Friday, September 25, 2009

Lifes Lessons from Early Childhood

I remember myself in my 'tweens' as I began to experiment with makeup; I was very close to my dad and went everywhere with him and I was definately a, 'Daddy's Girl'. For a while he said nothing about my mis-applying makeup with drunken abandon- I might add - LOL. Then one day we took a drive together to the tool store (one of his favorite places) and somehow he finally got up the nerve to say something about my new look... (of course this was after we had gotten an ice cream soda and I was in a particularly good mood).
The conversation went something like this: "Barb?" ..."Yeah, Dad?"..."Barb?"..."Uh...Dad?..."
"Honey, you look like you ate a bunch of strawberries and then somebody punched you in the eyes." I spit nearly spit my soda everywhere because I started laughing.
After I regained my composure I said, "You think it's too much, huh, Dad?" He said, "Well....Yes! When I went to school I saw girls at my school begin to wear make up some of them were beasts that turned into beauties and then there were beauties that turned into beasts... if you know what I mean. You don't need any make up, honey." With out any resistance I said, "Okay Dad, I get it."
Why could my father speak to me the way he did? He gave me far more compliments than he did criticism, for one thing. I could tell as a child it pained him to do anything to hurt my feelings.
My dad worked a lot, but the time he gave me, he was physically and mentally there for me.
It's no different for me today as a preschool teacher. During the day I am pulled apart in many different directions and wear many different hats. But when I am there for a child-I'm 'there' (mentally, physically and emotionally, I connect. I am honest and I listen with care that what I say can impact what this child learn, feels and reacts to in life). That's the lesson. Be caring. Be honest. Be present.
I know that children know the difference...because I did! I could tell when an adult meant what he or she said and was being honest. Its just a sense we really all have if we listen. We can tell if someone is lying or if they really mean what they are saying and if they are saying things to help or hurt us. Some people say things cruelly or in anger. Some people say things in love because they truly care. I laughed when I was criticized with the make up because I absolutely knew he said what he said in love period. He would never hurt my feelings. This is the honest relationship he built with me.
I have all these peculiar and wonderful memories that I apply as a preschool teacher. Its a gift I have been given I gladly share. Not everyone has a great childhood or one they care to share and pass along. Not everything was perfect nor am I but its my life and I hope I've learned some lessons.

I'm really glad I remember so much of my childhood, the shining good and the gritty bad, the uncomfortable textures of doubt as they all make up the fabric of who I was and who I have become today.

I am hoping to share in the BLOG (Web Log) my account of somehow, I reached adult status and the stories of my life growing up and learning life's lessons. I convey the inevitable crossroad of life where adulthood and childhood intersect. I share because I believe we all are a decision away from playing a much bigger role in humanity. The unsung hero's - teachers and preschool teachers of all.
While we may not be the first prize winners or the Yale Professors but we are the very esteemed Honorable Mentions in life. We can form the most impressionable thoughts in the minds of preschoolers during their first few years of life when life's lessons matter the most. So today my lesson to all that read is be honest, be real and be who YOU were destined to be. Humble or great we all play our part. We are ALL teachers of LIFE. TO our children and the MANY people we come in contact with in this grand life.
You will never know who you have impacted with your time, love or honesty as my dad impacted me with the lesson in honesty and you know what life as simple as it can be is pretty darn good through it all - well...most of the time LOL.

Co-authored by Julie Parker, of Juilee Jiselle St. John and Company
Real Estate and Small Business Consulting with an emphasis in Online Marketing/Blog Designs

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