Their other lives

Last night we had parent/teacher conferences. It's a fascinating thing to me, because it reminds me that my children have their own little lives going on that I don't know a whole lot about.

First we went to Natalie's room, where she got to show Ella all of the pets. Natalie's room is a bit of a menagerie. There are two fish tanks. One for grown up fish and one for babies. There's a frog named Charlotte in a tank. And there's a giant cage with three degus named Benny, Tico and Diego. I'll wait here while you click here to find out what on earth a degu is.

Natalie's teacher told us she is shy. But not so shy that she won't participate. She just doesn't often initiate play. And lately she has started talking more. None of that was very surprising. I guess they're working on Natalie standing up for herself. Which seems strange, given her actions around home. But when she's at school, if someone else wants to play with something she just gives it to them. If someone hurts her feelings she leaves and hides out in a corner so no one can see her upset. So her teacher said she's working on that with her. That it's ok to take your own turn. And that it's ok to tell someone you didn't like what they said or did.

Ella was kind of a different kid in her conference. While she's usually pretty boisterous, she was very quiet. She's a good reader. She likes to do her math independently. She's chatty (what??), but she's able to focus when she's supposed to focus. She is apparently VERY hung up on spelling. They've started working on hearing the sounds in words, and they are only expected to write the sounds. Ella's teacher said after they do those exercises, Ella will ask if she got all the spellings right. And she will tell her, "You got all the sounds, great job." And Ella will say, "But did I get the spellings right?" Perhaps we should start grooming her for spelling bees.

It was fun after the conference, to read Ella's homework book with her. After hearing her teacher talk about her reading, Ella tried harder than usual to sound words out. And she did a great job.

So it was a fascinating glimpse into the lives they're leading away from home. Captain America and I feel like they have the right teachers for them, which is a relief after moving to a place where we didn't know the teachers or the school.

Thank you for praying for our friend, Tony. He is cancer-free. His lungs are healing. He is home.