Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Dad, Ducks and Such

I have come to realize that more of my role as a mother of 10 year old girls is that of damage control. Many times in the recent months after school I have to explain to my girls why their teacher responds in the way she does. For all you teachers out there, we do acknowledge that they are responsible for some of the reactions the teacher gives to them, but the manner in which she responds is hurtful to them. This specific teacher responds with yelling and sarcasm. Sarcasm is not a stranger to my world, I often would use it to prove my point until the first argument I had with my Soldier just a few weeks after we were married. I don't remember what we were arguing but I do remember his responce after I delivered what I thouhgt was a sure fire way to get him to see my point...I soon realized at that point sarcasm was not such a good idea. He said, sarcasm is just meant to hurt. I never thought of it that way until that day and from then on never used it to prove a point. Anyway my point is that its not used in this house and is appreciated in avenues of play or fun, not anger or frustration. Kaley came home yesterday to tell me that her teacher made her cry, that she knows she daydreams and forgets often but that what her teacher said to her made her cry. Kaley was sent to the office to calm down and was able to explain to her teacher that she made her mad. She then told me that she told her teacher that she often hurts her and her sisters feelings, all of which is true. As a mom of a deployed Soldier things like this seem a little more difficult while they are gone. I never realized how often my Soldier was involved in their everyday lives when he is here. I guess I am so busy I don't pay attention. Anyway, I told Kaley that I was very much like her and I could tell her what not to do but that I really didn't know what to say. Michael and I agree that we should teach our children how to respond to life and not hide from it, but for some reason yesterday I couldn't come up with the words. I think I was so hurt ;) by the things my little girl is navigating I couldn't get past my own feelings. Good thing because it gave Michael a way to parent overseas. I told Kaley to write dad an email and ask him what to do and she did. The response from Michael was so reassuring... such a gift he has to comfort. He told her his experience with people, told her this would not be the last person to upset her and told her a story:

"The expression is, "Like water off a duck's back." You know that ducks have oil in their feathers so when their feathers get wet the water just rolls right off their backs. When someone says something that's hurtful or mean, in your head pretend you are a duck When your teacher gets angry and starts yelling, she's just a rain
cloud and you are a duck. It's not that the rain cloud doesn't like the
duck. The rain cloud is just doing what it thinks it needs to do - letting
it rain and water the earth. The rain cloud is letting it rain because
that's the only thing the rain cloud knows how to do. Sometimes the thunder
and lightning from the rain cloud may be a little scary, but it's just noise
and light. The rain cloud may not realize it's getting the duck wet, but in
the end the duck will be okay because the raindrops just roll off the duck's

As I read it to her and her sister this morning all I could see is smiles from ear to ear and a little mimicking of ducks and acknowledgement of her teacher as a rain cloud. :) What precious words of wisdom for my fast growing 10 year olds...
Dads way of comforting is like non other.

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