I have had the joy of teaching the twins' VBS class. I know I won't be able to do it every year, so I'm making the most of my time off.
Of course, I particularly enjoy watching them sing and dance like the semi-coordinated 4-yr olds that they are. I sort of chuckled to myself as S was all out of sorts from everyone. As the group followed the leaders on stage and moved left, S bumped into everyone as she moved right. And on. She always seemed to be a little behind. And when all the kids lifted their right hands to mirror the leaders, S lifted her left. I was super proud of her effort, though.
Today, I got to sit near her during the song and dance time. We had just finished another song, following the leaders on stage and she was awkwardly out of sync, when she came over to me and said:
S: "You think you're doing what they're doing, but you're not. When they lift this hand and you lift that hand, you should be lifting this hand."
Me: you're right, but I'm mirroring them.
S: [blank look...probably trying to understand what that means or why in the world we would mirror instead of actually doing what they do.]
No lie, I'm a little impressed that she figured out mirroring isn't copying. No lie, I'm also a little nervous about what this means about her future that she doesn't just do what everyone else is doing and enjoy it. Hopefully we can channel that energy for good.
In the ongoing attempt to find the magic routine that causes our children to quietly drift off to sweet slumber (hhhahahahaaahahahahahahaaa!!!!!), we started turning out the lights after reading stories and making up stories with the kids while they are lying in their beds.
I have a couple of memories I hope I'll keep in my memory bank forever. One evening, the twins knew we were short on time. So, I think it was S, asked D to tell a super short story. Then she said, once upon a time...the end. And started cracking up. And so did R. And so did we. Perhaps her first joke! We loved it.
The other bedtime story experience I hope to always remember is that once D finishes, O also wants to tell a story. So he does. He is very imaginative. His stories are never similar to ours, which I would have thought would be the tendency. They're just spontaneous and random. They don't always have a beginning, middle and end. They're just his. And he doesn't hesitate or get stick and say he can't or have expectations and he doesn't care if they meet our expectations. He just shares. And I love that he shares his imagination with us.
I enjoy visual art. As long as I can remember, I have. Checking out art with the Vassariños is even more fun.
While away on our summer vacay, we had the opportunity to take our kids to see all kinds of fabulous art. Gaudi, Picasso, Dali, they had some really wonderful experiences. Since their humor is primarily focused on the unexpected, the wacky, these artists were perfect. We saw some really wacky stuff.
And I enjoyed the experience more with them by my side. Seeing art through the eyes of kids is incredible. And telling them about what influenced the artists and trying to understand how that affected their art helped me engage in the art more than silently observing, slowly following the patron in front of me through the rooms.
So, upon our return, one of the first things we did was visit a local art museum focused on regional artists, Lawndale, run by our dear friend. It's show did not disappoint, with many wacky things that the kids loved.
They also have a fun mural wall that is great for photos.
And since the kiddos now enjoy taking pics, I even have evidence that I was there! I exist again!
The Houston Symphony has a great summer series in the community and we took the kiddos. A high school orchestra had an instrument petting zoo beforehand and it was super fun!
The concert was casual and about an hour, so perfect for families. They also chose really exciting pieces, mostly with great stories.
When we listen to classical music in church or the car, I often ask the kiddos what they think it sounds like. At first we started with, is it happy or sad, is it slow or fast, is it a dance or a walk, does it sounds like the sea or the wind, etc. Now they come up with all kinds of stories, it sounds like a shark chasing a fish or two birds dancing and flying.
So, since the symphony chose stories like Cinderella and the Pirates of the Caribbean, the stories really came alive in the music. The conductor introduced the stories and the music beforehand and I gave the kiddos a brief Cliff's Notes version (I think I just dated myself). Then, the kids kept asking as the music would shift moods, 'What's happening now, Mami?' I loved watching their faces as they listened intently to the music, matching the story with the song. Seeing their curiosity mixed with amazement mixed with anticipation, all with rapt attention was incredibly thrilling for me. I cherish being able to help them learn to love and appreciate music. I hope it brings them as much joy as it brings to me!