Wednesday, November 9, 2011

1st Grader's Perspective: Mom’s Dangerous Job

Each year of my eldest child’s life brings new and interesting developments, which I delight in seeing.  

I don’t know about you, but they are teaching my daughter much more in First Grade than I EVER learned at that age.  The other day she inquired, “Do you know what a polygon is?”  I thought I probably did?   Don’t ask me to give you an actual definition, or anything crazy like that.  Which she proceeded to do.  “A polygon is any shape with 3 or more sides, flat, with no openings”.  Sweet!  I’m going to try and use that word three times in my daily life today, and make it my own.

I have always tried to explain things in terms I thought she would understand, trying to giving her context to help grasp new concepts.  Myself, I’ve always been a “show me the Big Picture, and where this fits in” kinda girl.  And the technique seems to work well for her, too. 

It is fascinating to watch how they absorb and adopt new ways of thinking, especially once they start school.  Having a lingering grown-up kid side to me myself, I delight in being reminded of what things are like from her perspective.  From a fresh, new set of eyes on the world. 

I work on a campus found at the edge of town, at the end of a pretty country road.  My employer’s buildings are the final destination on said road, and my last glimpse of civilization on my way to work is the Municipal Cemetery, sprawled out on either side.  It’s huge, and well maintained.  I think nothing of this, coming and going amid the gravesites each morning and evening en route to work. 

My daughter has visited me there a few times, most recently for the “Bring Your Kids To Work Day” program that they hosted.  The trip in that morning was quiet, as usual.  The day’s festivities were designed for both education and fun, and she learned a lot.  Soaking it all in.  Fitting the new pieces into her picture of the world as she knows it, thusfar.  

As we were leaving that afternoon, driving past the pretty cemetery and gazing at the rows of headstones, she inquires somewhat hesitantly, “Sooooo… are all these people from your work?”

See, now right there is something I hadn’t previously even thought to be grateful for.   The neighboring graveyard is NOT, in fact, exclusively full of former employees!  I was  glad we were able to have this little chat, and clear up this concern of hers - of how freaky it was that mom's office job was so dangerous that they needed a place nearby to haul off the bodies.  (Of course, there was that one guy who got his name badge caught in the paper shredder last week ... but that's another story...)

*o*     *o*     *o*


  1. awesome. I taught fist grade for 7 years and have some great stories, but this one is classic!

  2. Beth Green ... Wow - I'll bet you do have some stories to tell! I love the things they come up with at that age ... funny and interesting.

  3. Great story! And yes, it seems like my son is learning WAY more than I did at his age. He's in the 3rd grade and they'll be working on Geometry by the end of the year!

  4. Thanks! Her teacher has her looking for "science books" (non fiction, usually about animals ;-) now when we go to the library. I love it. I'm so grateful to teachers who really put their heart into teaching our kids!



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