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I recently flew with my daughter on a solo flight to El Paso, TX to visit my paternal grandfather for his 80th birthday. It was a wonderful trip where we met up with my parents, who had made the long drive to be there as well. This trip had many learning opportunities for me, but the one I'd like to focus on involved a souvenir my daughter received from my mom that didn't last nearly as long as it should have.
While in El Paso, we visited a store called The El Paso Saddle Blanket Company, which if you are ever remotely near El Paso is worth a visit. This place has a little bit of everything, including beautifully beaded jewelry. My mom decided she wanted to buy my 3 year old a necklace and my daughter was very excited to have the present, so much so that she then wore it for the rest of the trip.
Skip ahead a few weeks and we are back home and my daughter is still loving the necklace and keeps telling us it was a present from grandma. However, due to her "extreme" love for the necklace, my daughter decided to try and wear it as a belt and while sliding in over her shoulders the beaded necklace shattered. Then the tears began. "Daddy," she pleaded, "can you fix it?" And like a dagger the words hit me because I knew that beadwork wasn't one of my talents. I'm not sure who was more crushed, my daughter because her beautiful beaded necklace was destroyed, or me because my little girl mistakenly thought I could fix it.
Just then it hit me, I may not have the skills needed to fix this shattered memory, but I did know someone who could, a mother of one of my students. I got in touch with her as soon as possible and explained the situation and she agreed to take a look, while informing me she could make no promises. After looking over the wreckage, she agreed to fix the necklace, but let me know it would look different since she had no idea what the original design was like. My main request was that it be made of a stretchy string.
I had no way of fixing the necklace, but I knew someone who could and was able to get in contact with them. As parents, we don't know all the answers, and we don't have to as long as we know where to find them. We need to make sure we have trusted confidants with whom we can go in times of need and struggle. By have a group of friends or family members who can help us, we become even better parents and our children do nothing more than benefit from the influence of others. We shouldn't be embarrassed or afraid that we don't know all the answers, unless we aren't willing to look for them.
What happened with the necklace? This parent came through and delivered not only one, but two beautiful necklaces that are very much 3 year old proof with stretchy string and all!
Cross Posted at EdTechBabble.net.