Monday, September 07, 2009

What's wrong with this picture?

This will be a word picture.

We are at the K-garten playground at school while Rachel is in a violin lesson. There are no other parents around and about 8 kids playing there besides my Kendra. Two of the kids are girls around 9 yrs old (not my kids) and they have hauled a little wooden table to the top of the slide - before I saw them do it and had a chance to stop it.

Here is the resulting conversation:

Me: Girls, I don't think you're supposed to take that table up the playstructure.

Girl 1: We've already done it twice.

Me: I really don't think the teachers want it off the ground and you should bring it back down.

Girl 2: We slid it down the slide already and it's fine.

Me: The table could break and someone could get hurt. I think you need to bring it down now.

Girl 1: Well, if it breaks, I'll just buy a new one. I have over a hundred dollars or so...

Me (deep breath): It doesn't really matter whether you have the money to replace it or not, what matters is that we respect school property and don't cause little ones to be hurt.

And then I went and told on them to Mr. S who yelled at them out his window (as I knew he would) - just to make sure the message got across.

I am not judging the parents here. But, I do hope I have/will instill in my girls a sense of responsibility for people and property that has nothing to do with age, race, money or social status. It has to do with respect. And consideration. And good manners. The Golden Rule. Am I that old fashioned?

Update: I just read the WH release of President Obama's Back to School speech. I quite frankly don't understand what the fuss is (and I was looking for the "political slant" that's being yelled about). It is a speech promoting work ethics, community and responsibility for ones own self - not letting your circumstances dictate your outcome. I think the girls referred to above need to hear it. That said - our gov't can also behave just like those girls. 'Aw, well, guess we broke it. We'll just throw some money at it and get a new one.'

Speaking of word pictures.

It's Fall and cooling off. I know it's cooling off because 'he' is wearing a hat - a stocking hat. He is very tan - I worry about skin cancer for him. His feet are leathery from walking - he doesn't wear shoes. He is probably in his late 70's but his legs are in great shape. His torso is thicker but he's not overweight - and very tan. His shorts are very faded but we once saw him in bright blue ones and all of us in the car said "Hey, someone got him new shorts!" His bald head is shiny in the sun but not the other day as the temperature dropped and he had on the stocking cap - and his shorts - sitting there talking to his friend. He does appear to have all his mental faculties intact.

But - I have to wonder everytime I pass by him - "Why does he run around town in just his shorts?" Does anyone else have such a neighbor? You probably don't have grown men walking down the street home from the Lake in just their Speedo's and a T-shirt either.

Enough word pictures. From an American living in Switzerland.


Hi! It's me, Julie! said...

Speedos and t-shirt...fantastic! I am amazed that those girls argued their point with you for so long and then ended with "we'll just buy what we break". Lawyers in the making.

Susan said...

You have a great eye for word pictures, and I like the way you paint them for us on your blog. It's like we are there.

Good for you for speaking up to those kids. The fact that they argued with you and had to be told by the principal troubles me.

I need to find a copy of President Obama's speech - thanks for the nudge.