Getting to Know Each Other

Each day is a new adventure around here.

These little people, these ones I’m responsible for raising?

Sometimes it seems like I’m learning something new about them every day.

Yesterday I had a special art project planned.  (Thank you Pinterest.)  After reading a book about spiders together, we were going to each draw a web with markers and then, using thumb prints and paint, we would add a spider or two to our web.  Some days I get so excited about having it all together.

Until the day begins.

We started off with our Princess reading the spider book aloud.  I told Cooter to take a turn.  He got to the facts at the end of the book, and my baby girl lost it.  She ran out of the room and was crying.

What on earth?

She was very upset.  The facts had, in fact, “grossed her out,” and Cooter, realizing this, reveled in reading each one slower and louder than the one before.  As we could hear her in her room crying, he said, “I do believe she is  *sounds it out* a-rach-no-pho-bic.  Arachnophobic!  She is ARACHNOPHOBIC!!!!!”

Yes, thank you.  I am aware.


I finally coaxed her back out on the porch where we were gathering to do our lessons.  I showed them how to start the art project.  Still green around the gills and teary-eyed, Princess slowly and diligently drew her web, sniffling and sighing loudly the whole time.

Such fun I had planned.

Cooter threw some squiggles on a page and called it done.  I told him it wasn’t and had him redo it.  All the while my girl was miserable.  I got out the paint and a little plastic lid and poured some on it.  I just knew she would get into this.  Thumbprint art.  Who doesn’t love that?

Apparently her.

Princess' one spider--and she's done.  They will add the legs tomorrow.  Or not.  No need to relive the upset.
  Princess’ one spider–and she’s done. They will add the legs tomorrow. Or not. No need to relive the upset.
Cooter's happy spider family on one web.  Not sure that can actually happen but okay.
Cooter’s happy spider family on one web. Not sure that can actually happen but okay.

She made one obligatory thumbprint spider and called it done.  Cooter, being the *ahem* kind brother he is, loaded his web up with lots of spiders–“a whole family”–and with each one, he said how much fun this whole thing was.

Yeah.  And you aren’t trying to rub this in your sister’s face at all, are you?

I thought about the “spider fiasco” a lot today.  I just knew my girl who loves Wild Kratts and other shows about animals and insects would embrace reading the book and learning new things.  Because she loves art, I figured the thumbprint spiders would have her wanting to draw and create more all day long.

But no.

Learning new things about my littles everyday…..

Yesterday afternoon we visited the local used bookstore.  While Cooter goes straight for the Star Wars section (yes, they have one) and Princess finds the American Girl books, I look through the homeschool section.  I found a few books in a series of biographies.  I like for them to read about real folks and hear their stories.  These were perfect for Cooter–not quite long chapter book, but not a short storybook either.  Perfect.

I was trying to figure out if he would even look at the books, so I chose one that I thought would most interest him.  He has been all about cars since before he could talk.  When I saw the book about Henry Ford, I knew we had a winner.  How could my boy who loves things that go so much not get excited about a man who was instrumental in car production?  I mean, Ford trucks built Ford tough.  My boy knows that.

I just knew this would be a hit.  *sigh*
I just knew this would be a hit. *sigh*

I quietly called him in from his perusal of the Star Wars books.

“Hey, buddy, look at this book!  Don’t you think it would be interesting?  Henry Ford?  Want to get this and read it?”

For one second–one whole second y’all–his face lit up and I saw myself accepting the Parenting Teacher of the Year Award.  (Well, you know, if there were such a thing.)  Yes, he was going to read something about a real person and this would spark his desire to learn more, know more–just YES!  I was so happy.

And then he spoke.

“Ohhh, cool, is he related to Harrison Ford?”



“No.  No buddy, I really don’t think so.  He lived a long time ago and helped build the Ford cars.”

“Oh well then.  No ma’am.”  And he carried himself off to find another Star Wars book.

I know, I could have forced the issue.  But just coming off of forcing arachnid learning, I just didn’t have it in me.  I let it go, put the book back, and we left without a single educational book for my boy.


The thing is, while I missed the mark big time not once, but twice yesterday, I am intrigued that my littles are steadily becoming people I get to continue getting to know.  They are changing and growing and evolving, and I think that is pretty doggone awesome.  I mean, I don’t know them so well that they can’t surprise me.  I find that kind of fun, and I look forward to a lifetime of getting to know them a little better every day.

In the meantime, I’ve added to the “what I do know” about my children list.  Our Princess, who seems to have some interesting sensory issues–certain words are problematic for her and can upset her for days, does not “do” spiders.  (And I thought I was an arachnophobe–she puts my worries to shame!)  Cooter, who is truly one of the biggest star wars fans ever, is very serious about it.  So if anyone can do some family tree lineage and discover that Henry and Harrison Ford are, in fact, related, I sure would appreciate it.

Tonight I’m thankful for my crew who keep it interesting.  I give thanks for the privilege of being their Mama and their teacher, though there are times one might hear me express less than enthusiastic feelings about that second one.  (If they’d only sit down and get it done–it really shouldn’t take all day…..)  I love that I get to learn so much about them, and that they teach me more about the world than I could ever have imagined.  They are really the teachers, but don’t let them know that.   There are still a few things I need to teach them before I send them out into the world to figure out all the rest.


May we all discover something new and wonderful about someone we love.

Love to all.


2 thoughts on “Getting to Know Each Other”

  1. I may have to go to that book place and get that Henry Ford book! Have been intrigued about him ever since Anna became interested in Berry College and we discovered that he financed and supplied the workers to build several buildings there, now referred to as The Ford buildings. Clara (where Anna resided her freshman year), Mary, Ford Auditorium, and Ford Dining Hall (which is only used for special occasions and can be reserved for such). Look them up on the Berry site. They are the ones that look like they are straight out of Harry Potter or something akin to it. Love this story, Tara. As you well know, even when they are Anna’s age, they continue to surprise you with things they do or have done. Occasionally I allow myself a pat on the back and sometimes I just stand in awe at what transpired, hoping that my mouth is not as wide open as it feels! Love to y’all.

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