My Early Lesson in Gratefulness: A Memory

This morning as I completed my daily tasks, my mind roamed sampling themes that I might weave into the Saturday Stream of Consciousness post. I believe most of you reading this do the same. I started on a lovely jaunt on the differences between Family Day Care as opposed to Center-based childcare. Oh, the wonderful poignant phrases were many and my fear that I’d lose that fluent story once I sat at the computer great! But, as my tasks went along, of course my mind kept churning landing on a memory that inspired this independent post.
I noted in my previous post that I’ve always been a ‘people watcher’. Having embraced this interest as a small child, I never was a ‘judger’ but rather a pure observer hoping to learn lessons that would serve me as either ‘good’ or ‘poor’ examples of how I might behave. It was for increasing my own knowledge alone. In my Kindergarten class, was a little girl who gave me my first lesson about being grateful. In the 1960s the predominant family structure was made of two parents and siblings. Much of this little girl’s situation was not known to me at my tender age but somehow, I was aware that she lived with parents that were not biological. This little girl was frail in stature, and I remember how her hands shook like an old woman’s. My heart had empathized with her before I even got a glimpse of her reality.
One day, our teacher called her from her desk to meet someone in the hallway. When the door opened there stood an adult woman holding out her arms which caused the girl to sob leaping into a smothering hug. At this point, both the woman and girl were shaking and sobbing as my teacher closed the door.
That raw emotion touched me so deeply that the scene has been one of my most frequently revisited school memories. I somehow knew that the woman was part of her real and known family and she had missed her terribly. Any other detail remains forever unknown to me. That was enough to make my 5-year-old self profoundly grateful from head to toe for having a safe, loving, home and family. It was such a mind-blowing revelation that I believe it has been the inspiration for all of my lifelong persistent gratefulness for all my large and small blessings.
If I could, I’d thank that girl today because being grateful is the most fundamental foundation for being happy and she gave that to me for a lifetime in kindergarten.
I just wanted to share a memory and my lesson with everyone. 😉
Thanks. ❤

Reena’s Xploration Challenge #252- Family Day Care: A Curious Adventure

Family Day Care* was my career choice for many reasons, not least of which, was the revealing nature of small children in group settings. Call me crazy but what many seem to define as a mundane, labor intensive, messy, job, was a fascinating and exhilarating adventure to me. I don’t ever remember not being curious about what makes people ‘tick’. Firsthand observation of ‘raw’ human beings was a golden opportunity and lots of fun.
Babies to Big Kids and girls and boys, all from endlessly variable homelives, made for a study of innocent, intrinsic human nature like no other.
Let me assure you, I have no doubt that boys and girls are different. Their concerns, socializing preferences, and strengths, are not absolutely or universally at odds but, after 46 years of observation, I’m convinced they’re not the same ‘animal’.
May I say, finding this out made me extremely happy because the two genders were obviously created to complement each other… and sometimes to keep each other in ‘check’. I can’t say I haven’t noticed exceptions to the gender tendencies, but those were not game changers, in my opinion.

There’s a thing known as “parallel play”. You can observe this most often in boys. Two boys can build towers of blocks or draw pictures while sitting beside each other never exchanging a word or glance. Men do this too. A father and son could replace a roof working side by side in almost total silence yet, if you asked them about the day, they’d probably tell you they had a great bonding experience.
Girls want feedback. They use language and eye contact far more than boys and feel shunned if they don’t get enough of it.

Girls are far better at manipulation and what I fondly call ’emotional torture’. My four-year-old daughter used to keep a group of larger boys terrorized by telling them mostly untrue things. A number of tearful complaints were about my daughter claiming she’d keep their jacket for herself or wouldn’t come to their birthday party. Those idle yet effective threats would not have as much power if used on other girls.

There are many more differences but those were the first two I thought of that seemed to be constant throughout the years. Keep in mind that these are little kids and as people grow, they become more complex and varied in their responses. I’m reporting my observations of kids at an elementary level because those differences seem instinctive when they represent a 46-year pattern.

