that normally we have to miss some as they clash with others. The shopping centre car park fills up by 9:30am and I make sure I am there by then so I can leave by 11am to escape the rush and get home and have a rest. It just gets so hectic. 

I still love this time of year more than any other though. It's exciting, and magical, and full of family, friends, and most importantly - food. 

Perhaps the best part of Christmas is that whilst we remember the birth of Christ, we are able to witness a generous spirit taking over people's hearts. It's a time where on mass, people are more concerned with giving than receiving. That's pretty cool. 

For me though, I haven't had to wait til December rolled around to witness acts of generosity in my life.  This year, I cannot name all the kindness that has been shown to myself and my family. Whether it has been kind thoughts and words, acts of service, time given, or needed gifts of a more material nature; I have been very blessed this year.  Early this year was tough for me physically and my family in terms of dealing with the change to our everyday life.  We received so much love and support through this time.  Throughout the rest of the year, as my health improved and we had other things pop up (as they always do in life), we continued to be touched by the kind hearts of the people in our lives.  I hope all these people who have blessed our lives so much know who they are.

One of the big blessings and lessons learned through trials, is the love shown to us. Perhaps people reach out to us more during difficult times, or perhaps we recognise it better because we are praying for and searching for help to carry us through, but whatever the reason, my own situation had allowed me to time and time again see how much goodness there is in the world.  

This Christmas season is no different from any other year in how excited I am to celebrate with those I care about, but this year I don't feel like I have had to wait til December to see the spirit of love and giving - I  blessed to have many in my life who possess this spirit all year around. 

On a different note; I took Carter to see Santa earlier this week. He obliged with the sitting on the lap routine and hurried his way through the small talk.  He saw the child before him got a lollipop at the end and I know that was all he had on his brain from that moment onwards. 

Carter has a tendency to ask for some odd Christmas gifts which can make Santa's job a little tough. Last year he wanted an American football helmet.  

 When Santa asked him what he wanted this year, I made sure I listened closely. 

His request.....ICE SKATES!!!

Firstly, where does he plan on wearing these skates that he feels he needs to OWN a pair?

And secondly, for a boy who is always covered in bruises and regularly trips over absolutely nothing, ice skates don't seem like the wisest choice to me. 

Christmas morning is bound to be interesting.