Friday, June 07, 2013

Winding Down

Right now is a rather giant time of transition for our family. 

Jules is finishing out his school year, looking back at what worked and what didn't.  He is trying to figure out a way to find balance between state test prep and teaching actual content.  (In theory those things are supposed to go together, but let's be real.)  As much as he enjoys watching his students anxiety go down and their first feelings of quantifiable success, (very few of these students would consider themselves good testers, and almost none would call themselves academic), it can be a difficult place for a person who greatly loves teaching.  Moreover, mitigating the sheer amount of paperwork which test prep tends to bring home is quite a challenge.   

On the home front, I have now officially ended our homeschool year as far as the State of Washington is concerned.  Schooling doesn't really stop; The Barracuda is way too routine neurotic for that.  However, we are leaving our umbrella charter school this year, and homeschooling solo as of August.  I get to jump head first into "organizing" our homeschool life to meet state requirements.  I'm anxious about that because this sort of administrative organization is difficult for me to stick with, but an important place for me to stretch myself.  Moreover, is a giant leap of faith for Jules.  He believes in me, and has frequently gone above and beyond in his support.

The Barracuda is somewhere between 2-4 years ahead in school and will be entering middle school next year in subjects he dislikes, and high school in subjects he loves.  That's hard when you are 8.  It is even harder living in a rural community where peer groups aren't rampant.  Add to this the fact your mom is an extreme INTJ, and you don't really have a great mix.

I am an INTJ according to Myers-Briggs and a rather strong one.  As an introverted thinker who lives most of her life inside her head, I tend to plan rather compulsively.  I am extremely process oriented, detest surprises, and loves the clear lines of logical routine.  However, I live with two rather intense feelers.  Jules is an INFJ and The Barracuda is almost my complete opposite, ENFP.  This isn't unheard of.  In fact, it is exceptionally common since INTJ women are estimated at less than 0.8% of the population.  It merely means that I find my self quite frequently losing my crap taking a series of deep breaths.

It is extremely difficult for me to find the logic behind a feeler's actions.  It is equally difficult to have a conversation with someone who feels all the time.  To those who tend to see my analysis as somehow exhausting, I often wonder how on earth people can feel so much without being exhausted to the point of insanity.

That said, I'm very glad they have each other.  I would be a rather terrible parent without Jules (and The Barracuda would be walking all over him if I wasn't fairly immune to cuteness).  What I used to think of as "gender gu-gu," I now see as the ability to negotiate feelings.  Jules commiserates, snuggles, and somehow knows just what to say and how to read people.  I, on the other hand, know exactly how to plan and enact a strategy to fit most any situation if you give me the access to the Internet and enough information to create contingency plans.  Give me the problem and I will solve it.  I can't tell you how you feel about it, or mitigate your emotional meltdown, but I can get the problem fixed.

Right now, planning isn't needed.  My little ENFP is quite a perfectionist and has his life pretty darn planned.  We have figured all those things out.  My INFJ doesn't need me to "fix" anything in his classroom, he needs to feel like he is imparting more than high marks on standardized testing.  What is needed are Dad's hugs, silly games they play together, a rite of passage or two, and some time out on the front porch together. 

Together, they can lean on each other.

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