Optimism is genetic

My children, they are sometimes so very much my children.

By which I mean, they too know the delight of planning, but sometimes fail on the follow-through.

Today, as we drove to yet another baseball game (but this time a real one, the attendance at which was a fundraiser for the kids’ ones), I regaled them with my notions of What We Will Do This Summer. We’re just at that point where I’ve resigned myself to the fact that it will have to happen, the summer break, and I’ve come up with some ideas for Ways We Can Survive and Maybe Even Improve Ourselves, and it’s too soon for all this to have come crumbling down around my ears, so I’m full of optimism. Ahh, can you hear it? The tiny thrilling trill of undiminished hope, all around.

Here’s my plan, I said to them. We’ll do some exercise, all of us, every day. And we’ll read something, and learn something, and clean something, and make something. And when we’ve done all that, we can have our screens.

And bless their hearts, they barely even balked at the “clean something”, though their ideas ran more towards cleaning windows (fun spray bottles) than the room-tidying I’d been hoping for. They were full of ideas about things that could be made, and learned, and even read. Mabel said “Mummy, can I write out a schedule of what I’m going to do every day at what time, so that I remember to do it?”
“Yes, my dearest,” I said to her, for I am benevolent, indulging her every whim. “You can do that.”
“I don’t want to give up math time to reading, and I want to do an experiment every day,” Dash pointed out, trying to¬†swap some cleaning for some reading, or something.
“We’ll work it out,” I told him. Heaven forfend you lose any math time.

In about three weeks’ time, when we’re all grumbling and grumpy and screen-time has swollen to mammoth proportions and is taking over our lives like a hungry octopus, I will remember this moment of bright, lovely, scholastic optimism in the car.

And how I will laugh, briefly, before Facebook sucks me in again.

Dash and Mabel by the car

Momentarily in accord

7 thoughts on “Optimism is genetic

  1. Jennifer

    I should tell my children we’re doing the same thing, and that you’re doing it, and then maybe we’ll do it for a week or so longer than we otherwise might.

    Your children are welcome to come down the hill any time we’re home.

    Reply
      1. Jennifer

        Not rude at all. Would love to know what you classify as “learn something” and if screens can be used to learn things or if you have to dig out the encyclopedia or visit the library or museum to do it.

      2. Maud Post author

        Honestly, I haven’t quite decided yet. I would like the learn something to be self-directed, but it’s most likely not going to be. Since D isn’t very good at eliciting information on his own from any source, I imagine if we use screens I’ll be at least a middleman for that part. But it might also be learning how to clean something or learning how to cook something or sew something or … you can see I have this meticulously planned out…

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