Friday, November 17, 2006

septa lessons


for how they raised me. most especially my mother. when i was little, my dad worked and my mom stayed home, so i was with her most of the time. but even when my dad came home, he was great.

know how i know?

i've seen the other side - what happens when people don't know how to talk to children. my father is an impatient man, but he rarely was impatient with me. i could tell, even in my youth, that my dad was someone special to have, because he put thought and effort and time into teaching me things. he explained them as clearly as he could. he gave me criticism when he thought it would strengthen me. he took extra time to help me learn - whether it was how to wash dishes, or how to throw a softball.

and my mommy? she read to me regularly and taught me how to read at an early age. she balanced indulging my curiosity with teaching me limitations and restraint. hugs were never off limits in my house. encouragement was never in short supply. every victory of mine was a victory of theirs. every crisis of mine triggered the support i needed from them.

and every instance of discipline, corporal or verbal, was well thought out - done out of concern for my welfare and not out of selfishness on their parts. never to hurt me. never to break my spirit. i was never called out of my name as a child. never spoken to in a tone that made me feel unloved.

these poor kids on the bus, though...

their parents yell because they are annoyed that they had to drag a toddler along with them. they yell at these children because their short legs aren't fast enough, or because they didn't have the stamina to walk through the mall with them as their parents shopped all day. these kids are learning from their example to be loud, impatient, and mean. i worry about if they live like this every day, getting yelled at, yanked on, pushed around, or - and i'm not sure which is worse - being ignored altogether. i wonder if they're being read to regularly at home. if someone is patiently teaching them how to scrawl their name neatly between blue lines of notebook paper in green crayon...

it all just reinforces in me all the love i realize i received from home... and all the love i plan to give my own little ones one day.