Tag Archives: communication

Your teacher said what?

Yesterday my fifth grader came up to me in tears while I was cooking dinner. “My teacher says there are too many people in the world because there are too many big families and we have a big family and I’m worried their going to split us up.”

I think I got whiplash from my neck snapping around to stare at her while the other kids, because of course everyone had to be present at that moment, broke into confused and distraught mayhem. “Oh, honey. There’s plenty of space still on the planet and they couldn’t split our family up.” I went on a little about laws and such, then asked, “Did your teacher say because you had a big family you would be split up?”

“No, that’s what I felt like she was saying.”

“What did she say exactly?”

Elizabeth made a few more sniffles in an attempt to calm down. “She said they are planning on sending people to live on the moon because we are overpopulated because people have too big of families.”

Inside I was fuming, outside I managed to remain calm and collected and reassured my family that nothing no-how would be able to split us up and separate us.

We talked some more and sweet Elizabeth says, “maybe I misunderstood, mom.”

Misunderstood? Maybe, but all of it? I was fairly sure she didn’t misunderstand the big family, overpopulation, and live on the moon parts. Honestly, I could care less about living on the moon, I was just bothered by the impact the big family comment was having on my daughter. I dwelled on it all evening and this morning I decided it was worth a call to the school over. There are a lot of large families in our area and I was worried about the other kids who might be worried but not mention it to their parents, etc.

So, I called the principle, and she was understanding and said she would talk with the teacher.

There are a few things I am grateful for because of this situation, first I am so glad that Elizabeth was comfortable coming and talking to me about something that bothered her so much. Go Liz! Second, from everyone’s reaction it was evident that even though they may fight a lot, they sure do love each other. 😀

While these are wonderful things to realize, I would like to clobber the teacher for causing needless alarm and worry to a young child. I can understand it in highschool, even middleschool, but grade school, when most kids aren’t old enough to understand personal and political agendas or view points? Come on.

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Filed under Children, Lizy, Opinion, Parenting

Family Communication

Family Communication

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Messages

Weekly Anamnesis #14

1980 something

I didn’t know what it was called, I still don’t; I just remember it was fun to play with. You inserted a narrow plastic tape of sorts, with a peel off backing so it would stick on something, and turn the dial to different letters. By squeezing the handle (or a button?) it would leave the imprint of the letter. We had black, blue, and red tapes and the letters would look white when they were embossed on them. I wrote a message to my mom one time and stuck it on her sewing machine. It said, “Mom, you are the best!” It is still there, though her sewing machine has changed since then.

1980 something else

We took a day trip over the border (we lived in Pennsylvania) to West Virginia to visit Coopers Rock Sate Park. It is an amazing place with mammoth boulders scattered through the woods. Pillars to squeeze between, caves to explore, and sloping boulders to hide under. If Robin Hood had been in the United States I am sure this would have been his hide out. The trails wound around and through them and hours were spent climbing. We went back on numerous occasions I believe. I spent a lot of time with my mom as the older kids went on longer hikes with my father. My mom and I would find a hiding place to camp out, and then leave hidden messages and clues on the paths to our location. We would make arrows out of sticks on the path pointing the way or place sticks in an “x” or an “o” for a hug and kiss. Sometimes mom would hide from me and I would follow her messages to be greeted with a heart when I found her.

1998

When Paul and I were married we received a very simple gift which has been a favorite all these years. It was a small mirror with an oak frame and two hooks beneath it; nothing grand or spectacular. The giver had cut two hearts out of cardboard and labeled them with our names and hung one from each hook. The note attached to the mirror face said, “It is my hope that you will leave love messages and notes to each other on this mirror in the years to come.” We did, and we still do, though maybe not with quite the frequency as when we were first married. On many occasions I will enter the bedroom and as my eyes drift to the mirror hanging on the wall there will be a note or card tucked under the wood edge on my side. A message of love, caring, thoughtfulness and gratitude; a reminder of messages throughout the years.

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Filed under Anamnesis, Farm Stories, Love and Marriage, Memory, Writing

(In)discretion

Usually I avoid band wagons, but a weekly writing assignment isn’t bad, and like Heather, it gets my brain going . . . Weekly Anamnesis (a recollection of past events) #2:

(In)discretion: Something said or done that is tactless or unwise

My roommate was mad at me and I didn’t know why. She wouldn’t talk to me and walked out of the room if I entered. I finally cornered her and simply asked, “What did I do?” I was not prepared for the answer.

“Someone said that they had heard that you had said that anybody could have passed the math exam I failed.”

Ahhh, my indiscretion revealed to me, yet it had never happened. I try really hard to have tact, and though I may think a certain comment, I would never actually say it. I tease, but I am not cruel, and that would have been cruel. Besides the fact, I didn’t know she had taken a math test.

“Ummm, I would never say that. I didn’t even know you took a math test.”

“You should have, we are in the same major. (Elementary Education)”

I shook my head and bit my tongue wanting so badly to say, “What, should I ask every day when I see you, ‘So, fail any math tests today?’.” But I managed to hold the comment back.

When she realized this reason for her anger no longer worked she tried other tactics.

“What a bout the time we were at church choir and you wouldn’t let me direct the music.”

“Umm, (that um was vital for my thinking as I searched my memory banks trying to locate the accused occasion) the director asked me to conduct. I didn’t mean to hurt your feelings; I was just doing what I had been asked to do.”

“What about . . .” she came up with a number of different scenarios, all of which had a reasonable explanation, until she finally, in a last desperate attempt, said, “Well, I guess you are too wrapped up in your self then.”

There it was. My final indiscretion after all others had failed. What did it mean? Was it one final stab to the heart or did it have basis? It haunted me, I had always tried to be kind and put others first, had I failed so miserably? I knew the conversation was over. Her face closed off and she got up to walk away.

“Whatever it was, I’m sorry, and hope you can forgive me some day.” My last feeble attempt to patch a broken bond. And then I moved on.

It hurt, because I tried so hard to let her know that I would never intentionally do anything to hurt her or anyone. We had been friends, good friends. I shall never know what really set her off. I shall never know what my real indiscretion was. Maybe it was trusting her and becoming her good friend in the first place. We parted our ways and she never spoke to me again. She is probably still fuming somewhere about her insensitive roommate just as I am sitting here wondering what unforgivable faux pas I was to have committed.

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Filed under Anamnesis, Personal History, Writing, Youth