Thursday, June 24, 2010

Verklempt...A Kindergartner in our Midst

Dear Mrs Landis and Ms Jennifer,

If I were more creative and a much better wordsmith, I might fashion this note into a little ditty, but instead of “Waltzing Matilda” or “Ten Little Indians” it would be to the tune of “All the Single Ladies”, and I’m thinking it would be a movement song, yes there would definitely be dancing.

I might include lyrics about all the many things you taught Nathan. I‘d sing about the conversations your lessons inspired across our extended family. I’d tell of your tireless energy, your creative and ever-changing materials in the classroom. I’d weave something in about the great fun celebrated at every holiday, the butterflies, the puppies and so much more. The refrain would have a catchy melody and would express my deepest gratitude for giving my boy a safe, happy, rich environment to blossom in so many ways.

He leaves you not only with solid footing for kindergarten, but for real life. He’s not yet the king of coloring, but he did draw a blueprint for the “every-wary” (aviary) he intends to build. His love and knowledge of animals has been more than nurtured in your classroom, if he had it his way, we would have ten of every classroom pet at home—plus a “bone” constrictor, of course.

Nate can take hours to get through his morning routine if I let him, but he can apply knowledge and logic with confidence. Recently he was having a conversation with his Grandma about potential vacation spots. He asked where she’d like to go and she responded Belize. Without missing a beat, he said, no let’s go somewhere on a different continent. That one had several members of the family whipping out their iphones!

His mind may wander, but there have been more than one occasion that I asked him if Mrs. Landis or Ms Jennifer taught him xyz and he responded no, but she taught it to Suzy Q and I was listening. He can even apply humor to the lessons; he’s been known to refer to his girl-friends as fe-mammals and informed me during a sleepover that he and his friend would be staying up all night long, ‘cause they ‘re nocturnal (insert maniacal laughter here).

You fed his passions and his desire to learn. You taught kindness, grace, spirit, and dealt with some tough real life situations. You reminded me the infamous day of the fish funeral that most often it’s best just to keep it real with kids—they can handle it. Yes they can. Sometimes I have a hard time. Did I tell you when our dog died right before the fish incident; I tried to keep it real? Many conversations about death, cremation and locations of ashes followed. He asked poignant questions and much to both our horror, I answered them. After he thought about it all for a while, he bounded back up the stairs with a few nonchalant follow up questions, “Mommy, are we gonna get cooked up when we die? Who will get the ashes if we’re all dead and cooked?” Oy vey.

Apparently Nate is not the only one who lacks economy of words at times. I guess I am trying to say thank you both for all you’ve done and for making our decision to change schools this last year, one of the best parenting decisions we’ve made.

Sincerely,

Stephanie and Shaun

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Next up...Money and Politics

A few years ago Shaun was reading something of Eldon Taylor's wherein he makes a short reference to Mark Twain's Letters From The Earth. I haven't been able to find the exact reference, but I am intrigued to learn more after a couple of brief strolls through it. Taylor talks about the part of the work in which the archangels are deciding where to hide God. It is suggested that they hide Him on the moon or deep beneath the surface of the sea and so forth. Each suggestion eventually leads the archangels to conclude that man is too smart for that--sooner or later they would find God. Finally, they decide to hide God within every human being; for the last place mankind will look, is within.

We thought that was pretty profound, concise, and on target with some of our own beliefs.

So tonight I had occasion to revisit that bit of history and share a new moment with Nathan. (Nate, I should say. He has requested that I let his kindergarten teacher know that he prefers to be called Nate, not Nathan or Nathaniel; it's Nate, thank you very much.)

When Nate moved from his crib to a full on bed when he was two and a half I think, I made what has sometimes been called a mistake. I started laying down with him to help him go to sleep. We went cold turkey on the pacifier at the same time; it was a tough transition. Anyway, we often still lay down with him. I like to think it's on our terms not his, as there are nights that we don't do it and it's fine. There are also nights that I am walking him back to his bed five times, but whatever... Nights when I do lay with him there are often golden nuggets bestowed on me and I am so happy that I haven't taken a hard line on bedtime. He tells me about his day, pets he wants to acquire and places he wants to go. Tonight was no different. He told me all about how much he loves Mika and Dillon from the "baby class", how to spell all variations of his name--forward and backwards and then he told me that Gabriel (his classmate, not an angel) thinks that God lives in the sky. "Oh yeah? And what do you think?"

"I think He lives right in my heart. Good night Mommy."

"G'nite Bug."