Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Gears in Motion

When Bird and Deal were babies every little burp, toot, or giggle was send-me-to-the-moon adorable. Every new discovery was heart warming and just propelled me to look forward to the next big thing. Sitting up blew me over. Crawling had me clapping my hands in a fury. Walking made me run in place stomping with pride. Talking forced me to shut up to hear my own children's voices. Bird's first word was dog. Ball, for Deal. Mac Daddy and I were swimming in sheer delight at all the things our boys were learning.

Those physical feats got nothin' on the mental goings on in their preschool brains now.

I am amazed every day at the thought processes in those little noggins. I swear, I can see the gears in motion. Bird is full of questions that are sometimes impossible to answer. Deal rattles off observations in a series of non sequitors. Bird is at the early stages of reading and writing, two things I have loved my whole life, so it is particularly amazing to see this learning process unfold before my very eyes. So far, Bird has really developed a love for words. His new quest is to find homonyms, which leaves Deal asking if virtually every word he utters is indeed a homonym. No, firetruck is not a homonym, but plane is. Mac Daddy and I must stop spelling very soon - no more looking at the clock saying it's almost time for B-E-D.

I don't recall my parents being so excited about what I was learning at any stage of my education and development. Perhaps it was cultural, but we were just expected to do well. Reading before kindergarten? Big deal. Paying for grades? No way! I don't recall many instances of pride welling up in the house. To be honest, I don't recall much from my childhood, consciously or subconsciously. I'm not saying my folks weren't supportive. I just don't remember it. Rather, I don't remember how I felt growing up (other than sometimes anxious and stressed since there were hard times in our home). All I recall is my mom and dad going through the motions to care for us physically. I'm not judging or knocking it; I'm simply remarking on the paradigm that's my reality. I'm pretty sure the parenting books back in the day didn't talk about a child's self esteem. I'm pretty sure there weren't a gazillion books available back in the day. And Parent Center was certainly not around!

Mac Daddy and I definitely raise Bird and Deal differently from our upbringing (not that it's not without its mistakes, lapses, and oversights). I hope that as adults our boys will remember the feeling of being loved and appreciated. I hope that they realize, now and later, that we well with pride and glee at the sweet, smart, funny boys they are growing into. I hope we are making them feel and know that they have enriched our lives in ways that words are inadequate to express.

I want them to remember the simple times when we sit at the kitchen table painting letters in pudding or spelling silly words out of Playdoh. I hope they remember all the time we spend nuzzled together reading books - the same books time after time after time; we could recite The Lorax by memory by now. I hope that in some small way, we teach our children about pride, a love of learning, and that there's more fun to be had at home than anywhere else. Yeah, that'll change when their buddies get gaming systems and we still have an analog TV with 3 channels. Or when they discover girls. Egads!
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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I too don't remember much, if anything from my childhood. I have heard stories and those seem real enough to me, but I do know that my mom gave me a lot of love and discipline. I really hope that my son feels our love, remembers his memories and recalls them as fun and happy. I guess we can only try to be better than our parents.