Monthly Archives: June 2012

How Will They Learn?

After we drop Maria off at work, Tina introduces me to her own work.  She holds “learning classes” for her stuffed animals—teaching them how to read, and how to read backwards.

She’s surprised, and just a little hurt, when I ask her why she’s teaching them to read backwards. But she replies with the impeccable logic and selfless commitment of a born teacher—if she doesn’t teach them, how will they learn? Furthermore, “Reading is important, and reading backwards is important.”

I make a mental note not to question her important work again.

Horse, whose real name is Jingle Bells, is progressing faster than the others and will be going to a different class. Little Lamb and her classmates will remain in the lower class for now. However, when Tina graduates from kindergarten to grade one, Little Lamb and the others will also be in class one. Then when she goes to grade two, they’ll be in class two.

This age of innocence will pass, as it must, but if Tina walks with God the sweetness will remain. What a privilege is mine to share in Tina’s and Tommy’s lives!

Climbing 101—Mount Everest for Kindergarteners

“Go play outside!” Lisa tells Tommy firmly. He and Tina and I have been playing tag in the house, and Lisa knows Tommy’s rowdy grandma and cousin will follow him outside.

It’s a beautiful evening for hide and seek in the back yard, and Lisa’s yard has some nice hiding places—behind the BBQ, around the side of the house, behind the shed, on the shed . . . ON the shed?

“Come outside and bring your camera!” I call to Lisa. Tommy’s had a flash of brilliance. Climbing up some junk piled at the side of the shed and pulling himself up on the shingles, he reaches the peak of Lisa’s garden shed. After basking in his moment of triumph, he wonders how to get down. Yes, of course—slide down to the edge of the roof, then jump. It works. Tommy lands, rolls, and heads back up again.

Tommy on the Shed

“Do you think I’ll get hurt?” he asks, pondering his next feat.“No, I don’t think so,” I answer confidently.

“God is watching me,” Tommy remembers.

“Fears rush in where angels fear to tread,” I think. But I answer, “You can still get hurt sometimes if God is watching you, but I don’t think you’ll get hurt.”

Tommy thinks it might be fun to slide off the roof face first, but changes his mind when he gets to the edge. Good plan, Tommy! He turns around and descends feet first, calming his mother’s racing heart.

Tina’s turn. Being a little heavier, it takes her a bit more effort to climb up. Perched on the peak, she wonders how to get down. Sliding down the shingles doesn’t appeal. Neither does Tommy’s gleeful prediction that she’ll have to sleep up there.

Tina prays out loud, considers various routes, and decides on her “own way.” Sliding VERY GINGERLY down the roof, she grasps a small tree branch. Slowly, slowly, she inches down to the edge, then jumps. Grasping the broken branch, Tina gives a shout of victory, races around the shed and climbs back up.

What fun!