I haven’t posted in a while but my mind is blazing with this question!
Why is this question burning holes in my brain???? Because I heard a teacher say today she felt she could determine a child’s potential when they were in her class. “Was she a teacher of college or high school students?” you might ask.
She a teacher of children in a primary classroom.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t think I knew my own potential until I was at least 30. If my son’s teacher’s had been asked to name his future in kindergarten or first grade, they might have been pretty positive. In 3rd grade and 9th grade the report would have been abysmal. I still can’t say I know what his future will be like but guess what?? He gets to decide his potential – not me, or some teacher with limited vision!
the prompt from Write Alm is “prelude”
and so it has come to this
we sit side by side on the sofa in the evenings to play games
we smile as the cat goes from lap to lap
you make the better pancakes,
I make tastier scrambled eggs
if I cook, you clean
and vice versa
we are becoming our parents
more and more with time
NPR has been doing a series on the importance of play. I have found the message of the series one to wonder about as I was in the midst of a playful vacation with my nieces and nephews – all in their 20’s, and especially as I engaged in playing with my grand nephew who is 16 months old. The series has me recalling my own childhood play, the play I tried to encourage in my own children and still do in my classroom. The episode on winning was especially provocative as I turn now to a new year of school and think about the words I want to choose to use when I’m engaged in play with my young students.
I bent to see what the ant was carrying
as it scurried across the hot deck
but it was moving too quickly.
I flopped back into the deck chair,
closed my eyes to the summer sun,
I don’t think much about it until relatives come from out of town. All the little and big things about living in proximity to family become very apparent when compared to the experiences of “visiting” relatives. (Now please, sisters, I love that you are far away because I get to live vicariously through your distance. I’m just noting what becomes evident to me when you come to visit and I see the difference between our experiences.)
Yes, I see mom and dad weekly – more so during vacation times. Mom loves to go out to lunch on Saturdays but she will take any excuse to leave the house and eat out. We both don’t like to cook and having lunch together usually kills two meals out of the day; neither of us want dinner after going out and any leftovers can be reheated for our spouses.
But, the conversations are pretty similar from week to week. I rehash my week of teaching and mom shares what “the ladies” are talking about at her quilt group on Wednesday. During the summer, I get the results of the Tuesday sailing races. Sometimes mom can talk dad into going out too, if there aren’t going to be any extra errands afterwards. Our conversation is greatly enriched if there has been a visit from the “little girls” – who are actually getting quite tall. If there is news from my siblings, that gets added to the mix, but that doesn’t happen much. (Hint, hint)
Mom feels guilty because calls to Bill are answered with “what can I do for you mom?” She is often just checking in and doesn’t need anything. But both Bill and I know “we’re on tap” if needed and anticipate those phone calls where we are needed and we are glad to be close by. Now that Bill is moving to the island, he won’t be as accessible but I know both he and I would drop everything to help if the need arises.
So yes, we get the benefits of seeing mom and dad more often but we also have a heightened awareness of their aging and that we are the closest ones to respond. A few weeks ago I called in the evening and got the answering machine. That was unusual but I waited awhile and called back. When I got the machine again, I called Bill to see if perchance mom and dad had been invited to their place for dinner. When the answer was no, both he and I were a bit worried. So since I live a little closer and am a whole lot less encumbered by family, I drove over to see if they were all right – which of course, they were. The phone was just not working. That was easy. I’m sure it will get trickier in time.
Besides mom and dad, there are other family members in my midst. I have quite a few in-laws in the area and my own children live close by. Yes it gets complicated and relations get strained but I still feel very lucky. When I hear my daughter speak about how much she likes being close to most of her family members I know she’s come to realize a value we passed on without even trying – family is important, proximity is a gift, stay in touch no matter what.