Thanks to a recent guest on Amy Bayliss’s blog, I am learning to keep a notebook handy so that I can actually use a few of the many thoughts that flow through my brain; lately, I’ve found myself preoccupied with school, and when I sit to write, it feels as if all that’s running between my ears is a breeze!
I had begun to write in this past week’s homeschool weekly write-up that I was finally enjoying “early” learning. I should clarify my statement: I am starting to enjoy our youngest for who she is rather than trying to turn her into her brother. We began homeschooling when he was about the same age, and he was a totally different child. He has always been very studious, the type of kid who very quietly takes care of business and then asks you, “What’s next?” When we brought him and his older sister home, she was curiously happy, but he was ecstatic; introverted like his mom, homeschooling just seems to be his cup of pink lemonade. The youngest is a totally different kid. She is more active, sillier, and a constant hoot at the table. She sings constantly, often making up songs that keep the rest of us somewhere between annoyed and amused.
One thing I love is her child-like response to stories or pictures that don’t send what is, in her mind, a positive image. She hates a story that doesn’t finish as she would want, and would even get something wrong before filling in the correct, but not-so-positive answer. As one example, she was presented with a picture of a bird on the side of a birdbath. The sun was beaming overhead and the bird had drops of sweat (yeah, I know) popping out from its little brow. The options underneath the picture were to read and circle either “a wet day” or “a dry day.” The youngest argued with me that she should circle the wet day because she didn’t like the fact that the bird was sweating and unable to get any water. “He could die!” (Did I mention she’s also a drama queen?) Anyway, trying to be a kid for a moment, I suggested that we pray for the bird. Then she alerts me that he’s only paper, with a look that indicated that I was the village idiot. I guess my sense of timing on reality vs. fantasy might need a little work. Today in learning the word end combination of –ar, we read a story with a character called Bossy R, and yes, he was bossy. The youngest had problems with him immediately and stopped the story short with her argument on why there should be a different type of character.
With a bit more time to think, her resistance to a less-than-positive image reminded me of one of my dear sisters in Christ. She was one of the first people I met on my first job, and we became instant friends as she was one of those unashamed, preach-wherever-I-go type of Christians. 800 miles from home and still trying to find my way in corporate America, hearing her was like going home. Anyway, I can remember always asking her the customary “how is your day?” Her response was always positive, followed by the statement, “I refuse to let it (the day) go any other way.” At a different time in my life, I confess that I would blow off her comment, thinking that she was just a bit too perky for me. But lately, I think she, and the youngest, are on to something. How might my life be different if I insisted on happy endings? I might be less sensitive. I might become more optimistic instead of taking pride in being more realistic. I might make different choices. I might be more discerning about behaviors and people who don’t share my outlook. I might work harder to see that happy ending. Hmmm…