Thursday, January 12, 2012

Learning our lessons, all of us!

I've said before that I guess I missed it when they passed out the book on everything a parent should know and continue to have to learn things the hard way.

Because of some things that happened this week, I have to tell my parents how grateful and how sorry I am. They had 4 kids with the issues that I faced with only 2! How did they do it?

I remember asking my dad one time about the Stock Market Crash of 1929, since he was born in 1929, I was sure he could give a personal insight. OK, even writing that now makes me know he had to roll his eyes and laugh that I did not think about the fact that he was a baby that was only about a month old when it happened and therefore could not provide that personal insight.

My girls have been reading, "To Kill a Mockingbird" and writing a paper about the Jim Crow laws.

So two things have happened for me. While discussing the Jim Crow laws, I had to remind them that most of what they were reading about happened either before I was born or I was a very young child and did not know those were laws, they were just daily life. I truly do not remember things being separate, but now realize they must have been, but I was a small child and again, that was just our life. At this point, I realized the first things, I am being paid back for some of the many thousands of questions I have asked dad.

But the second thing that happened was realizing how very much the world has changed in my lifetime and it made me really feel my age. It was kind of like seeing a movie where they have flashbacks and scenes from black and white movies show the character's memories, as I tried to recall specific things that would help them understand, and I realized just how many reels of movies there are in my life.

When they got to the part about Brown v. Topeka, I tried to explain that for us in Dallas it took a ruling from Barefoot Sanders to force the changes that provided the first desegregation policy within Dallas ISD, while I was in school and it made me feel really dated. Their school has 52 different nations represented. Ours could prohibit African Americans from attending it! I am so thankful things are different now.

So the next assignment they had to do was comparing an LP with an MP3 file and did I know what an LP was?

OK this was like trying to explain fire to the first caveman or snow to a person who lives at the equator.

No matter how hard I tried to explain it, it just sounded crazier to them. They had to do a comparison of the two types of music storage in several categories.

Were they portable? Well sure, you took your albums to your friend's house and listened to them.

Could they be damaged? Oh yeah, easily, you had to make sure they did not get too hot or cold or scratched or heaven forbid, broken!

How did you play them? So this led to the very long story about how mom was in the hospital having my little sister and dad was trying to figure out what to do with an 8, 6, and 3 year old, so he loaded us up in the big old Oldsmobile and we went to Wynnewood to Montgomery Wards and bought a Magnavox stereo that was just a little smaller than our dining room table. PLUS we got to have a number of free albums which included Alvin and the Chipmunks, as well as Alvin and the Chipmunks Christmas! Along with other great classics as Rosemary Clooney, Frankie Laine, Doris Day, George Jones, and Buck Owens! You could see their eyes glaze over as I relived listening to some of those records thousands of times.

Then the worst thing happened. Grace pulled up a picture of a gramophone and asked how it worked! I quickly let her know I was not THAT old!

Yes, yes, it has been a week of learning for all of us!

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