Monday, November 29, 2010

Monday Satori

I felt like I was in a grueling Olympics of Patience this morning trying to get my nine-year-old out the door to school. Intensely focused with a mind of his own and living life at his own unique pace, some days prodding my slowpoke into action can be an agonizing experience. I’m often running to and fro in a flat-out rush while Corban dawdles. Once he’s focused on something, distracting or redirecting him is an exercise that, if not futile, at the very least requires a considerable investment of time and energy. Straightforward negotiation doesn’t work, and I’ve learned that the more I hurry, the worse it gets.

While Corban may be oblivious to my frustration, he’s very aware of precisely what he wants and when he wants it. He knows what brings him pleasure and happiness, as well as what comforts and soothes him, and he also has a very clear idea of how he wants to get it, regardless of the time. After I complained to a friend this morning, she told me her son has the opposite problem: it seems he cares so much about making other people happy, she worries he won’t assert himself to learn how to make himself happy.

Wham! I was shocked into truthfulness, and I saw my son in a new light. Corban is becoming all I’d ever wanted. What more could I ask for?

Friday, November 19, 2010

Adieu

The house is now empty. There has been a whirlwind of activity within these walls over the past seven days, and although everyone has now departed and is heading back to lives put on 'pause', I keenly feel the weight of accumulated human presence left in their wake. In this early hour, I wander through impossibly and profoundly silent rooms, realizing again how meager my world would be without family and friends. They stand as proof that I'm blessed.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Undercover

"Lights out!" For years, that was my cue to pull out the big, old, heavy flashlight filled with Ray-o-vac batteries from under my bed. Up past my bedtime, sneaking in a few more pages, huddled under the covers with my flashlight and my Nancy Drew books, everything was more exciting.

These were the good old days when a great book meant you stayed up all night secretly reading, knowing perfectly well that your tomorrow would be totally out of whack.

Do children do this anymore? If more did, maybe the state of readers in our schools and world wouldn't be so "in the dark." As parents and teachers who love to read, we need to share that enthusiasm for books with our students and children, remembering that what we make them love and desire is so much more important than what we make them learn.

Our sons' and daughters' childhoods are so short. Let's fill them with flashlight-worthy books and flashlights!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Gone With The Wind

For three days our lakeshore was bullied by 50 mile-per-hour winds, all storm and no lull. Distracted by the pandemonium at the water's edge, I somehow missed the trees shedding the last of their bright autumnal cloaks. And just like that, the leaves are gone... Here I stand catching my breath and gathering my bearings.