December 1, 2009

Proud Mama

It's been a while. I know. So, here I am – playing catch up once again. I have to warn you, there will be bragging involved. I'm feeling so proud of Jerry today. Not for anything in particular. I'm just proud because he is who he is. And because he knows himself so well. He has such maturity when it comes to understanding his feelings and expressing himself – it just blows me away.

See, Warren is officially unemployed now, which means he's home. Watching Jerry. And being a bit, uh, judgmental about how he spends his time. At least that's how it started out. A few nights ago there was yelling (by Jerry), arms were thrown up in annoyance and despair (by Warren) and the word "school" and the phrase "turn off the TV for good" were heard during a private conversation between Warren and I. Needless to say, I was a bit worried at how the rest of Warren's unemployment would effect our unschooling.

See, Warren totally gets the educational side of unschooling. It's the lifestyle part that throws him for a loop. Specifically, he doesn't want Jerry staying up until 3:30 a.m. and he doesn't want him spending all day on the couch in front of the television (computer on lap, DS in hand). And I totally get that. But, as we learned when I kept track of how we spend our days (Jerry and I) he doesn't sit on the couch all day. In fact, he takes part in a wide variety of activities. Sure, some weeks are less active than others, but, in general, the television watching happens late in the day and well into the night (and early hours of the morning) when there's not much else to do anyway. So yes, there's a lot of TV. And, no. It's not "educational." It's not even Mythbusters. He's watching the Disney Channel.

But he's watching with an eye toward figuring out relationships. I realized it last night during another one of our 1 a.m. discussions. He was asking me about boys I liked when I was his age and how old I was when I had my first boyfriend (Newsflash: Jerry's best friend, Jackson, has a girlfriend!!) and he started to mention all these things he'd learned on the cartoon Sixteen. They were all about relationships. And they were true. (Rule #1: Never break up by text message.) Anyway, it was pretty amazing to see that he really does get more than we guess out of the shows he watches.

One thing I love about our late night talks is that Jerry asks me all kinds of questions and he wonders aloud about things. "I wonder what it would feel like to have both arms and wings," he said late last night. He was trying to figure out the mechanics of it all. How would the wings extend? Where would they be when they rested? What would make them unfold?

The other day – a day or two after Warren and Jerry had their argument – Jerry called a family meeting. He wanted to talk about how he and Warren could get along better. He was amazing. So mature and well-spoken. They both said how they felt and talked about ways they could show respect and kindness to one another. Then they had a pillow fight.

I could go on, but it would probably get very boring. Lucky for you, Jerry's doing a Pokemon ROM hack and he needs my help. So I'm off.

P.S. Guess who's learning the binary and hexidecimal number systems? That's right! Me! More on the mind-blowing conversion from decimal to binary later....

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