Thursday, October 7, 2010

I Got No Expectations...

Well the title of this blog post is a dream, not a reality.  This week has been full of expectations; some exceeded, some met, and others left for another day.  

First off, Becca had her first debate tournament.  It was a very hectic morning since it was also the day for Minnetonka's homecoming dance.  Things have changed since I was in school.  There was no bus to take her to Roseville High School, only me.  Long drive to make by 8am in the morning.  Since this was her first experience with debate, she wasn't sure what to expect.  Later she told me, kids were using laptops during their debates to both deliver their arguments as well as get evidence.  My, how times have changed.  Unfortunately, she lost all 4 of her rounds that day, but only by 1 point.  Next week, she can reevaluate her delivery and hopefully be more prepared for the other teams' arguments.  What is that phrase that Oprah always uses?  "When you know better, you do better."  I will be judging other schools at this week's tournament so it should be interesting.

Following the tournament, Becca had her first formal dance for Homecoming.  How exciting, right?  Well, if I am being truthful, the whole event was pretty overwhelming to me.  You see, I have no experience with this particular part of high school.  I'm not going to go into lots of gory details, but suffice it to say, I had a pretty dysfunctional childhood where high school dances were not part of the landscape.  A few weeks ago, we shopped for a dress which was fun (anyone who knows me, knows that having an excuse to go shopping puts me in my "happy place"), but as the date grew closer, my anxiety about the whole thing started to grow.  There was the dinner before hand, the friends I had never met, the accessories for the dress, her hair...  All the details began to take on a life of their own.  My sister was great, giving Becca shoes that looked great with the dress and getting her all excited about the event; a role I was having trouble playing.  Thank goodness for Erick!  He understood my anxiety (well, understood might be a strong word...more like accepted) and said he would drive her and meet the parents of the other kids.  Of course everything went fine.  Becca had lots of fun with her friends, but found the dance itself to be boring and a bit of a let down.  She sure looked pretty in her dress! Having been through this whole dance thing once, will help me manage my expectations in the future.  One can only hope..

Harry continues to exceed my expectations in school.  He hasn't had any big tests yet, but he remains focused and diligent about doing his homework, even with the added stress of football practices 4x a week.  This week, he has talked about how much he likes Latin and how he hopes to be tri-lingual some day (that Tri includes English, Latin, and Spanish).  I think he enjoys Eagle Ridge and he accepts the high academic expectations it sets for its students.  There have been a few times now that Harry has had late assignments.  It's not that he didn't do the work, it's more of an organizational issue.  One day he forgot it in his locker and showed it to the teacher later in the day.  One day he left the finished work at home.  Either way, the result is the same: half credit.  Tough lessons to learn, but they will be valuable to him later in life.

Bella has had a tough week.  I think the rigours of getting up early and having swimming 5x a week was taking a big toll.  This week, I decided to drop her swimming to 4 days instead of 5, a schedule that I think will fit her better.  It was the plan all along to adjust to 4 days at the end of October when Harry was done with football so we could go to church activities on Wednesdays.  We just decided to make the switch earlier.  Watching her in swimming is both rewarding and heartbreaking at the same time.  When I am realistic about my expectations for her, I am much happier.  She has made so much progress.  She is able to get across the pool with much more ease now and her endurance seems to be building.  Still, sometimes it is common to have unrealistic expectations for her.  When there is a day (or two) where she struggles, I focus on the problems, rather than how far she has come.  Then I shake the sanity back into my head and realize that I am lucky that she loves swimming so much because it helps her muscles so much and also remind myself that when she is out there with the other kids, she is working 3x harder than they are due to her inability to hear the directions/cues and also her physical issues.  That's the funny thing about expectations.  I think it is easy to have some met then continue to raise your expectations without a lot of thought about whether you should keep expecting more and more. 

This week I am focusing on keeping my expectations in check.  I am using this quote as a guide, "The best things in life are unexpected-because there were no expectations." Eli Khamarov

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