When I was teaching, there was a pervasive theory that if it hadn’t been taught by Spring Break, it would not be learned at all.
I suppose this theory is based on the fact that we have more in common with the animal world than we recognize. For it is in spring when animals wake from their long hibernations. Trees and flowers bud and bloom. The sun shines warmer and beckons all to come outside and sit awhile in longer days and pleasant evenings.
Children sense this change, too, and rush outside barefoot, playing into the chill of the evening, and only then coming inside with flushed cheeks and cold hands. There is expectancy in their faces. They know the restorative power of the changing seasons. They feel youth so deeply in their bones that they don’t recognize it until they get older and notice its absence.
The hamster was not my idea. The hamster was Ginny’s idea and somehow, she roped Jamie’s sister Keisha into it, too.
Colin had been asking for a kitten, but we already have a dog. Paisley, our miniature schnauzer, was bought for Jack after he turned three. Buddies for the last 11 years, Paisley follows Jack from room to room, sleeps at the foot of Jack’s bed and gets antsy when Jack isn’t home.
Colin wanted a kitten, but he is allergic. Enter hamster.
Most of the time, Mama and Daddy answered endless questions from Ginny and me with thoughtful, thorough answers. There was nothing we couldn’t ask that they wouldn’t try to explain.
However, when I complained about the fact that something was unfair, Daddy’s favorite answer was, “When you meet fair in the road, come get me.” I squinted my eyes, wrinkled my nose, and let my mouth gape, not daring to respond with the bordering on disrespectful, “Huh?” His answer made as much sense to me as, “If you don’t quit crying, I will give you something to cry about.”