Sunday, June 6, 2010
Back to the basics
In my previous life as a competitive gymnast, I remember the month of June as the month of 'going back to the bascis'. After months of weekends on the road traveling from meet to meet, we finally ended our competition season (our parents breathing a sigh of relief) and instead of learning new tricks-we would work on the most basic and seemingly boring (to us at least) skills. Forward & backward rolls, front & back walkovers, cartwheels and endless handstands. We groaned at the thought of repeating a simple full turn on the balance beam and making sure our legs were straight and toes pointed as we transitioned to the high bar. Only after thousands of these skills had been repeated to perfection and our bodies knew how to do the skills in our sleep could we begin to work on more difficult and thrilling skills. As basic as the drills were, our coach knew that in order to build on our old routines our bodies and minds needed a 'touch up' to prevent us from getting sloppy in our performance. The discipline gained from the month of June allowed us to gain endurance and strength, learn new skills safely as well as prevent injuries. It may have seemed redundant then, but as I reflect back on that time, I am reminded of the past few weeks. Just as in years past, Family O has gone back to the basics. Instead of rolls, cartwheels, and handstands-we are learning the skills and routine of being a family. To everyone peering in, it may seem repetitive and somewhat odd that we seem so scheduled, but our basic routine has been so important in establishing a good relationship and bond with our children. The last year or more has been in constant motion for these two. I don't know if anything has been consistent or stable in their lives and the 'routine' has allowed us all to get to know each other better without wondering what is going to happen next. It has allowed us to see what (very technically speaking) the 'baseline' behavior is. Things have been working out wonderfully so far-I can see that there is a certain amount of comfort for the boys with our schedule. Even so, I can tell that the trust isn't completely there yet-it's going to take time. We have noticed that new people and new situations in and outside the home cause an increase in anxiety and we will need to monitor future interactions with others very carefully. That being said, nearly one month to the day of arriving home-we let our hair down so to speak on Friday and deviated from the routine and it was as fun as learning a back handspring back in the day. Instead of just the basics, we ordered pizza, rented a movie, stayed up a bit later than usual and although Baby O stuck to the regularly scheduled program, we had a fabulous time saying 'yes, you can eat this with your hands' and seriously rocked out to the movie Madagascar 2. Who knew that hippos kissing could be so funny and Mommy and Daddy O dancing to 'I like to move it, move it' could induce such giggles?
Each day the basic skills we have been working on become old hat and we will be able to branch out more and more, but for now working on being a family is our number one priority. It's going to take more than a month of the basics to learn that Mommy and Daddy O will be there for the long haul and that Family O is here to stay.
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