Bird Droppings February 25, 2020
It has been a long time
“Teaching is a lifelong moral quest. You never have it exactly right and you keep trying to get better at it. You keep learning from your students and what they are going through, how you can do things better.” Nel Noddings
I was sitting along the edge of reality somewhere in my backyard listening to the wind blow through the pines, it seems pine trees make a better sound when the oak trees are leafless. Sort of a circular thing as the wind seemed to blow around the tops of the trees surrounding my house. The sound and movement in the air was exhilarating. It has been thirty-eight years since our oldest son was born. I was wondering as a parent and now as a grandparent have we done all we should or could. I think parents question themselves often. I think parents always wonder did I do the best job I could have. Perhaps even thinking about what could I have done different? As I ponder I am very proud of my children all three and now two daughters in law and four grandchildren a fifth on the way. Hopefully, they know whatever roads they travel in life we will be there for them if they need and I am sure they will be happy and successful.
“You don’t really understand human nature unless you know why a child on a merry-go-round will wave at his parents every time around – and why his parents will always wave back.” William D. Tammeus
I have been to the nurseries at the local hospitals when my wife gave birth to our three sons and when my sisters and numerous friends and now my own children, nieces, and nephews all having children. A few years back as we sat around eating I was watching my nieces, nephews, grandchildren, grandnieces, and grandnephews. Several are still babies and there were great aunts, great grandmothers, grandfathers and grandmothers taking turns holding them. Great-grandma was working on getting a photo of all of them together and trying to get fourteen or so little ones in a confined space for enough time to get one photo with all faces looking forward is quite an effort.
“It’s not only children who grow. Parents do too. As much as we watch to see what our children do with their lives, they are watching us to see what we do with ours. I can’t tell my children to reach for the sun. All I can do is reach for it, myself.” Joyce Maynard
I have watched my brother and sisters grow as they raised their children and now grandchildren. I have witnessed firsthand my wife and I grow raising our children and now the changes taking place with grandchildren. There are challenges and pitfalls, those moments that we will never live down. I recall a little spat between my middle son and youngest at Disney World when the middle son while my wife was watching for our ride to Discovery Island, karate kicks the youngest and he would, of course, holler and hit his brother who was claiming innocence to his mother. After three times I did intercede even though I had actually been videotaping the whole scenario watching it now it is quite humorous. It is funny even now my middle son still denies any wrongdoing saying I altered the film.
“Don’t worry that children never listen to you; worry that they are always watching you.” Robert Fulghum
So often I use the term setting an example, we as parents have that responsibility and we as teachers, it is a double edge sword and often there is no chance to goof off.
“If there is anything that we wish to change in the child, we should first examine it and see whether it is not something that could better be changed in ourselves.” C.G. Jung, Integration of the Personality, 1939
I recall my wife coming home from the hospital many years ago when she first became a nurse. She was working in GYN-OB and had delivery and nursery in her unit. She told me one day of a thirteen-year-old mother whose twenty-six-year-old mother was there and her thirty-nine-year-old grandmother was also there. The examples we set are seen by our kids every day and then they try and emulate. Watching my granddaughter try and imitate us as we make faces or stick out our tongue is amusing and her faces as she tries and mimics. Sadly, children are always watching and our behaviors beyond making faces are seen as well.
“Most of us become parents long before we have stopped being children.” Mignon McLaughlin
Each day as I walk down the hallways in our high school I am made aware of this with so many students pregnant and some even married.
“Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.” Elizabeth Stone
It was a difficult day yesterday. My back was bothering me arthritis and old age and a student noticed. I am usually good at keeping it to myself. It could be the weather changes we keep having. Advil has kept me going and a good night’s sleep but a nice relaxing hot shower will be great. In a few weeks my oldest son’s birthday. It is hard to believe as I went shopping with my oldest granddaughter two weekends past, that he was once just as small. As I finish up today so much out in the news around the world so please keep all in harm’s way on your mind and in your hearts namaste.
My family and friends, I do not say this lightly,
(We are all related)