I’m thinking about signing up for some writing seminars.
Like, maybe: Exploding the Moment: Making the Most of the Minimal in Prose and Poetry.
Or: Using Structure to Enhance Meaning in Creative Non-Fiction.
Or how about this one: Block This! Priming the Pump for NANOWRIMO. What the what?
The specificity gets my heart pumping. I love this about our dear country-we have choices. And choices and choices and choices. If there are (roughly) 5000 higher education programs in the U.S., then there is an ocean of degree choices. The value of education has never been higher, and many of us are in the throws of instilling this value in our children.
My kids are Pre-School age and I am starting to suspect that there are nearly as many choices for them as the college hopeful. Over the last couple of years I have been included in conversations about the state of our public schools and the option to homeschool. I’ve listened in an appropriately grim manner with varying degrees of horror and confusion to anecdotal evidence for both options. No doubt we parents are all on the same safari, hunting for that elusive best choice. And really, if there is one best choice then can we all have it? I fear I won’t be able to identify it when it rears its intellectual head, and I wonder how anyone survives this system full of best choices because, y’all, I may be college educated but I just don’t know.
Which leads me here, to this afternoon spent stalking the back-to-school aisle at Wal-Mart. I’m no teacher. In fact, I mostly followed another woman around and sniffed out everything she touched (she looked like she had been there before). I spent one whole hour in that god forsaken place, reading every box of brightly packaged, educational claiming, ingenuously marketed washable markers.Because if I didn’t have so many choices I may have felt like my kids didn’t need markers, and heaven knows, kids need markers. Glitter markers. My final choice.
The markers are nothing more than a byproduct of something that has taken root in me over the last few months. There is a treasure chest full of life and wealth and joy that I want to give my kids. It’s too much to give them all at once, so I think I’ll start now with the important things like character building, comforting routine, and lots of watching and listening. I’m noticing that the competing choices leave me feeling like shoring up those things that I can uniquely impart to my kids. This time like no other offers a window of total absorption.
One day my kids will (hopefully) have college degrees. I do hope so. But in my endeavor to educate my kids I’ve come across this treasure of far greater worth than a hundred degrees. If they are kind and generous, I’ve educated them well. If they look out for the interests of others, they get an A. If they are responsible for the things that are in their care, I’ve succeeded. If they discover their unique role in this world, well, I’m teacher of the year.
You better believe I will push them…I mean, encourage them….wait, I’ll give them freedom… Hmmmm…(horrified and confused)… to do well in their classes and continue their education as far as they will, because I can see how education brings responsibility. And responsibility is something I found in my treasure chest that is especially sparkly. Marker worthy sparkly.