Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Pirate Perspective

This morning I put HB on a pirate ship headed for Australia. She happily waved goodbye as I walked away.
We’ve talked about my affinity for pirates twice before. So it shouldn’t be much of a surprise that when she told me over and over she didn’t want to go to school today, I found this as an alternative for her.
I suppose it’s natural that in a time of change I should experience some shifts in perspective. Yesterday I wrote about my newly acquired courage for a much bigger pond. A couple of weeks ago I confessed I needed to exorcise the voice of dissension.
As a researcher I have an endless list of questions to uncover new perspectives. The process analyst in me uses an arsenal of tools to develop these new perspectives. I have a trunk full of exercises that help explore and learn new perspectives, left over from various educator roles. My deepest me, the writer, can narrate myself through these shifts like a navigator charting stars.
Life on Clemson Road began when DTC offered Cuk the store. But we haven’t arrived there yet. And as we prep and plan and think and talk about it, I find my perspective is continually shifting. Living in a kaleidoscope requires frequent and abrupt adjustments to one’s approach.
I told you I didn’t want HB so dedicated to routine that she would be inflexible. Adding, of course, that she had developed a routine anyway. This kaleidoscope period for her is challenging in a thousand ways she doesn’t have the vocabulary to name.
Find Familiarity
She wants to play in her rocket ship tent, but it has already been packed up to go to the new house. Why are so many of her toys at Mama’s now? Why isn’t the rocket ship there, too?
And today she didn’t want to go to school. She clung to me as I carried her inside. It reminded me of the times I would drop her off after I had been away on a business trip. She can sometimes be afraid if I don’t pick her up, she won’t see me for several days, weeks, maybe.
“I don’t want school,” she said softly into my ear, holding tightly around my neck, but not fighting or crying, just sad.
“It’s not school,” I said, “It’s a pirate ship. It’s sailing for Australia. Don’t you want to go? Let’s go in and see who your ship mates will be!”
We walked down the hall, me making whooshing noises like water against a dock (kinda) and her grinning, waiting for the story to continue.
Create Something to be Excited About
Learning to do what I don’t want to and do it with enthusiasm is a precious skill. So many people lose their ability to shift perspective, to change outlook, or to find their courage and enthusiasm inside the kaleidoscope. Our family is getting a lot of experience at changing perspective right now.  
In the classroom, the other children roared her arrival. They ran to us, she held on tighter. I said, “look at all these enthusiastic sailors! Come on, pirates! We’re on a ship today, headed for Australia! Who wants to go?”
To a one they cried, “Me! Me!” and jumped up and down.
Miss Cassi said, “How wonderful! A full crew! Come on, everybody! Let’s finish these flowers so we can decorate our ship! Here, HB, come help!”
HB climbed off of me, went straight to Miss Cassi, and waved goodbye over her shoulder as I left.
Back in Brando (a post on how we name everything some other time), the iPod rolled to Hans Zimmer.  Drink up, me hearties, yo ho.


  1. HB is one lucky little girl...

  2. One of our greatest gifts is that of imagination, glad you utilize yours and encourage it in your wee one. :)

  3. Your ability to tell a story at the drop of a hat and in so doing brighten the day of your beautiful daughter is truly a gift. Bringing all of her classmates and her teacher into the story makes it even more special. You are a wonderful mommy and HB is truly blessed as are we all. I love you, my sweet "middle!"

  4. Thanks, Comment Peeps! I really like the feedback! Keep it light, keep it interesting, keep it flattering ;-) and keep it coming!

    Cheers, mateys!


Love Builds Confidence

Going into the archives for some classic blogs to get this blog resurrected. It's no longer The 41st Year and Life on Clemson Road is, ...