Wednesday, May 27, 2009

conversation with a five year old

Josh - "Guinness" (our dog) "you're going to die soon"

Mama - "well, he'll PROBABLY die before we do -what made you say that?"

J - "He's gonna die. Papa yells at him and wants him gone - he says it every time we're eating dinner."

M - "yeah, he wants him out of the room while we're sitting for our meals he certainly wouldn't say he wants the dog to die. Anyway, I don't think talking like that is very nice, how would you like it if someone talked about you dying?"

J - indignant - "I am NOT going to die!!"

M - "We all will and the reason I'm always telling you to be careful out on the streets and stuff like that so you don't get squished and die sooner rather than later."

J - "I'm not going to die!!"

M - "We'll all die at some time."

J - crying and adamant at this point "I'm NOT going to die - we can get resurrected."

The light bulb goes on for me - the kid is thinking the Easter stuff with Jesus happens to everyone, so after explaining that Jesus was special I got out the Bible that he got for his preschool graduation, read him a verse about dying, leaving our bodies behind and going to heaven if God is pleased with us - when we accept Jesus we get to have new bodies in heaven.

He seemed to believe me once I got the book out and read it - if it comes from another source I guess he can believe me.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

In case you're wondering

The picture of Josh on the left is and outfit they made at his preschool: Christian soldiers fully armed and ready for graduation. The children were so excited to make their armor - just like Christian had in the Pilgrim's Progress. The Helmet of Salvation, the Breastplate of Righteousness, the Shield of Faith, the Belt of Truth, the Sword of the Spirit and the "Gospel Feet".

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Mr. Sobrinski says..... Mr. Sobrinski says

Teacher Receives Daily Shoulder Rubs from Student!!

Student Hugs and Adores Teacher!!

...could be scandalous headlines today but when I was in third grade - yikes! back in - 1973!!! - it was a reality that unfortunately kids don't see anymore. Yes, I was the one doing the shoulder rubbing and hugging and adoring. That was then.

This is now: My mom still works at the library in the elementary school and told me that Mr. Sobrinski is retiring. She thought I should write something but it's taken me a while to come up with it since I don't even remember specifics of the lessons from the year in his class - except that I struggled with math - okay, really, what did we need all that for? Now we each carry a calculator all the time on our cell phones to help us figure it all out!

Anyway, while in class and in school in general what did we really learn? What do I remember about the teacher I knew as a fun, young, active, endlessly interesting guy?

I'm sure that if you ask any of Mr. Sobrinski's students what they remember of his class they'd mention reading the Hobbit - I can tell you he introduced us to this book even before it was cool by pop-culture standards.

I remember that he taught us to play chess - now I appreciate the lessons playing the game teaches to young minds.

At the time I guess I must have quoted him a lot since I definitely remember my sister and my Dad razzing me by saying "Mr. Sobrinski says..... Mr. Sobrinski says...".

There's memory still lurking in my brain cells of being out on the playground and after fumbling a ball Mr. S. used the word SUGAR!! instead of cursing and I realize now that he taught by example and whether by coincidence or not, I rarely curse well, I don't know him that well personally and don't know if he would normally curse but I do know that he did the right thing in front of us.

The kids that were kids when I was a kid survived the hazards of life and along the way our lives were touched in numerous ways by people like Mr. Sobrinski. I guess if I'd had the math stuff down and had the details of how many students over many years I'd be able to spout out the hard numbers. Beyond that the reality is that the gifts and lessons we walked away with are beyond count and still growing as we convey them to our own children. So ... exactly how do you calculate that??

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

goats, races and a few familiar faces

On Sunday we made our annual trip out to a local brew pub's Bock Bier Fest which includes goat races, lots of people hanging out for an afternoon and our dance group dancing. As I was looking for video of this year's rain-soaked event I came across some footage of last year:

and... stay tuned ...I'm still working on getting video of Josh's Saturday performance to put on youtube...

Chasing balls around anyone?

Josh found an old tennis racket in our garage this past weekend and really wanted to play so since we had some spare time this afternoon while waiting for Dima's field trip bus to get to his school and there's a playground along the way so I decided to take the rackets along and let Josh give it a try. The rain this afternoon let up enough for us to get out there and then it turned out to be basically Josh and I chasing the ball around the puddled, wormy court while holding rackets in our hands and occasionally hitting the ball over the net. I tried to get him to do it close up and then work out to further away but we had three adjacent courts and were all over the place. I also tried to show him how to serve over hand and usually he's good at imitating what he sees and did bounce the ball then serve kind of sideways - whatever you call that - it a few times - he didn't get that from me must have seen it while watching real tennis on TV I don't think any young tennis pros need to worry about Josh just yet but at least he's been exposed to it.