Sunday, September 07, 2008

47 Months

Lucas is almost four years old! Sometimes it's so hard to believe that we've come this far in such a natural way. We endeared to him from the moment he was born but so much of who he's become just seems to come from the earth, right through his shoes, into his heart and flowing forth with words and gestures and smiles and glimmering. He's a little changeling that reveals new aspects of growth right before our eyes. He's beautiful and frustrating and hopeful and eager and so full of energy and he's bursting with life. He's a little boy now and just about the cutest thing alive.

He's learning to swim. We took a class last month at the local rec center. It was a parent involvement class so I was in the water with him for two weeks. It was a such a joy to see him go from being terrified of the water to craving it, eagerly ready to jump in the pool and practice his kicks. He learned very quickly, which is something that also happens naturally. I know that there are some people who really struggle with the learning process but it was never something that was difficult for me. Show me once and I usually get it down pretty quickly. Well, Lucas is pretty much the same. He can do things just like that, snap. He's either a quick mimic or you can see his brain processing the information and then turning it around in a truly constructive way. Children simply have an enormous capacity to excel and when I look at our beautiful babies I wonder why we squash that natural inquisitiveness the older we get?

I remember growing up with a pool and the summers were incredible, such wonderful memories swelled up within me as Lucas and I were taking the swim class. I had an immense urge to move as quickly as possible to a house with a pool. I want him to grow up with a similar appreciation for a life in the water. One of the reasons that we haven't left San Diego for a more progressive environment (such as San Francisco) is due to the wonderful weather and the beautiful beaches, so it's part of his environment. Everyday he wants to go back to swim class.

Another issue that has arisen in his life is preschool. When he was first born, we were told that we needed to start looking at preschools and Xtimu and I were like "what?" But now that we're looking for something that might introduce Lucas to the school environment, everything that we look at either has a waiting list or is extremely expensive or both. I never imagined that we wold be spending this kind of money for preschool...preschool! I knew that we might have to think about it once he reached elementary maturity but preschool? Isn't it just glorified daycare? It's crazy!

Anyway, because of the fact that Lucas has never been in daycare of any kind, we're wondering whether all of this preschool stuff is really worth it? Couldn't we create just as much value by taking that money and using it buy various teaching tools that will help him advance right here in our home? Then he would have them here all the time, he could learn whenever he wanted and they would also be available to Quinn when she's ready for them. We could take some of that money and buy memberships to the many local establishments that help expand the mind (zoo, aquarium, museums, theatre, etc.) and take the time to get him engaged in our community. The more that we contemplate the issue, it just doesn't seem relevant to our situation. I guess that there are some important aspects of preschool that might help him socially, but is that really a huge concern at this age?

We just have so many questions and none of these schools are relieving our hesitations. I believe that it's in our best interest to challenge ourselves to become more involved in his education right now and becoming more involved is something we're already trying to address. Now that we have another baby, we are noticing the differences and varying quality of attention time that each of them require. Lucas needs us so much more than he did when he was six months old...or maybe not more, but more focused. He needs us to interact with him on a continual basis. So that's what we need to do and the more that we look at the options that are available in the society around us, the more we realize that we become better parents and better people the more that we take on these challenges for ourselves.

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