"Olio" fills a need, a crossword puzzle need, seeming to appear several times a week in various puzzles. Definitions, aka clues, vary a bit, but pretty much boil down to a mixture of sorts, a hodgepodge. (God, I love the sound of that word...hodgepodge.)
And, that's my life these past few days, a wonderful crazy hodgepodge of substituting in Spanish classes (I know almost no Spanish, just in case you might be wondering.) to middle school classrooms to attending preschool graduations.
Just to let you know, there's not a whole lot of difference between preschool kids and middle school kids, aside from their respective sizes. Nearly everything else is the same, including their answers when you inquire, "Just what in the world were you thinking?"
As my fingers cause the computer's keys to go clickety clack, the gorgeous weather outside keeps distracting me. Bright blue skies, no humidity (Insert happy dance here.), puffy white clouds, breezes. My kind of day, pure and simple. I've got today and tomorrow before re-entry into middle school, during the last week of school, no less, and even better, the last few whole days. Can you say, "Crowd Control?"
We attended Twit#2's preschool graduation Tuesday morning. Now, I confess, I've definitely got mixed feelings about these sort of things.
On the one hand, they kind of remind of the every kid gets a trophy deal, just as long as you show up. It used to be that you just moved along the grades, from one to the next. No big deal, just the natural progression of things. Most likely you celebrated with an in school, in the classroom party, but no pomp and circumstance took place,except for high school.
But - full disclosure here - this involved Twit#2, and my God, he's cute. Adorable. Funny. Clever. Creative.
Yep, he's my grandson, and I love him to pieces. A bit overwhelmed by the 80 some kids involved, let alone all the adults watching from the bleachers and snapping away, he never the less rocked that cap and the getting of his diploma.
At the same time, the cynical part of me got to thinking about all the money being made - from those who sold the caps, to the stores providing balloons, cakes, streamers, and such.
And then my mind would flip back to all that these tots mastered over the past 9 months: learning to stand in line, to wait their turn, to realizing that they could not always be first. Friends got made, songs sung, complete with appropriate actions, and more.
For Twit#2, a special reason to smile; he'd succeeded in a "regular" classroom, whatever that might be. No small feat for a kid who struggled with transitions, with learning to read social cues and this idea of personal space. All the hours of work at home and in an earlier special preschool paid off in spades.
So, yeah, I know that he doesn't get this, at least not in a way any 5 year old could explain, but we - parents, grandparents, teachers, and more - knew. A special reason to celebrate, a bonus in a way.
And, maybe, I thought, we needed to celebrate more. Maybe all of us need to celebrate the everyday miracles in our lives. We get far too hung up on what's wrong at the moment, and not what's right.
I'm still conflicted, still find the cap a bit much, the huge program a bit much. I think that working at something shouldn't need a huge reward. I don't think that every time you succeed at something a reward, a pat on the back, needs to happen.
Yes, they need to happen, but not every time. Maybe less of the big trappings.
Most of all, this recognition needs to come from inside us; we shouldn't need the external trappings each time we do something. Being in the classroom as much as I am, I hear, far too often, "What do I get?" Parents email that I needed to be giving out more stickers, more goodies of one kind or another. I've had too many kids that wouldn't work unless they could see something in it for them.
Somewhere along the way, we've lost the notion of simply doing something because it needed done.
But, darn, these little ones were just too cute, too precious.
Full disclosure: I enjoyed it all, every bit of it, down to the fact that Twit#2 is so big for his age, that the cap needed to be worn at a decidedly jaunty angle.
Yep, an olio of thoughts here, a hodge podge, and I go back and forth with my feelings about it all.
Maybe celebrations need to be part of the everyday routine, but with less hoop-la.
I don't know; my thoughts really are mixed up, really are a hodge podge, and they seem to go back and forth with alarming frequency.
What I do know, is that I loved it, that I'm glad I got to be a part of it.
So, congrats to you, Twit#2; you're one awesome kid!