One priority of my job as a parent and especially as a homeschooler (because I monopolize my kids’ time) is to show my kids how the world should be – – or at least what it could be, at its best. They’ll find out how it is soon enough.
And yet, I repeatedly fall into the trap of reading news in my few spare moments. I’m talking about mainstream news about the affairs of the world and of the United States, most of which I don’t want to share with my kids. Most of which I do not want to know myself.
The news is important, no doubt. But if I really want to lay the world of possibility at my children’s feet then I need to keep abreast of all that potential myself. After all, what we put into our world limits – – or expands – – what we get out.
I believe that if we want good things to happen we need to think about them, to look for them, and to work for them.
Thus, it was a very real and quite unexpected gift to find that a Romanian writer, an Indian homemaker, an Aussie poet and a European tour guide blogging about Prague have all connected to my blog. Once I noticed them, I clicked over to their blogs and their worlds became mine. And those worlds were full of clever thoughts and good news.
In the 10 minutes of time I had to myself, I got to read this poem, which I later shared with my husband and which allowed us to daydream about our own fun times after this adventure of child rearing wanes. It is called, Not So Old. I can taste the cold, bubbly, beer as I toast with my handsome husband some day (even if it is not so soon) as I read:
Europe in the Spring time
a tankard full of beer
and hillside hikes
we’re brimming with good cheer
Cheers to you, Claudie!
I had a good laugh as I read about a newly married Indian woman who fell as she walked with her husband through the lobby of their resort on their honeymoon. I laughed because my own husband and I have a similar story, one that he loves to tell, and which involves me convulsively laughing at a woman who tripped in front of us. What can I say? I’m not mean. It was a nervous reaction (no matter what my husband says!).
I got to see Prague through the eyes of a local. One of the reasons we homeschool is so that we have the flexibility to travel. I am definitely putting Prague on my list of places to go once we’re ready to head to Europe! And I was able to share a rainbow of colors in Prague with my kids, which they loved. We often play a game to pass the time in the car in which we each try to find one item for every color of the rainbow as fast as we can. Purple, by the way, is really hard.
I loved this piece, and its emphasis on the importance of making a fool of oneself in order to be successful, for two reasons. First, it is true. And second, when I was in college, a professor of whom I was very fond required, in one of my very favorite classes, that each student make a fool of herself while reciting, by heart, a Shakespearean sonnet. The whole experience was stressful. And hard. And funny. And liberating. I want my kids to have that freedom!
I traveled the world in less than 10 minutes, dreaming others’ dreams, which are remarkably like my own, all while in my pajamas. And that is good, no, great news! And definitely something worth sharing with my family.
Do you have good news to share? Please do. And I’ll share it with my kids.