Monday, April 30, 2012

When I woke up this morning I headed for that miracle machine that has become part of my morning ritual for as long as I can remember. That's right, coffee.
Who invented this morning pick me up? Two things I can't do without anymore are coffee and GPS.
I mean really, how great is the invention of the GPS?

Anyway, I took my cup of hazelnut heaven and sat by my living room window watching, as my world slowly came to life on this beautiful Spring day.
A mother and young daughter walked in front of my house headed for their bus stop 3 doors up.
Mom carried the 7 year old's backpack as they walked unhurriedly to their stop. It was more of a stroll.

I couldn't take my eyes off them. Both walked slowly. Both heads looked at the ground in front of them. Their body language showed a deep conversation taking place. I sat watching, wondering what life lesson Mom was teaching her daughter. Was she explaining why the sky was blue? Was she telling her to behave in school today or how to handle a particular issue with a fellow student? Maybe Mom was just telling her daughter how much she loved her. I hope that was the case.

I remember those little walks with my kids, those talks that seem so unimportant at the time. But as we know each of those talks are lessons. The kids, like sponges soaking it all in.
I hope that little girl has a great day.

My little girl had a good day yesterday. She's coming close to the finish line of her college career, and as a student teacher she participated in her school's "Student teacher art show", where the art of her students was displayed. Keely's surrealism style art was obviously an influence in the children's art. Along with some self portraits and mixed media projects I did notice a piece or two with multiple eyes and limbs. My daughter loved those the most.
 The support group, Keely's older sisters Erin and Bryn, showed up in full force, which as you can imagine made me very proud.
 Afterwards it was off to celebrate the show, which had an amazing turnout. Loco Pez? What Irish family wouldn't celebrate at the local Mexican eatery?

 Just like that little girl who was walking up the street this morning listening to her mother, Keely was the recipient of life lessons yesterday, and my wife and I didn't have to say a word. Keely is at that confusing crossroad, about to get out of school and looking for a teachers job. Where should she live? Should she stay in Philadelphia or come home to save money. How to handle a problem student? How do you handle a classroom that just won't listen? Colorado is beautiful, should she teach there?
I sipped my margarita and listened as advice was given. Erin, who lives in DC and travels the country for her job was full of life tips. Bryn, a Spanish teacher at a all boys school advised her on handling a classroom and teachers strategies.

This impromptu brainstorming session was impressive. I didn't say one word. I ordered another drink and kept my mouth shut.

I wonder today, if that little girl listening to her mom on the way to the bus stop, will have, in 20 years time, a similar dinner with her family.

I hope so.


Jerral Miles said...

Mark, nothing I will read or see today will top your BLOG post today. What I like most about the writing (and, for that matter, about your photography) is how you skillfully and beautifully you tell stories that extend far beyond the words. I actually found myself following the anonymous mother and daughter down to the bus stop and then wondering about how the day would go for each of them... And the great photographs of your family... What stories are suggested in those photographs! ...And your descriptions of your "girls"... Wow again!

lenworth scully said...

Stories like this is why I love following your blog..inspiring! Congratulations proud papa!

Anonymous said...

You and your wife have raised gorgeous wonderful daughters. Such a proud papa you must be.

Formerly known as Frau said...

I remember those talks with my young daughter now at 18 I try still to have those talks...sometimes she gives me the look like a know nothing other times....I can tell she is listening! Beautiful girls you have...I wish your youngest the best of takes a special person to be a teacher! You and your wife did good!

dcpeg said...

What a sweet, loving story. Clearly, the world has gained another awesome teacher!

Sisters are special people and your daughters are lucky to have each other. You and your wife have done a marvelous job of raising them. You can be proud!!

Karen said...

Beautiful writing, Mark.. and you have a beautiful family. Congrats and good luck to your daughter as she ventures out into the world to teach.. clearly she comes from good stock and will do just fine.

missing moments said...

A beautiful family ... and lovely story today!

Zorana said...

I love when you write about your family! The gentle love is palpable. Aren't you a lucky guy with four beautiful ladies in your life? I wish them all good luck. Including the mother and little daughter that walked to the bus stop.

Donna said...

What a lovely post, Mark.
How blessed you are to have such lovely ladies in your life.

A perfect piece of advice about parenting was given by Anne Lamott (one of my favorite writers).
She suggests we "WAIT" - and ask "Why Am I Talking?"
Seems you already knew that!!

Anonymous said...

Such a fun day-- love the fab five. x E

beth said...

what a sweet story....and your family is just gorgeous. your daughters should be so proud that they were raised in such loving and wonderful hands !!