16 Mar Slice of Life: It’s All About the Books!
Last July I wrote a post about dear friends who were moving away. They have been in Memphis for eight months now and are just moving into their house. All of their things have been in storage as they await reconstruction on their house. After eight months…the boxes have arrived. She sent a group of our friends a photo to show the disaster she was dealing with – four boys and twenty-five years of marriage adds up to a lot of boxes.
Here is the photo she sent:
By the time I saw it several other people had responded empathizing with her situation. Some how I did not have the same reaction as everyone else. I completely missed the disaster. All I saw were the books on the shelves….
My reply: But the books are out. That is all that matters.
Her reply: Alphabetical by author. Yes, my house is a disaster, but my boys have books and they are happy.
What a message this sends to her kids? The kitchen is still in boxes… but we have books to read! It is so refreshing to see the love of reading – pure and simple- being displayed loud and clear.
Lillian Katz said, “Dispositions are caught not taught.” As parents we need to realize we can’t expect dispositions to come from school – dispositions are our job. We cannot order, hire or download dispositions.
Dispositions can be thought of as habits of mind and are not learned through instruction or drill rather they are acquired when children are around people who frequently, consciously, and voluntarily exhibit a pattern of behavior that is intentional and directed toward a broad goal. “Dispositions are not learned by children through formal instruction but are nurtured by people, contexts and the environment that surrounds them – dispositions are caught rather than taught.” (Dowling, 2006; 92)
When I see this photo I know what this family values and nurtures. When you are surrounded by four truckloads of boxes and you decide to unpack the books first… the message is clear. Her house may be a disorganized mess right now, but her life is completely focused on what matters to her.
Thank you to Stacey, Tara, Dana, Betsy, Anna, Beth, Kathleen, and Deb for this space for us to share our stories each day in March. Be sure to visit Two Writing Teachers to read more Slice of Life posts and consider joining this community.