Thursday, May 24, 2012

Learning from the best

I'm going to write this as a tribute to my mother and it's way overdue for Mother's Day but who said Mothers' Day had to be the first Sunday of May anyway. 

Every Mothers' Day, actually, I tell my mom the same thing. And I mean it every time I say it to her. I tell her every year that everything I learnt about being a mom, I learnt from her. And I mean it in all good ways. 

The biggest and most important I learnt from her was to teach the kids by letting them see things for themselves and sharing that information. Now, they call it Experiential Learning. Every year, during every long vacation, we spent a week at the beach. On one of those occasions, during low tide, we found 2 dead horse-shoe crabs on the water line. (Side note: Can anyone remember why we called them King Crabs?). What my mother did was she showed it to me and explained all the different bits to me and then brought them home and dried them. Then she packed them up and sent me to school with it, with instructions to give it to my Science teacher. I cannot remember now what the teacher said to me but I do remember that right up till the point where I left primary Six, it was still in a display case outside the office. I felt proud of it every time I saw it and anytime I spotted people standing and looking at it, I would descend on them and explain everything, verbatim, to them. 

So my mother was big about Show and Tell even before there was show and tell. 

And because it's how I learnt, I have begun doing the same with the twins. I find little things that I think are interesting to the twins and I show it to them and let them bring it in. My latest was Kapok. There is a corridor of Kapok trees in the Botanic Gardens. For the uninitiated, Kapok is the local equivalent to cotton. It's from the pod that bursts. Once again, I remember this because my mom showed it to me when I was a little girl and pointed to a tree. 

Anyway, the ground was littered with cottony fluff but there was one intact with the segments of the pod still attached. I wanted the twins to see it. They love flowers, seeds, leaves and even rocks and roots. So I brought it home, albeit carefully. I didn't want the cottony, flyaway tuffs clinging to me and losing the general mass that was the exploded pod. 

The twins were fascinated. I had to stop Jordan from wanting to rub it on her face. Evan said it was as soft as Truffala Fruit. They learnt how to say the word "kapok", sound it out, I showed them the nursing pillow that my mom made when I had Muffin and told them that this was inside and they couldn't wait to bring it to school.

It made them very excited and it made me very happy because I could recall being their age and my mom doing the same thing with me. And all of a sudden, the concept of legacy became real to me because I was passing on and sharing with my children something precious that my mother had shared with me. And hopefully, the buck won't stop with them.

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