Day Thirteen of Daddy Boot Camp

So, we have arrived at day thirteen of Daddy Boot Camp.  Life is settling into the routine that it seems my body and personality so crave.  Am I totally comfortable with the new routine?  Yes and No.  Do I miss the old routine?  Yes and No.  Has it been smooth?  Very, with a minor blip or two along the way.  Frankly, if there were none, I would be worried.

I think that blips are sometimes blown out of proportion.  Blips are a necessary part of the healing process and are part of just about any process. I have counseled countless parents over the years who complained or worried about their “normal” kids because they would have an issue or two, not be as academically motivated as they should, or just not be as “perfect” as the kid next door.  My take is that the mini issues are a normal part of growing up and that the so called perfect ones are the ones I would really worry about. So often that “perfection” hides some very scary things that might surface at a later time.

Although a blip might well be unpleasant, it is necessary and it must be dealt with and not shoved under the proverbial rug.

It is cold outside and the heat seems to be going nonstop since early in the morning when our house started to warm up again after its thermostatic setback for the night.  Ali is sleeping in a semi awake pose at my feet as I look out the window as I write. She is getting ready to greet the rest of the family when they wake up and come downstairs.

Mike has pretty much been cooking up a storm here.  He has always loved to cook and he does it extremely well; it is also a great way to heal as you creatively mold the food items into a sparkling dinner array that soothes the soul, and it really does.

It is going to be a somewhat busy day.  I have three tutoring sessions in French today in the afternoon to attend to.  Tutoring is a most amazing experience at times as you see the light bulb go on in a student’s head as he/she finally understands the concept. It can be deadly as well when you are tutoring someone who is being tutored because the parent is unhappy over the French grades and yet the student hasn’t bought in.  As the saying goes, you can lead a horse to the water but you cannot force it to drink.  One thing I try to impart is the love of the language and culture in general.  Sometimes, that is lost in the usual French class and as a tutor I can actually easily inject that in the one on one situation. 

The most important thing I need to impart when tutoring is confidence which leads to motivation.  When the confidence isn’t there, and it usually isn’t when I have to tutor someone, the language learning is severely impacted. I find so often that the students just really think that they cannot handle it and I remind them that millions of less than brilliant French children learn to speak French every day!  Perhaps they shall not all reach French speaking nirvana, but they can earn to communicate well, if they have the inclination.  For some reason, in our teaching of things, the one thing we could truly work more on is in intimidating them less. 

I have mentioned that things happen for a reason in my life and I am currently reading a book by one of Christian’s friends from high school, Sum Lucid by Jason Shimberg.  Jason explains that the title is in Latin and means “I am sane.” I find it to be a therapeutic moment and my understanding is that his writing served that very purpose for him.  Jason acknowledges the fact that he is bipolar and has had an often frightful journey through life reaching his tender age of the early thirties.  He talks of “incarceration and hospitalization” and helps the reader experience the pain of living in a society that neither understands nor accepts his situation.  Last night as I was lying in my bed with my therapeutic night read before going to sleep I chanced upon a sentence in his book of prose intermingled with poetry that clearly is sitting in my head, “I was in and out of psych wards like balanced people go through socks.”  I just keep wondering about all of the various issues that arise as we journey through life and keep questioning why we cannot learn to better deal with them.

Jason’s book is not one that I would ever normally pick up and read, it is not my genre.  Given that he is a friend of my son’s, I made sure to purchase a copy and see what it is all about.  I am so glad I did.  Not only is it an interesting read, it gives so much insight into the plight of a really good, talented, intelligent individual.  He is trying to make his way through life and finds that there are a million roadblocks above and beyond his actual illness, roadblocks that probably inevitably destroy most people, but as I can see, will not destroy him.  He has the human spirit necessary to heal and to help others at the same time.  He has figured out what he needs to do.  He is helping himself, helping people who are bipolar, and others like me who are dealing with different, yet similar issues.

Mary Kay is up, the little coffee left in my Christmas mug is no longer hot, yet it still tastes good to me as I sip it bit by bit.  Snow is falling lightly and although the sun isn’t shining, it is one beautiful day in the northern suburbs of Chicago.  Life goes on and it is still good!


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