This Blog Finally Finds a Focus

So I got some razzing yesterday about trying to get my son to read Jane Austen.  For the record, it had been going pretty well until our last reading.  I told him it would help him understand girls better which it totally does it you actually read it!  He’s a scout camp now so I’m not sure that Jane Austen is going to go over too well when we get back.  I might need to break open Lord of the Flies or Holes.  

I have struggled to find a focus for this blog.  Imagine that.  I’ve had a vague idea of what I’ve wanted to do, but I haven’t known how to articulate it.

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The children played in the river yesterday. Next time we need to take boats.

Then last night, I remembered an essay I read years ago by Orson Scott Card.  I went up into the attic and searched through our packed books until I found Card’s essay in his collection, A Storyteller in Zion.  Everything I was wanting to do was right there in that short essay.

It must have been quite a trip growing up in the Card household.  Stories are acted out.  Moses gets a bathrobe and a fishing rod for a staff.  Dad becomes the Red Sea and waves his arms and legs in the air, tickling the children that get too close.  Mom becomes the pillar of fire.  The rest of the children must decide whether they want to be the Israelites (the good guys) or the Egyptians (the bad guys).

When Moses raises his “staff,” the sea spreads his arms and legs out.  The Israelites cross, walking on Daddy’s stomach, but when the Egyptians cross, they are drowned in the tumble of Daddy’s arms and legs.  Now how fun would that be?

Card has lots of ideas.  Get your children reading a play together like The Man for All Seasons.  Build the temple of Jerusalem from building blocks. Have children write down their memories and compile a family history.  Play classical music.  Get children dancing.

Of course, I’ve always wanted to do things like this, but execution can be difficult.  There’s ball games to get to and laundry to do and bills to pay and dinner to make, and these can be all consuming, especially for a girl with ADHD.

But yet, I still want to do more with my children.  I want to teach them to appreciate beauty.  I want to encourage them to create.  I want them to feel wonder at this magnificent world we live in.  There might be some days where all I can do is read Where the Wild Things Are, but that just might be enough.

What are some things you want to do with your kids more often?

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