Surprising things over holiday break with the tween

My daughter had a friend come over yesterday.  They usually spend the day laughing, eating, showing each other different things on apps and games they’ve played.  They especially like musically.  It’s a different time for these children.

They no longer have toys they play with.  Technology and other devices keep them entertained.

They had pizza for lunch.  My daughter is now very adept of turning on the over and baking a frozen pizza without burning the house down, leaving the oven on or creating a mess on the baking sheet because she has discovered aluminum foil.

A few hours later I hear plates clanging around in the kitchen.  I went to see what they could possibly doing because pizza plates really don’t require much noise.

They were unloading the dishwasher… the clean dishes… without being asked.  Without being asked?  What was this about?  They said there was no place to put the dirty dishes because there were clean ones in there.  Kudos to them.  I have never seen her initiate a job by herself like that.  I thanked her profusely.

Later, I realized that they didn’t know you should at least rinse a little bit of the food off the plates – mainly because they had cookies and cream ice cream cake that had dripped and hardened all over the inside of the machine.  Minor tweeks to a great initiative.

Loving little girls that are taking responsibility for the mess they create.  Way to go girls!

Advertisements

Christmas with the Tween

This Christmas was different for us.  My daughter declared last year she no longer believed in Santa Claus.  We knew we wouldn’t be able to keep up the charade forever, so it’s ok.  With youtube and different media, I really don’t know how long she played along until that point.

She wanted to do midnight mass so she could sleep in.

She no longer wants toys.

She wants sportswear and shoes.

Midnight mass started early and is not at midnight because there were 2 other masses for Christmas before this one started by 11:00.  There were Christmas carols for 30 minutes prior to the mass.  The sing along was fun with all of the verses we never know past the first one.  She thought this mass would contain no little kids or babies.  For some reason, she is really annoyed by the crying and even though there is a “cry room”, parents elect not to sit in there. We also did not want to sit in the overflow room.  Something about watching the mass on a large screen just doesn’t do it for us.

It is very interesting to watch her evolve in the ritual of the mass.  She used to complain a lot about going.  She complains about how boring it is and depending upon who is leading the choir – offkey, loud and a lot of wrong notes being played.   She very much participates in the responses, the up and down and kneeling, the holding of hands during the lords prayer.  The only thing that bothers her is really the shaking of hands.  She doesn’t care for telling other people “peace be with you”, she sometimes pretends to tie her shoe and doesn’t turn around to make eye contact with anyone.  She will shake the hand of someone in front of her only if they initiate first.

She complained about how crowded the church was because they were just there for Christmas.  We explained to her that before she came along, we only went to church for Christmas and Easter, too.  It only was when she was born that we felt the need to be involved in her growing spirituality.

We have a friend who is studying to be a deacon and he tells us that the mass is repetitive for a reason.  It is in the ritual that you can focus on prayer.

She was very excited this year at the mass because we didn’t actually have to go on Christmas day.  Even though this child wanted to sleep in for Christmas, she was still up at 6 am after going to sleep at 1:30.

She felt good about doing her obligation.  I am slowly realizing that she needs a whole lot of nudging to go the right way in the path and I love her for it.

Happy Holidays.