Mary Anne Mohanraj


December 19 -- 10:28 AM

I keep thinking about how we didn't make Anand stay to sing last night at his preschool concert, because he was too scared. And there are all those studies that say first children achieve more than later siblings, probably because anxious parents push their first kid harder. And how Kavya was scared to perform at her kindergarten play, but we did a lot of gentle encouragement, and she did get up there and open and close her mouth (there may not have been any actual singing; it's hard to tell).

On the one hand, I don't want there to be a disparity in how we raise our children, and what we expect of them, especially if it's going to affect how disciplined, hard-working, and professionally successful they are later in life.

I don't want Anand to come back in twenty years and say, "You should have pushed me harder!" Some of my college students actually do complain about that -- they find college so difficult, and they say they wish their parents had stressed academics and discipline when they were young. And also made them learn a language, and an instrument.

And on the other hand, Kevin and I honestly do not care whether or not Anand stayed to sing in his preschool performance last night, more relaxed parents are undoubtedly less stressful for children to deal with, and educational / career achievements are not the be-all and end-all of life.

I think the main takeaway is that whatever level of pushing the kids / encouraging them to work hard / etc. we want to do, we try to apply it evenly to both of them, keeping in mind that since she was our first, we probably pushed her a little harder / focused a bit more on her hitting milestones, etc. all the way along up until now. Hmm...

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December 19 -- 7:47 AM

Me, startled to come into Anand's bedroom and find him getting dressed.

Anand: "Mommy, I don't want to hurt your feelings, but sometimes you are a little demanding."

He went to on to explain to me that the problem was that when I helped him dress, I demanded he looked nice, and so it was easier if he just got dressed on his own. All right then.

(I will gladly trade matching socks for a child who gets dressed on his own. And also, I will try to be a bit less demanding.)

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December 18 -- 6:55 AM

Now that's a nice way to start the day. My story, "Communion," published in Clarkesworld, has been selected for Gardner Dozois's Year's Best Science Fiction 32 anthology. It's in the same universe as The Stars Change (my SF book that came out about a year ago) and Flight (current novel-in-progress). Ideally, I'd recommend reading TSC first, but it does work as a stand-alone. Whee!

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December 17 -- 7:49 AM

Plan for today: drive Kavi to school (instead of bus) because everyone needed more sleep, put away a load of laundry, catch up on Jaggery e-mail, sort photos and order photo album for grandparents, bake shortbread, wrap and mail gifts for sisters, and write -- ideally about 3000 words.

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December 16 -- 6:54 PM

Grades are in. I'm a little behind on the writing-an-hour-a-day, but it's okay -- tomorrow is a writing day, so I should be able to catch up then. I'm trying to really lower my expectations for what I can get done over break, but mostly, my goals are to a) write an hour a day, and b) help everyone here enjoy a nice holiday. Ratcheting down expectations for the next month. It's a good thing. :-)

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