Sunday, March 30, 2008


by Tracy Winegar

I am constantly asking myself if, as a mother, I am up to the challenge. I mean you think about how impressionable these little ones are, and you think about all of the things you have to shield them from, and the job seems staggering. Am I teaching them everything they need to know to be good, decent individuals, grow up fine and in good standing in the community and church? Have I provided them with the self confidence and the tools to stand up for what is right or find out what is right for themselves? Surely they know that I love them?
Occasionally an incident arises that provides me with an opportunity to instruct. Such as a recent episode with my ten year old daughter Brynlee. She wanted to know why there was a pregnant man on the news. Pretty touchy subject, that I felt I had done my best to give her the information requested and then some. However, the following story was not such a teaching moment.
My son Hayden, who is six, is obsessed with letters, and now that he understands they form words, he is obsessed with spelling. The other day, with pencil in hand, he asked me how to spell "tattoo". Imagine, if you will, the alarm bells ringing in my head. I'm already picturing the kid with graffiti confettied on his skin, as he wears a dirty wife-beater undershirt, a cigarette hanging loosely from his bottom lip. Perhaps a large red heart emblazoned with the word MOTHER on his shoulder? You know, my worst nightmare of what will hopefully never be.
I said to him, "Hayden, what do you want to know how to spell tattoo for?" His earnest reply was quite simply, "I don't know how to spell that word." How do you argue with that? So I said, "But what do you need the word for, Hayden?" "I told you, Mom, I don't know how to spell it!" and each word was enunciated as if he were speaking to someone who possessed a very simply mind. And that is where I gave up and told him he didn't need to know how to spell the word tattoo!

1 comment:

Tamster said...

I could soooooo relate to your feelings!!! My oldest is almost 6, in Kindergarten. It has been so fun watching her this school year learning to read and write and seeing her little mind learning and growing! BUT... with that comes the knowledge and ability to do sooooo much more that I'm not sure I'm ready for her to do. There's a lot more I have to protect her from now, since she can read. And she reads anything and everything she sees anywhere and everywhere!!! She's the top reader in her class, reading close to the end of first grade reading level in the middle of K. What that means is that I can no longer just ignore things like graffiti, billboards, ads, etc. because she can read them. I have to try to avoid her seeing them or else pretty soon she'll be asking me questions I'm not ready to answer. I don't want her to learn certain words, if you know what I mean. Well, anyway... I guess sooner or later they grow up, and we hope that we've taught them correctly and well enough that they make the right decisions on their own! Good luck to you with yours! :-)