Sunday, November 28, 2010

Thoughts of November

November 2010 is nearing it's end and my son is nearly 11 months old.  He is an impressively beautiful child to me.  He gets around well, crawls pretty quickly when he wants to and walks fairly confidently for certain distances.

(At Great Grandma's house for Thanksgiving.)

I've been thinking plenty, and writing.  Not on this blog but allowing my thoughts to flow in a journal.  The thoughts that occupy my mind most lately are of going back to graduate school.  I've been spending time looking into programs, contemplating my motives, and considering my plans for the near future in my career.  Thoughts of returning to school amuse me when I consider how excited I was to be done with homework in May.  I have come to accept that I simply enjoy the process of working towards degrees or certifications, struggling with new knowledge, and a college life.  I like teaching, but I think I like learning even more.  So, I have been exploring my mind and the internet for local programs and thinking about what I will need to do in order to get in to a desired graduate program in about three years.  Normally I spend my last waking hour, when the house is quiet, going through looking for interesting motorcycles or cars to unwind.  This last week I have spent the majority of that time researching colleges and programs.  It feels good to work towards something, even in the early stages before I know if I'll be needing a plan to work towards anything at all.  Some of the most interesting thoughts have been analyzing my motives, seeking to understand how much of my motivation is ego centric, career minded, and/or pleasure seeking.  Greg has made an interesting point that I can drop thoughts of my ego and quit trying to guard against it as though it were a bad thing.  He tells me there is nothing wrong with wanting to be the best at something or having goals.  Well made points as a result of a long conversation after which I began to focus on the other questions of what programs to consider and how will they affect my career goals.  This is what I think about each night and explains why last night I dreamed of visiting Universities and completing applications.  Why the security guard came into the dream I do not know.  Doesn't everyone complete their applications on a clip board, in the quad next to a gazebo in the night?  Luckily, this security guard turned out to be a friend in my dream world.

A list of November, 2010, experiences to wrap this up:  I have now begun a new phase in my vice principal career in which I conduct teacher observations and evaluations.  An interesting experience in itself.  I have separated two girl students who were very unhappy with each other.  I have realized, yet again, that I simply do not know instantly or with confidence how to help certain students succeed and I am forced in such cases to rack my brain looking for the "best" option instead of the "right" option of which I am simply unaware (I have much to learn).  I have lusted after a car again.  This is a feeling, when applied to machinery, that I generally experience with motorcycles.  I have test ridden the Can-Am Spyder three wheeled "motorcycle" in the rain with Don and Nathan at the annual International Motorcycle Show in San Mateo.  I have begun seeing a counselor again to help me continue to address my anxiety issues.  This for the sake of a good life, to continue progress in preventing panic episodes, and as a precautionary system to have in place to help me deal with any worries in the months before our second child is born.  Sometimes I think I am doing just fine and great working through my anxiety issues on my own and with certain people to go to.  Other times, like after seeing a counselor again this month, I am reminded of how much stress I carry with me even through my good life and how I could really use the help learning to process the stress.  I have just spent four excellent days with my wife and baby for the extended holiday weekend.  I have visited, conversed with, enjoyed, and watched my son play with lots of family, friends, a kitten, and two puppies.  I have enjoyed the cold and getting warm.  I have appreciated the rain from a covered patio.  I have snuggled with my Enzo.  I been loved by my wife.

 (Art in a headlamp...)

(Don getting off of the Can-Am Spyder in the rain.)

Monday, November 8, 2010

Anaheim Trip

Wednesday afternoon we were off to Anaheim, California for Tami to attend and present at an educator's conference.  I went to spend time with them and to take care of Enzo while Tami was at the conference.  It was a perfect time for Enzo and I to be together.  From Wednesday at 3pm until Monday morning at 7:30am, I was with Enzo.  This was the most time I have spent with The Kid in a long while.  This trip also provided the most time I have spent alone with Enzo... ever.  While he still breast feeds, his ability to eat so many solid foods at this point has made it possible for us to spend long hours away on our own adventures while Tami does other things.  We made the most of it.  We spent a lot of time playing with blocks, making mmmmmm and baaaaaaa noises, going on walks, napping, and eating.  Eating is a long processes.  Tami asked what I learned about my son these four and a half days spending so much time alone with him and the biggest item on that list is that this kid loves macaroni and cheese and can eat an unbelievable mass of it compared to his total weight.  This we discovered at the Rain Forest Cafe at Downtown Disney where Enzo proceeded to pack away a large bowl of mac and cheese covered in a ridiculous amount of cheese sauce.  I had to slow him down on occasion to take off layers of cheese.  I have no idea how he was able to get it all inside his belly.

Something this trip gave me was a lot of time to simply admire and appreciate my son.  He is beautiful, smiley, happy, and a joy to watch.  I was thinking about, as I have been doing recently, how cool it is that he can provide so much joy to me and thus, how cool it is that I have done the same for my mother specifically as well as for others.  It makes me happy to know that at some point in my history, though I do not remember it, my smiles and noises and explorations and happiness made my mother so happy just to be near me, to love me, to watch me, and to appreciate me.  I feel very good knowing that I provided this great joy for her.  And I did this for others who cared about me.  It's a neat feeling knowing that I did this just as my son does this now for me.  How cool it is that we start out with this ability to provide such joy to others simply by being.

Another neat thought came to me at dinner tonight.  Tami made her home made tortillas and I was enjoying them hot off the stove while our dinner, one of my absolute favorite Tami meals, her bean soup, was cooking.  I shared some tortilla pieces with Enzo as they cooled and he was hooked.  Tami's tortillas are good, so I can understand.  Then I realized that right now, as Enzo eats these tortillas, Tami is in such a neat position establishing his favorites.  She is practically programming our child.  Anything she makes that is good is now about to become the best, the absolute measure by which others are compared.  My grandma's spaghetti is delicious!  No doubt about it.  But I know that all others are compared to grandma's spaghetti and meatball because, while grandma's comes with love for me, it is also so much a part of my life's history.  The spaghetti sauce and meatballs of others may taste good but I know that that they don't, and simply can not, truly compare to my grandma's.  Grandma's are the standard of excellence to me and always will be just as my mom's Spanish rice is the standard for me.  Objectively delicious and subjectively perfect.  And Tami gets to do this now with Enzo.  She now gets to establish, through no additional effort, the preferences of our son and the standards by which his future meals will be measured for any meal she makes well and often.  I wonder if I will perfect any meals in time to have a similar effect.  It's interesting to already know my son will like thick tortillas when he is older.  I wonder if he will like oatmeal thick as his mom does or soupy like his father does.  Time will tell. 
(The Happy Lion for Halloween)