Isn’t it weird, the things you remember?
Maybe I remember this because I really hated being wrong.
Way back when I was in second grade, sometimes the way my mind worked would cause me to get things WRONG according to my teacher.
It was something so silly, completing a worksheet on Fact or Fiction.
The paper was divided into four squares, with a picture in each. We had to circle either “fact” or “fiction” to indicate if the picture could really happen.
I raced through the first three. So easy. Duh. Did kids say duh 30 years ago?
But that fourth image…
It was a little girl holding onto a bunch of balloons and being carried up in the air.
And my second grade self thought hmmmm, well, I know that doesn’t usually happen. Balloons aren’t going to pick you up and carry you away.
But, then, I thought about it more.
I thought about the concept of a hot air balloon.
And how if you had enough balloons and you were a little person….
Like if there were thousands of helium balloons and one teeny little girl…. couldn’t they technically lift her into the air?
Not an every day occurrence, for sure.
But, given the right circumstance… it could possibly happen, right? (It could be I was imagining the “Up” house years before the movie)
And so, I circled “Fact.”
And got the answer wrong, of course.
And was mortified.
Because I hated getting anything wrong and if my teacher would just listen to me, she’d see that maybe my answer wasn’t completely wrong.
I try to parent that way: to listen, to hear the why, to understand what my kids are thinking. To know that in many cases, there’s something more to what my boys are saying or doing than a simple true or false or right or wrong. There’s a why. And even if that why is one that needs correcting, it’s still worth listening to.
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