15 November 2010

sinking in - if only a little

I am teaching my children many things. Some successes are easy to measure - Ada Brooks reads out loud to her brothers, therefore I know I've succeeded in the teaching her to read department.
Eason dresses himself in the morning, therefore I know I've succeeded in that department. Collins got mad and threw handfuls of cheerios off of his highchair this morning - I know we still have much work to go in the discipline department with him.

Sometimes it's easy to know.

But sometimes, it's really hard to know what's sinking in and what's not.

And one of the things that's really very hard to measure is how much one's taste is being passed on -

And please don't get on your high horse about your children needing to develop their own tastes. Of course they do, but there must be guidance - you DO NOT want your kids thinking that 80's pop is the highest moment in our musical history, or that bad grammar is cute, or that sponge bob is funny.

Ada Brooks likes cats. I mean, I don't mind the little buggers, but she likes them as a potential design element. Her grandmother bought her a dress with a cat on it, and she will not take it off. I think this is a shame, but I haven't burned the dress.

So, sometimes I worry that my taste guidance, which is largely passive and entirely unorganized, is not being successful. Sometimes I fear she'll grow up to build a house and model it after Graceland.

And then, just when my fears are creeping into my conscious mind - just when she laughs at something entirely unfunny or picks the exact ugliest shirt on the rack - just then, God sends me a moment I can hold on to forever.

Just a few minutes ago, I looked down at my baby girl, in the middle of our lesson on subject-verb agreement (about which, obviously, I was enthusiastic). I noticed she was wearing pants I'd never seen before.

I said, "Ada Brooks - did you bring those jeans home with you from Grandma's?"
She said, "Yes mam"
I said, "Huh. Cool Beans."
She read the expression on my face. She knows me.
She said, "I know, Mama, and do you want to see the truly tackiest part?" and pointed to the zippered side-of-knee pocket with embroidered random colors above it.

She knows.

The taste is being absorbed.

She is listening.

It is working.

She gets it.

Of course, she's wearing them anyway. But, it could be worse. There could be a cat somewhere on them.

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