So, my life was never dull and endlessly interesting during those day care years and my heart was always full. I would do it all again!

*Family Day Care is the caring for children in your own home. It differs from “baby sitting” by usually being licensed by the state and having a nursery school curriculum, safety trainings, and care with a professional attitude.

https://reinventionsreena.wordpress.com/2022/10/13/reenas-xploration-challenge-252/

Psych-Out

Human psychology is so very curious.

On Facebook, there’s a game circulating which asks people to list some unknown facts about themselves. Immediately, I was struck by the different types of answers and that, some “private” people, just didn’t want to play.

As a person who shares her ideas and opinions (more often than many would care to hear), I find “private” people curious from the “get go”. This is not a judgement, at all. I just wonder what they are feeling and thinking? Since they aren’t inclined to share…I may never know.

That said, the answers, from those who wanted to play, fell into several categories.

1. Things that have happened to them.

2. Their personal tastes and preferences.

3. Accomplishments and choices they’ve made.

4. Ideas/philosophies

THIS is absolutely interesting to me.

While some, chose to reach into their childhood for tidbits, others stayed in a “real time” frame of reference… this also, was interesting.

I’m not a psychologist and we cannot be sure that “how?” people answered isn’t influenced by their own environment in that moment BUT it must, on some level, say a lot about their self-image.

Now, don’t expect me to draw conclusions. This blog post is just about pointing out something that I found curious and wanted to share ‘cuz sharing is what I do! LOL 😉

Reference Books and the Curious

English: An adult male Downy Woodpecker, Picoi...
English: An adult male Downy Woodpecker, Picoides pubescens in Ottawa, Ontario (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I was at my woodland retreat this weekend when my cell phone rang with “Grandma answer the phone!” I had added my granddaughter’s voice as a ringtone and I smile each, and every time, I hear it. When I answered, Katherine excitedly started describing a new bird at her feeder. How I enjoy being her favorite reference for birding! After a fun talk, we decided she had seen a Downy Woodpecker. My questions about what she had seen, hopefully, schooled her about what to look for in the future.

Although I hope she never gives up on seeking my opinion, I realized that she needed a few reference books for those rare occasions when grandma does not have cell service or ,(rarer still) doesn’t know the answer.

Yes, the internet offers quick access to information BUT I think reference books have a different and equal value. First, looking things up, using your head, not a vague definition, can really challenge a young mind to filter information… people need a triage of sorts for describing things and narrowing down their searches. Too often, someone will call the information line for a phone number after exploring only one avenue for the yellow page listing. Lazy! Can’t find hair dresser?…try beautician…try hair salon… and so forth.

I have ordered Katherine a guide to Eastern US Birds from Amazon. On top of fine tuning her vocabulary, she may have fun with discovering new birds to be on the “look out” for. Many times I start a search for a specific bird (in a book) which ends, half an hour later, having been drawn into information about others.

Books are portable, personal and they smell good too! Never overlook what they can offer, above the computer, to the young and curious among us.

Once Pondered

It was summertime.

Season of sounds

Without limits

Daylight, endless hours

Searching and seeing

Breathing and being

curious.

A pond is one universe.

Sodden with life

For children

Frogs tell it best

Not needy

Hiding an option

Temporary adoption

Be gentle.

Understanding our existence.

So very easy

In summer

Solitary inspection

Waters and reflection

living.

The Wee World

Welcome to the Wee World.

A place I love to find.

Won’t see it if you’re busy.

You need a patient  mind.

Walk about the forest.

Searching up and down.

Believe in small surprises.

I promise they’re around.

Step easy and be quiet.

Take a slower pace.

You must be an explorer

 To search a hidden space.

Many never find things

Because they never look.

It may take several chances

  All worth the time it took .

So much in Nature’s hidden

From those who never seek.

The Wee World isn’t make-believe

Don’t be afraid to peek.

Make time to walk in forests

Or outdoors in your town.

The world of tiny wee things

Isn’t meant to stay unfound.