Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Unexpected Blessings, Birds and Bees

Well, yesterday was an interesting day. It came on the heels of a weekend of sickness, both Nate and Joe. Nate was officially diagnosed with croup and exacerbation of asthma and is still taking steroids and sounds worse, but the light at the end of the tunnel is on! Joe stayed in all weekend and sounded almost as bad as Nate minus the wheezing. We kept our family home (even from church, small group, etc) feeling like hermits. And, even though the boys were both sick, I picked up sweet Bella the dog on Saturday from a friend who works with the NC Lab rescue group. We know we eventually want another dog, but not until Nate is old enough to handle it. Bella, a one year old yellow lab-sheltie mix, house-broken, crate-trained 28 pound sweet girl, is going to spend a little time at our house and see how it goes. The kids think we're pet-sitting to help out Mrs. D, which is true, sort-of.
The sweetest moment came yesterday when Nate gave a bedtime blessing to Bella the Dog. "May the Lord bless you and keep you and cause his face to shine upon you...now and forever more...amen...". Joe has been blessing our children nightly w/this prayer since they were born...like his Mom blessed him.

So, Bella is lying asleep...she spends a good amount of time in this position and Nate said, "Aw, he needs a bessin". I said, "Well, you can give her one." And so he did, and it was the most-precious-thing-you-ever-did-see! And then he said, "Mom, what does bess you and keep you mean?" I told him without hesitation that blessings are the good gifts that God gives us and that keep you means keeping us safe from danger (things being dangerous has been given much attention in our house recently). Easy-peasy. He said, "Otay...bess oo, keep yoo, face sine on yoo, give yoo peace...amen". Sweet and I think Bella officially became a part of the family at that moment! Like most of our family, she has some qualities we wish she didn't: a lot of shedding, carrying our shoes all over the place...and a couple of accidents w/the house training...we'll see...She could not possibly be any sweeter with the children harassing her ALL the time.

Emily (and I ;) are studying a Life science unit, it's part of what came with the Sonlight curriculum for second grade. We just started in a new "text" book, The Usborne Living World Encyclopedia, and I've been previewing the books as we read them. Usborne tends to view science from an evolutionary and old earth point of view, but does so without beating you over the head with it. I view it as an opportunity to introduce "why we believe what we believe" and begin to introduce her to the concepts that a lot of scientific theories exist. There have been great parental discussion on some forums for Sonlight curriculum about different ways to handle this...and some warnings about what NOT to let them read from the Usborne Book Of Knowledge, which we just finished. So, we just sort of skimmed some of it and, yes, I did...I paper clipped those pages with detailed descriptions of human reproduction including accurate tastefully done comic book type diagrams right up...and told her those were for fourth grade science. I would have glued them together, but thought they might be useful in 4th grade...In my opinion...There is no point in having this discussion until it needs to be had...innocence should be protected!
Emily has always had questions that seemed a little too advanced for her age, in my opinion! I have always tried to answer her questions about topics that make me squirrely...carefully, honestly and openly without giving her more information than she needs. "Mommy, do you have a Daddy? How come we never see him?"..."how do babies get out of mommies tummies?" "how do babies get inside mommies tummies" "How can Jesus live inside our hearts if they're only this big?"...and many, many, many more. Emily is a bright girl and well, she thinks about things I just don't remember questioning at her age.
Anyway...to my dismay (and I promise I perused these pages!!!), our science lesson for yesterday included the parts of a flower (momma-did-you-know-flowers-have-eggs-called-ovules?), flowers reproducing, the various ways animal babies are born...and right down at the bottom of the page....was a drawing of lions mating...and the words: "male mammals, and some other male animals, push their sperm into the female's body. This is called mating." Over to the left was a picture of a giant egg being fertilized by the sperm...okay, so it wasn't a giant picture, but I'm not sure how I missed it the first go-around...SECOND GRADE...SEVEN years old....as she read it aloud...excited and with her momma-you're-not-gonna-believe-this-voice...and asked, "how does this work? what are they doing"...I repeated again as non-shalantly as possible..."Oh, they're mating...It's pretty complicated and we'll study the details in fourth grade"...that's two more years of saying, "It's pretty complicated...."! I think I'm gonna glue the rest of the pages together...in all her books! Today, we do a Latin lesson on body parts: manus/hand, pes/foot, caput/head, corpus/body; caput...that should be easier.
And girlie-girlfriends...anybody...any advice or opinions about what I'm supposed to do or say is WELCOME!!! Feel free to talk amoungst yourselves, for now, I'm getting out the glue sticks!


B said...

Sounds like you handled it well. Protect her innocense, yes. Give her honest answers so she won't lose her trust in you. Be her friend so she'll always talk to you. But most importantly, be her parent and just firmly (but kindly) tell her these are things that have to wait until she is older. That's my two cents. B.

Anonymous said...

whatever advise you get WRITE IT DOWN, because I am not going to know what to say to my kiddos when the time comes so it would be nice to have your reference :):)LY JAF

Holli T. said...

Oh my goodness! For pity's sake! I am so thankful G is only 4...

I agree with B. You did well not to draw more attention to it.

Skip Science for a couple of weeks? :)

Holli T.

Katie said...

Girl, it is such a small world! I can't believe you know the Ward's AND the Loyd's!! That's crazy! I had to call Jason to figure out the 6 degrees of separation! Nice to meet you! Thanks for reading!