Thursday, August 19, 2010

What kind of man do you want to be

We were sitting on Asher's bed while at the beach in Duck, N.C. It was a new book about Jack's house and the real story behind Jack's house. You remember the original book:

"This is the house that Jack built. . ."

Anyway, we were reading the new book that actually reflects on the fact that someone else actually built the house for Jack but he got all of the credit.

Suddenly, he turned and looked up at me,
"Daddy, you're sweet."
"Thanks Asher," I replied, with a quick laugh. "You're sweet too."

And we kept reading. I was only about three words in when he turns to me again, interrupting with,
"Daddy, you're a good man."
I laugh, "Thanks Ash. You're a good boy."

And he snuggled into my arm, and we kept reading.

Friday, August 13, 2010


Lately, Tahlia has become infatuated with pirates. We have pirate books and recently visited the beach, which I think has made her fascinated with them. This fascination grew exponentially the other day when, shortly after her rest time (naps are no longer) she asked me to make a pirate flag. Well, the flag happened, and was lashed to the couch, which, of course, became the pirate ship. Then, a map was made, followed by a hat -- black and adorned with the skull and crossbones. I was able to fashion the hat so that it sat on Tahlia's head properly -- not one of those newspaper hats, but with a slight tilt and everything. I even went so far as to create a sword for her. In the subsequent days, Asher also was given a sword that could second as a red jalapeƱo pepper, complete with a green handle, or stalk. The swords were not a big hit with Mommy, but, I felt if they were going to be pirates, they should probably be prepared to deal with other pirates, who were definitely going to have swords.

For several days, the pirate play went on. There was arrrrrging; there was shouting; there were scalawags. And after a while, there was enough.

The flag started falling off of the boat more and more, which would result in crying. Sometimes it was stolen by a small being who no longer longed to be a pirate. This scamp would snatch the flag, with no fanfare or flourish, and dash away, gleefully. In the wake of him, there would be a devastated-once-pirate (pirates, in general, do not throw themselves on the floor crying about a flag).

Although Tahlia was the self-proclaimed captain, the admirals of the much larger ship being driven through this life were growing tired of pirate games. For, with more reading, it started to become clear to the head pirate that pirates really aren't good people. Discussions were started about why people needed to walk the plank, or why did the pirates attack a ship and them make everyone get off prior to sinking it. And as there was a greater understand as to the type of people pirates were, there were behaviors that went along with acting like a pirate.

One day, Daddy was trying to get the captain to eat something. I didn't care what it was, but I was hoping that she would have a little variety in her diet. To that extent, I was trying to make sure that she ate something other than a second banana for the day. She was pretty set on eating a banana, so I thought I would just clarify something.

I asked, "Do pirates eat a lot of bananas?"

She looked at me, and with a look of incredulity, stated, "Daddy, pirates do what ever they want."

I guess we can move onto the next role play -- this one is clearly understood.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

If you were four, what would you be?

If you were at the beginning of your life, and you could do it all over again, would you want to change the job that you have? I often think about the work that I do as a school teacher. While there are tons of emotional perks to the job -- influencing children's lives, helping them to learn and grow, watching them grow and mature, having them come back and thank me -- I am often in awe of the community's lack of financial support for teachers. When I think of Tahlia and Asher, I want them to chase their dreams, I want them to pursue that which will fill their souls and allow them to lead rich, full lives. As a pragmatist, I also want them to pursue something that will allow them to have the monitory freedom that will also allow them to do what they want -- for whatever that means. These are my thoughts -- I don't bestow them on the children -- the most they interact with them is when I grow brooding and silent.

Sometimes, however, Tahlia will let us know exactly what she wants to be:

We were driving down the road that leads to our house. It is a long stretch, and, as we headed home, the four of us were quiet, I'd like to think it was in anticipation of being home after a lot of travel -- more likely, though, it was because everyone was too tired to talk, or sing. Tahlia suddenly had a revelation:

"Daddy," she stated, "When I grow up, I want to be a paleontologist."
In my head, I start thinking about what this will mean for her -- jumping far ahead of the personal satisfaction one gains from chasing a dream. What will this mean for her family? Will she travel a lot and be away from her family? How will it pay? Will she be able to do other things she and her family want? Yes -- I know -- it is too far away.
"Oh," inquired Mommy, "You want to study dinosaurs?"
"No," She corrected, "I want to be a paleontologist-princess-mommy."

I guess my worries can wait -- she seems to have everything thought of already.