Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Welcome, Autumn

September draws to an end, and I welcome fall with open arms. What's not to love about colorful trees, pumpkins, and apple season? Oh, the colds we've already dealt with are less than lovely, but they are likely due to the start of school, not the weather.

Our science field trip today was to the OB/GYN office where my daughters were treated to an ultrasound examination of a 18.5 week (gestational age) fetus - mine! The technician seemed to enjoy their interest and was very nice about pointing things out to us and answering our questions. We also found out that we are going to have a fourth daughter in 2012!

In other homeschool news, dd7 still loves science, and dd4 has finished Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons. Part-time school at a nearby charter school continues to be a good social outlet for dd7.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Expectations

I'm at 17 weeks of pregnancy, and the nausea is finally, truly going away. That means I had about 9 weeks of life-altering illness this time. A week ago this time, I was starting to sink into depression because the nausea hadn't gone away yet like it was "supposed to". Having expectations not met is more demoralizing than just suffering by itself.

When I first started dating my husband, he told me that he prefers to keep his expectations low in order to avoid disappointment later. Naturally, I applied his words to myself--like any self-centered young adult--and was rather offended by the implication that he was having low expectations of me. I've since come to understand the wisdom of his philosophy, although I still make efforts sometimes to help him feel greater feelings of anticipation about an upcoming event (e.g., vacation, family outing, reception for work, etc.) than he would on his own.

His "low expectations" are usually very realistic expectations based on his experience and knowledge. He still hopes for the best, but he doesn't have a mental picture of everything turning up roses all the time...and that's a good thing, for although I'm a good wife, I'm not a "10" in the figure category (thank you, four pregnancies and sedentary work), and I spent much of the past summer in a semi-invalid state complaining about nausea. Yet, he still loves me and thinks I'm great. I consider myself very blessed that my husband doesn't have expectations of me being a superwoman, for I could not measure up.

I used to think one of the things my parents did "right" was have "high" expectations for us academically. I've since come to realize that what I thought were high expectations then were actually very realistic expectations given the academic abilities of my parents (father is now a PhD/MD, mother is a PhD/JD) and the early education they gave us (they ran a private school based on traditional academics when I was in pre-school). When it came to genetics and environment, they bestowed a good hand on me, and they were just expecting me to play it properly.

Now my job is to learn all I can about the abilities and interests of the little ones I'm raising so that I can have appropriate expectations of them. Expectations that are too low are an insult and can lead to delays in their development; expectations that are too high set them up for failure and depression.