Saturday, January 25, 2014

The Family Tree Assignment

We have been here before with our oldest and middlest (see inset picture) and so it was not a big surprise when our littlest brought home the Family Tree assignment.  What was interesting to me was my reaction to the assignment in relation to past years and how it has changed every time we have received it.
With our oldest, I think I wept first and then panicked second.  I did not want to project my understanding of our family tree onto this little person. At the same time, I did not know how I could see a tree illustrated without his brother on it.  Lucky for me, when our oldest created his tree he wanted Flynn on it "no matter what!"
When the assignment came home for our middlest, I felt more at peace to let him create the tree using his understanding of our family.  He did not include Flynn and although it was hard (for me) I did not want to challenge his view of us.
Now our littlest has brought home the same assignment.  This summer he started to make connections and ask about Flynn but I am not sure how much he relates that to himself and familial relationships.  Once again I am reminding myself to sit back and let him do the assignment from his perspective of our family and not mine.  Then this happened:

Middlest (looking at the above sheet of paper): Mom, Littlest has to do a family tree of our family.
Me: Yes, we have to work on that this weekend.
Middlest (to Littlest): How many brothers do you have?
Long Pause
Littlest: Brothers?
Middlest: Yes, how many brothers do you have?
Littlest: Have?
(me giggling at this conversation in the background)
Middlest: Yes!  You need to count Flynn, so how many?
Littlest: You, Oldest and Flynn, so three.
Middlest: Right. You need to put Flynn on your tree, right Mom?
Me: He can do whatever he wants, it is his assignment.
Littlest: I will put Flynn, he was my brother.

Dilemma solved.  Now I just have to get through the making of the tree and the discussions that will ensue.  Watch for the next blog that will contain that adventure.

P.S. I met with the littlest's teacher this week and I mentioned the family tree assignment and as I was preempting the possibility that Littlest would include Flynn, the teacher stopped me and said, "I know it will have Flynn on it, I remember your middlest when he was in my class and he talked about him all the time, and thank you for the reminder."  I am so grateful for amazing teachers!

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