July 2, 2010

Bedtime and Other Fun

I know this is supposed to be a blog about unschooling. But, since all my angst is gone I've hardly mentioned it at all in the past year. So, today I'm going to start with two unschooly (but, brief) items. First off, my blog was included in a list of the top 8 unschooling blogs! Can you believe it!? Wait a minute–don't answer that. Anyway, it was quite an honor to be included on that list, so I just wanted to share it with you. But, now I feel obliged to write something about unschooling. So here goes:
I had a realization about bedtimes the other day. Jerry has been staying awake most of the night and sleeping until 3 or 4 in the afternoon for the last month or two. I'm not happy about it, really. I miss seeing him during the day and it makes me wonder where I fit into his life if I'm asleep for much of the waking portion of it. Still, I let him make his own choices. If he's not feeling well or of he's very tired you can bet I ask him if he thinks he got enough sleep (not all the time and not in an accusing way, but sometimes I just can't stop myself because I want him to be aware of how and if his sleeping patterns are affecting him). Anyway, I was thinking about the whole bedtime thing and I realized that this is the time in Jerry's life when it's natural for him to seek out independence–to move away from his parents in some ways. And what better place to do that than in our own home? He gets the entire house to himself. He's free to make choices without taking anyone else into consideration. And yet, if something happens that he wants to talk to me about (and that's not uncommon) all he has to do is walk downstairs and wake me up. It's the perfect situation, really. He's safe, but solo. And he gets the added bonus of being able to talk to friends who live in different time zones and might not be available during the day. So, I'm not saying I'm entirely happy with the situation, but I understand it. And I understand that there are benefits. So, I let it be.

On to other topics now! We've had a really fun week. Yesterday Jerry got together with his friend Josh and we all ended up going to see some music together at the Hammer Museum.
I swiped the above photo, taken by Andrew Herrold, off the KCRW blog. The event took place in a really nice outdoor setting. Everything about it was great. The lead guitar player of Saint Motel, the headlining band, is a close family friend of Josh's so we met his family, which was really nice. The guitar player's dad had created this really cool set up that puts cameras on the microphones and some of the instruments. He also created a small hand held camera that his wife carries around through the crowd while the band plays. Then he has this thing that looks like a wooden piano keyboard that allows him to switch from one camera to another–the image is projected onto a screen behind the band. It's really cool. So we got to check out the camera system a bit. We were also able to watch the DJ do some of his stuff (which Jerry loved) because we arrived early enough to see him and the opening band, Kitten (fronted by an amazing 15-year-old singer). And, as an added bonus, Jerry scored an old Apple Airport that he can take apart in his attempt to create remote internet access for his computer while we're on long drives.

As if that wasn't enough excitement for one week, we went to Anime Expo at the Los Angeles convention Center today. We took Jerry's friend Shea and the boys had a great time marveling at all the costumes, watching anime, and shopping in the mega exhibit hall. I didn't bring my camera, but here are a few phone pics:
Jerry and Shea.
Here's a group of people dressed as characters from One Piece.
Lots of Bleach cosplayers viewed from up above.

We bought a few things for Jerry, but my favorite by far was this Pokemon t-shirt.
I just thought it was hilarious and so did Jerry. That's it for now.

Have a happy 4th!


Anonymous said...

Hi Colleen,

Congrats on the blog mention! Yes, I can believe it.

So glad you mentioned Jerry's sleep habits. Nick is in the same phase although I don't know that I've been as graceful in handling it as you seem to be (hence the "it's 3 am, go to bed" from me last night.) Thanks for your perspective.

Ahh, the teen years. Been looking for ways to give Nick some independence. We are working on him traveling into NYC to visit his friend (not a big deal, just a train ride away) and a trip or two out to Long Island to visit the same friend who sometimes lives with his grandparents near the Hamptons.

Nick is a year or so older than Jerry and so driver's ed is just around the corner for us. Makes me wish we lived in the city and didn't need a car.

Love the new blog!

Happy 4th!


JJ Ross said...

Same here about the sleep all day, up all night Amazing Upside Down Boy. I like this perspective on safe independence. Our daughter took on cooking and doing her own laundry at about this age, also was up til all hours talking to her boyfriend by age 16. Young Son doesn't do any of that but he plays video games in the wee hours that connect to friends in other time zones, just like Jerry. It makes perfect sense to me that unschooled boys would naturally do that as an early sign of independence, as opposed to cooking, laundry and endless intimate relationship talk. . . :D

Lynn said...

Congratulations on the blog award Top 8 - well deserved!
Great perspective on what's happening with Jerry - makes sense to me too!
Will help to have this in mind when/if it happens here:-) xxxx

Mandy aka Mandaroo said...

LOVE the tshirt, we all laughed at that one! Looks like fun times. Miss you guys, lets plan something soon!

Anonymous said...

Jono has done / still does the late night thing too - although he really does push it with too little sleep when he has to get to college during the day. He said to me years ago, that he loved having time to himself at night - and to be honest, I'm a little the same.

He also said that he's caught up with Jerry a few times in these late hours!

globeonmytable said...

Thanks for your comments about late nights and late afternoon gettings up. It all makes more sense now.

I have been woken in the night to get rid of a buzzy fly which was annoying my son.