Tuesday, December 8, 2015

so much depends up...

The Red Wheelbarrow
by William Carlos Williams 
so much depends upon 
a red wheel barrow 
glazed with rainwater 
beside the white chickens.
In our house these days, so much of whether an evening goes well -- or gets a bit squirrelly, loud, overwhelming, testy, overly emotional, pesterish, or any other word that describes that feeling of tippily careening toward bedtime on two wheels -- that kind of night where just one poorly placed rock in our path might cause it all to end in an epic display of disaster? So much depends on a little bit of luck.  Or planning.  Or holiday music. Or maybe, magic.  

And these nights are often full of trying to get dinner and practicing and homework and after school activities and laundry and oh my goodness did any one feed the dogs and close up the chickens for the night and packing lunches for the  next day and...you get the picture.  But sometimes, it all comes together at just the right moment in our chaotic evening routine swirl.  

A good evening, these nights, depends upon:

A sister who runs upstairs to snatch a book off her bedroom shelf, because she remembers this book and thinks her brother should read it for his independent reading homework.


An older brother, pacing the room and memorizing Shakespeare, who walks by and says "Oh!  I remember that book!  It was so sad and I almost didn't read it but I loved it.  I really liked the teacher in it.  And the poetry."

Well placed pencil and paper, next to said sister and brother who are using this stash for their math homework, but who are willing to share, so Elliott can dive into his own work.

Well chosen poems in a well loved book.  And a story that describes a relationship between a child and teacher that evolves into something profound.

Layer this onto a child who is watching those around him work and toil and soliloquize and calculate and stir and dance and rock out on the guitar.  And you have a child who wants to join in the evening's dance and becomes, well, inspired.




And also, what is needed is a parent, who drops everything else and pushes his wife's research books aside and captures the idea before it is lost.




And let's not forget the right book, and the right assignment, and the right teacher at the other end of the reading journal.

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