Tuesday, July 20, 2010

An Education

A couple times a year, my 10 year old brother comes to stay with Shaune and myself. It's a special time for all of us. Matty gets to have different rules, different house, different EVERYTHING! We get to play parents -- all the fun, none of the suffering :) I am still the cool big sister, after all. It's always a good time. We watch movies and play games. And, Shaune and I have a chance to share our values with him. There's a subtle vein of education running through most things we do.

For example, we don't have cable television and the Internet in our apartment is pretty iffy. So when he's with us, Matt learns the value of being bored. It leads to all sorts of fun -- gardening, board games, even fishing. Plus the joy in learning how to just be quiet, without outside stimulation.

He also learns how to get his hands dirty. I'm not sure where he learned this, but he hates touching pretty much anything. Shaune and I had fun with this. When Matty caught a fish (his very first ever!) Shaune wouldn't take it off the hook for him. Shaune coached, and guided, and even provided a glove! but declared that if Matt wanted to catch fish, he had to do the whole job. We had lots of laughs over that one. Then later, we were making personal pan pizzas. Matty didn't like how squishy the dough was... so we buried his hands in it :). It's all in good fun, but it's also an important thing to learn. How are you going to get through life if you won't touch anything yucky?

We taught him about movies that actually have a plot, and no explosions. We taught him how to find the tip quickly at a restaurant. We even took him to a museum to practice thinking critically about the claims that "scientists" (or biased exhibit designers) make. But most importantly, we taught him once again that we love him and we're here for him, and he can always ask us questions and receive an honest answer (even the ones that are hard to ask parents). We teach him life. These are the weekends that make life worth living.

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