Tuesday, January 22, 2008


The day before yesterday I decided to tackle the playroom downstairs. It was a big mess - and most of it was mine.
I had gotten out craft supplies over the holiday season and just never put them back. There was always something to be moved before that could be put in its proper place, or something to be sorted, so boxes and bags were just left there - inviting little fingers to investigate and string and strew to her hearts content. (And paint on the carpet, as it were. woops. Good thing we don't plan on moving ever.)

So I dedicated several hours (in my head) to the job.

Late that night, around eight o'clock or so I started organizing the video tapes. It took me probably an hour - I have them numbered and listed in a book so that we can look through the book to see what it is that we'd like to watch.
Next I sat there sorting our storyboard felt pieces. Rumplestilskin, Jack and the Beanstalk, The Three Little Pigs, shapes, letters, etc.

As I sat there sorting, feeling very calm and actually even tranquil I thought how therapeutic it was for me. Organization. Something that I absolutely need in my life.
That's not big news, I've always known that organization is a big part of me. I like to know exactly where to find something. Most times I know exactly where everything in my house is. Where it goes.

What was news to me was this: though I get much satisfaction and peace from it - the same would probably not be true for another.
My son, for instance.
But why would I care?

He knows how to sort if he is so inclined. Living life naturally has taught him that. He sorts the toys in his room (we have little boxes) without a problem.
Why would I insist that he (at least pretend to) have this same trait, though?

Which of course led to "it's the same with school."

We make sense of our worlds in different ways. Some like to speculate and philosophize. Some like to classify. Some like to study the intricacies of the human mind. Some like to explore the universe and its elements. Some make sense of it with patterns and numbers and shapes. Some understand it by creating it on canvas. Some folks like to move their bodies in particular ways to feel really alive and accomplished.
We're all different.

What gives us the right to say that one way is superior to another? That certainly isn't true. I doubt any one way brings the experiencer any more joy than another. We're talking about expressing one's self. Exploring. Searching. Discovering. If it's done with zeal and passion, how could it be labeled unsatisfactory to another?

And why on earth would we want to take away this passion that one has in how he discovers life, and mute it - just to make room in his time and mind for a bunch of other routes that he has no interest in? To make him generic?

It makes no sense to me. When allowed to follow your heart and mind and interests - don't you imagine that if something comes up that you need to understand to further you along your chosen path that you will learn it?
Haven't we all learned this way in our post school years? Freely, I might add.

What would happen if instead of mouthing to our children "You can be anything." we actually meant it, and encouraged them to discover themselves and and truly know themselves, thereby offering from the beginning the grand experience of actually being anything?
Unlimited and unimpeded. Honoring who they are.

Don't you imagine they'd learn to fly?


Mama Podkayne said...

Off to Neverland!

That was what popped into my head as I finished your post. Why? Indeed, it was the place where children were happy and free and adventures abounded. They learned to fly. If they returned to the "real world" then they had to grow up.

What does that mean exactly? Grow up. Stop learning? Stop being happy? Settle down and be staunch and mean? I will never grow up if that is the case!

Stephanie said...

Most excellent observations :)

We are all different and the RU lifestyle allows us to be who we are, to figure out who we are :)

It's a great realization that some things are important to us but don't really matter to our kids.

ladybug-zen said...

loved this. have been asking the same questions of myself lately and thinking along the same lines in general.