Tuesday, July 27, 2021

#sol2021 July 27 Present

I watched her focus on her phone, perhaps texting, scrolling, scanning, emailing, as her toddler wandered around the area aimlessly picking up sticks and leaves and rocks.  He made no attempts to engage in labeling of found treasures or conversation.  I wondered if he had a language delay or perhaps he just knew she was busy/distracted. Perhaps she was the babysitter/nanny or perhaps she was the mom/daytime caregiver; I really don't know and it really does not matter.  Perhaps she was distracted with family issues or perhaps her job /school/business or perhaps the world of social media. She was there in the park on a beautiful afternoon, but she was not really present in that child's life at that moment. 

I'll never know how the scenario played out over time as eventually I continued on my journey. Trust me, I am in no position to judge others as I graded papers, responded to writing journals and sometimes grabbed bits of the daily paper during my own children's ball games. 

But, I've been thinking about her and that little one who might have benefitted from some interaction and discussion about his finds.  I've been thinking about the myriad of teachers, parents, and caregivers balancing the many, many intersecting identities we have every day.  It reminded me of the days when my own children's needs were great and I would have to leave my mommy hat in the car along with my concerns and worries in order to don my teacher hat and meet the needs of my students.  

It was also a reminder, to me, to be present, not just a presence, in the lives of the people around me.  Perhaps she was there as I needed that reminder.  Perhaps we all need that reminder from time to time.

Friday, July 23, 2021

21st Century Day Connecting

 I wonder if my parents and grandparents ever stopped to think about how their family tree would morph and change over time?  Could they have ever imagined that cousins might stay in touch through cyberspace and I-pads?

Folks in my grandparents times were not alone when they "left their families" overseas to start families with limited, at best, contact with relatives.  In fact, family times was most likely limited to weddings (occasionally), funerals (sometimes) and letters (via snail mail even in those days). 

In my parents era, that ubiquitous Christmas card letter was probably added to the wedding, funeral, and snail mail letter list of gatherings, along with occasional family gatherings made possible by cheap gas and family cars.

While life is no less busy now, the isolation of families over the past year has certainly heightened my own thoughts about gathering with my surviving siblings, cousins, and dear friends in real time.  While there is no substitute for human touch, I am grateful for the "gift" of living in the 21st Century: we can connect in almost real time in spite of distance and contraindications through email, texts, Instagram, Tik Tok, and now old fashioned forums, like this blog. 

So, here is an  "old fashioned" and heartfelt, early 21st Century-type, day-late-birthday wish for my cousin, who also happens to be one of my most loyal non-educational blog post fans!