And then my heart broke. A lot.

I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned it but my daughter Cielo has some expressive language delay. She has come a long way since kindergarten (when she came out of her screen not saying a word other than screaming NOOO at her SLP) and even since the beginning of grade 1. She loves letters, sounds and reading and is ALWAYS talking to me and her family.

At school she still tends to be quiet and although she loves her friends (what she calls every person birth to 18) I’ve often worried about her making friends. I don’t care about popularity, naturally I would like her to be more popular than I was (I was an NDN nerd, not the homecoming queen) but I want her to have a real best friend.

This morning I was fixing Cielo’s hair and practicing with her how she would greet everyone and she said, “____ isn’t my friend. That’s too bad right mommy. I’m ok right?”

I could see on her face she wasn’t ok. She couldn’t (wouldn’t?) tell me what (if) something happened just that ____ wasn’t her best friend. She said it simply, “nothing mean mommy I can just tell.”

Maybe I should be happy; she used to be oblivious to social cues. Now I just wish she could go back to when she thought everyone was her best friend.

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Cielo vs Bossy R

Last week my Cielo was quite sick and missed several days of school. She tried to go on Friday but the teacher called before 10 because Skye kept falling asleep at her desk. She came home with all her work she missed and we have been working on it.

The crafts, poems and reading were all easy but she was having difficulty with the Bossy R worksheets and song. (Yes there is a song and I had to sing)

I decided to get speechie with her so I made these Bossy R puppets. She loved them and she totally has it now. Hopefully her teacher gets a kick out of the puppets because Skye wants to take them to school to show her.  I’m so proud and happy.

They are totally easy to make; just letters on Popsicle sticks.

Swimming Lessons NDN Style

Cielo and Jr have been taking swimming lessons this week. (Every day, twice a day for 2 weeks. I need a vacation from my vacation.)

I never took swimming lessons, when people ask my general response is, “Ndns don’t swim…we like water but don’t swim. We frolic.” As a child and up til now I can count on my fingers the number of bathing suits I’ve owned. (Swim in cutoff shorts and a T? Don’t mind if I do.) Anyway, I want them to learn to swim so there I am hauling 3 kids, one of whom will NOT touch the sand tho I won’t name names (Diego.) We are the only native family taking lessons there. Maybe ever.

I feel like I’m taking lessons too because if I am not in the water my girl does not participate. She totally calls shenanigans on “swimming” as she would rather frolic. She is so my child.

I am reminded of being a kid and beginning school in town. Before at the rez school I never thought I had less (meaning material things) than others, until I saw other kids with more. It didn’t bother me, but it did embarrass me tho I tried to hide it. I thought those feelings went away but I’ve realized they have not.

It literally hurt my heart when I realized my kids were the only ones in their swimming class not wearing wet suits (the lake is cold yo.) It is not a requirement but I didn’t want them to feel different so I bought them each one. (Scored a sale, plus used $25 worth of Canadian Tire money cuz I’m thrifty like that.) When I showed the kids their response made me both sad and glad. They both said, “oh! It’s just like_____’s! Now I won’t be cold.”

I guess they noticed. Funny thing is, when I was a child I felt totally fancy if I had a “real” bathing suit. I still feel that way if you want me to be honest.

Now if I could just sit on the beach and read everything would be perfect.

Greetings and Salutations

I laugh when people think of my title as an intellectual or fancy way of saying hello. I got that line from Charlotte’s Web (still love that book.)  What was your favourite book as a child? Mine was Morris the Moose Goes to School.  Clearly I have always been a bit of a bookworm, and it is something that I am trying to encourage in my children.

Thankfully it is working, they love to be read to and to be read to.  I admit my little speechie heart beats a little faster when my Cielo asks if we can “practice my sounds.”  She just loves the Jolly Phonics program she is learning in Kindergarten.

Yesterday I had a great day, actually I had so much good fortune I probably should have bought a lottery ticket.  I started off my day with a meeting with my Education Director at work.  That went well and I was off to print copies of all the assessments I have done so far this year for filing in central office.  I stopped at the IT department to inquire if I could have my (crappy old) laptop connected to the wireless printer.  He tried but apparently my computer had no CD rom drive and other assorted “ailments.” This came as no surprise to me as often it takes multiple attempts to even turn on; sometimes I even get a “NO OPERATING SYSTEM DETECTED” error message (that can’t be good.)  My Ed Dir came to give me a copy of the agenda for Friday…they started talking about my laptop and I ended up leaving the room with a brand new work laptop.  It is not mine to keep, but as a contracted employee I do not usually get employee perks so I was tickled. (Lucky thing #1)

Then I went for lunch with a group of area SLPs.  None of us have many colleagues so we have taken it upon ourselves to network independently.  It was great fun and I enjoyed telling them about twitter.  They thought I knew a lot of people online, and I guess I do. (Good thing #2)

I finished up at work and then grabbed myself a Tim Horton’s.  Last stop of the day was for gas at a First Nations gas station (tax free fuel.) When I arrived home my husband had a delicious mexican meal all ready for us. (Lucky thing #3)

Later on in the evening I got the news that we may be getting a Christmas Bonus from the rez this year. (Fortunate thing #4)  Later on my dad arrived with some early Christmas gifts. (Sweet thing #5)

Much later I got a phone call from the gas station.  I won their nightly Christmas draw and won a $100 gift certificate for their store! Hello? Free gas? Holla!! (awesome thing #6)

TOTALLY PUMPED FOR TODAY! Bring it universe!

Be Still My Heart

Today was Cielo’s first day of Kindergarten.  Well, actually today was her “interview” with the teacher and her orientation to the room.  Basically she was super excited to go to school with her new backpack and was ready for the adventure to begin. (Until we had to leave because she 1. didn’t want to leave and 2. didn’t want to leave her school supplies behind.)

I am so proud, nervous, happy and excited.  My little girl is growing up whether I am ready for it or not.  I am just thankful that she still thinks Dora is awesome and that I am still her best friend.

She holds my heart in her hands

Mommy may not be ready for this, but I know you are my girl.  I love you and I’m so proud of you.

Cielo - 1st Cree Prime Minister of Canada