"a portrait of each of my children, once each week, in 2016"
Jaden: In the past week for his reading minutes homework, he's been going off to his room to read his chapter books to himself without any oversight or help from us and without having to read it out loud so that we can hear him and know he's doing okay. He knows to ask us if he doesn't know a word, and we make him tell us what he's read when he's done, but it's a huge step forward for this one who was struggling with reading so much at the beginning of the school year. After he was done reading one night, and was so excitedly telling us about the book, I said to him, "See, wasn't that relaxing and enjoyable to have that time to yourself with a really good book? My hope is that reading becomes something you do for yourself for fun and relaxation as you get older." To which he promptly looked back at me said, "Yeah... that's not gonna happen." At least he's honest! ;)
Brandon: Last night the boys were once again playing over at Bryce's house after school, and Cody and I were in the kitchen unpacking groceries and talking about our days when we looked out the window at the same time to see Brandon completely scaling and leaping over Bryce's backyard fence and running through the other neighbor's backyard. When we called them in to wash up and eat supper, we told him the reasons why he shouldn't be climbing and leaping over other people's fences and that Bev and Chuck might not appreciate him trampling through their backyard - especially when their vegetable garden starts its seasonal growing. He told us he had to do it because they were playing a game of robbers - with Bryce's two dogs being the robbers - and it was the only way to escape. Of all the parenting topics I thought we might face this year, urging my small six year old not to climb fences as an escape route was not something I thought we'd be covering. What an adventure we're on.