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Katie B's Parenting Journal

Entry 16 ~ December 5, 2009
I'm All Grown Up Now!

Our little Owen turned 5 this last week. And I really do mean "little." He is a scrawny kid despite his enormous appetite. I don't know where he got his body type or metabolism from, but I sure wish I had those genes! Thankfully, he is perfectly healthy--just very small for his age.

It's amazing how a number can change your perspective on things. Suddenly he's 5 years old and my expectations for him change. Not for any other reason than him now being 5! This attitude has seemed to catch on with him also. Thankfully in a good way. Now his focus is on being a "big helper." He's been taking his clothes to the laundry as well as the other kids'- without being asked to. He's also been cleaning up the table after meals--without being asked to! Wonder how long it will last? Another benefit of him turning 5 is that both he and Randy have decided it's time for Owen to learn to write his name. A couple days of practice and voila, Owen can write his own name! Something he couldn't do last week when he was only 4! I can mourn my baby boy not being a baby so much any more, but instead I think this being 5 thing is pretty great!

Once a year, during the busy Christmas season, our neighbors volunteer to watch our kids so Randy and I can have an evening out. Usually we shop, but this time we decided to use the offer in order to attend our niece's basketball game. She's a senior this year so we want to try to support her any way we can. We took Ella with us, so that was special for her. Our niece attends the school that Randy graduated from and also the school where I had my first and only teaching job. So it's always "weird" to go back there. It's a small private k-12 school, and every time we go, there are fewer and fewer people that we know. But I did note that one of my little fifth grade guys from back in the day was coaching the boys' basketball team. Wow--that was kind of trippy!

I'm so thankful, however, that I can walk back in to that school as a much more confident and mature person. I was young and inexperienced when I was a teacher there. And unfortunately, there were some other teachers that took advantage of my "greenness" and were not so kind to me. I left there feeling like a failure. It has been a hurt that still needs some healing. But last night it really did feel good to walk in there as a confident woman. I now know that most of what happened wasn't because I was a bad teacher. I was inexperienced, but I was also completely unsupported or encouraged. It was a painful life lesson to learn. But as with any trying time in life, it has made me a stronger person and that alone makes it all worth it!

Much like most of you, we are in Christmas season mode. As soon as Owen's birthday party was over, we began pulling out the Christmas boxes. The tree is up, the house is lighted, and the decorations are out. We only have the stockings left to hang. Most of my shopping is done, but the Christmas cards need to be addressed and mailed. I have also decided to attempt decorating sugar cookies this year. We'll save that until the kids are on Christmas break from school. Today I get to go on our city's annual Holiday Home Tour. My amazing grandma (88 years old!) makes lunch for the women in our family and gives us all tickets for the tour. It's a great bonding time and I always look forward to it. These annual traditions really make the season special!

~ Katie

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