Tina Declares War–and Defeats her Adversaries

So, for d do you make the stick first or the hump first? How about its quarrelsome, lookalike cousin, the letter b, appropriate starter for words like bothersome, beastly and just plain bad?

And then there’s p, far more pernicious than you’d expect for a letter that starts such words as pretty, perfect and poised.

Tina gets out her special notebook, asks for the special pencil I keep in my purse for just such occasions, and rises to the challenge.

Stick first or hump first? Oh yes, and make the stick up to down, the hump too. Tina’s working from a perspective of obedience. Her mom has asked her to practice her difficult letters, and both her mom and grandma insist that she write left to right, up to down. Tina doesn’t see the reason for the latter–after all, the letters end up looking the same anyway. But still she obeys.

After writing a word beginning with each of these vexing letters, she devises a game. She makes a design with intersecting lines and interesting shapes, and writes one of her  adversaries in each shape.

A code goes at the top: red is for b, green for d, and orange for p. Tina colors her design, saying the names of the letters as she does so.

They say the best way to defeat an enemy is to make him into a friend. These letters are no longer Tina’s enemies as she finishes her coloring with a happy glow of satisfaction and the sweet relief of a difficult job well done.

Am I sorry she struggles? No, I am not.

All  life demands struggle. Those who have everything given to them become lazy,  selfish, and insensitive to the real values of life. The very striving and hard  work that we so constantly try to avoid is the major building block in the  person we are today.
Pope Paul VI


2 responses to “Tina Declares War–and Defeats her Adversaries

  1. I LOVED IT..

  2. Thank you. It’s beautiful to watch a child devise a way to address a problem. How empowering!

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