Every so often I wonder if I did enough or too much for my kids and I think back to how much my parents did when I was growing up. I frequently think about what my parents didn’t do…. but there are things my parents did. When I was in school one of my desires was to use the library. Of course there wasn’t a local library….now with internet access, books are as close as the nearest internet connection and the big question is internet access. If you can just afford internet you have access to almost anything. Our school district is currently working to obtain hotspots for kids to have access to internet during remote learning. That internet though may be filtered and block sites that the school considers to not be for schoolwork…. – Back to my own childhood though! When I was a kid I really wanted to use a library. Our township didn’t have a library, but because my parents were farmer’s we did pay taxes on a library. The nearest library was in the town of Fairmount (Vance Township) and we owned land that had at one point had a house on the property. My mother decided to ask the librarian for a card (which was denied), but she petitioned the town board who agreed. I GOT my library card. I remember using that card as I drove back and forth to check out books. The library was small and the only thing I remember for sure checking out to read were the Earl Stanley Gardner books. I could swear they were to the left as you entered the library…. I’m not sure if the library is in the same place in town now, but I was so happy to have a library card. Reading was something I loved doing as I grew up. The Nancy Drew series was one of my favorites. I would tear out the list of books from each book and mark off the books I already had so that I could hand it out to my aunts in order to ask for the other books for my birthday and Christmas each year. I’m not sure I asked for much else any holiday.
Today I was telling about one of the things I did for one of my boys. I’m not sure over time if my boys will remember the times I failed to do what they expected for them, or the times that I went above and beyond for what they needed. The time I was remembering in this instance though was when my middle son needed to interview someone for school that worked with animals. The kids could choose anyone they wanted and most of the students were choosing people that raised horses or were on farms. My middle son had been enamored with elephants his whole life, including carrying around a stuffed elephant. He had an elephant pillow, a ride on elephant stick, a stuffed elephant, and so much more. The assignment was for second grade and we had just moved to Bowling Green Kentucky. My kids were attending a new school – private Catholic school, and were adjusting. So I decided to call the zoos nearby (by nearby I mean Louisville and Nashville) and find one that allow us to interview the zookeeper that took care of the elephants. I was happy to receive a call back from the Louisville zoo and hear that they would let us talk to the zookeeper. We arranged a day and time and headed to Louisville.
My oldest had a friend that was spending a lot of time at our house and he joined the group. In the end my husband and I headed to the zoo with our two kids (the little one wasn’t born yet) and a spare, and got to talk to the zookeeper, but not only that they let us meet the elephant. Elephants are so cool! We also got to feed the elephants, and learned a lot about elephants. I’ll never forget how interesting an elephant’s tongue is – kind of like an escalator. We spent the rest of the day exploring the zoo.
It’s easy to remember the mistakes we make, but they should be counteracted by the good. I remember a class I took that included information about it taking something like 7 good acts to undo each bad….. Of course we also had a discussion today about whether school is for social or for academic. I know for me the social experience was bad in school and I would rather everything have just been academic….