Wednesday, August 25, 2010

A sad turn of events.

I write, I read, I aim to change the world.

I teach.

And it is there that I see so much that just saddens me. Children who can't read, parents who are too busy trying to blame someone else, teachers who just don't have the time to fix the problem. Teenagers who are essentially illiterate; people who will probably never be able to functionally read, let alone enjoy the beauty that can be the written word.

These people will never see the world I see, never live in the world that I live in. They know it too, and they are angry, but pretend that they don't care, that it doesn't matter, that being illiterate is actually cooler than you or I think.

I am not fooled. I will keep trying. I may not be as successful as I want to be, but I will try.

And I wonder ... could I actually write something for one of them? Firstly, I've got to get them to read.

If you can read you are richer than any man, woman or child in the world.

If you can read you have more opportunities for change than those who are not privy to this secret world.

If you can read, you get to live wherever you like, see whatever it is you want to see, and feel whatever it is you'd like to feel.

If you can read you are free.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Reason # 450,000 for having a child

After a terrible and demoralising day at work, I sat down with DH and my little angel for dinner. Tacos. They are her favourite as she can make them up herself; pre-schoolers and independence are an on/ off commodity that can change on a whim, so we embrace it when it works for us. But I digress, Em was given a melamine plate that I had decorated in grade four. She loves it as it has a rainbow on it, and she currently loves painting rainbows all the while singing about how, and I quote, "I can sing a rainbow, sing a rainbow, sing a rainbow too."

Like any person who has had an energy draining day at work, filled with blockers and naysayers and assumption makers, I sat eating my dinner, contemplating how I could debrief with my family without everything turning into a whinge-fest. So there I sat, in a contemplative stare, when I noticed the plate. Memories of grade four, being raced by my mum to my little sister's kinder program to create a plate template as my mum didn't want me to 'miss out', came flooding back. That plate always annoyed me. I was so stressed at the time trying to think of something 'good' to put on the silly thing, that I totally panicked when I realised I was running out of time. I decided to 'just do a rainbow'. Even then it annoyed me as 'so obvious for a girl to do', and to be honest, I wasn't even a 'rainbow type girl' (is that a term?) that I had feelings of betrayal for my own self at the time. I am sure I have put a few adult words into what was, essentially, an emotional experience for a 9 year old, but you get the gist (I hope).

And here is where I get to reason # 450,000 for having a child. While I sat there, stewing about my day, letting feelings of regret and annoyance from 1984 swamp my already tainted feelings, I blurted out that I really don't like that plate. Three and a half year olds don't let you drop a bombshell like that and not explain it, so I was asked the now obligatory, "why?" I rambled on and on with my little story, about how I felt rushed, and disappointed with the end result – all very 'woe is me'. Cue compassionate voice of an angel:

"It doesn't matter mummy, I like it."

Now I don't cry; it is a rare occurrence, but this made me tingle and tears of joy filled my eyes.

Reason # 450,001 would have to be the proud smile from her when I told her that she fixed the day for me. It takes a strong person to be able to change a whole day, and that three and a half year old is one of the strongest people I know.