Friday, May 11th 2018
OK Kids sit down. Stop fiddling. Give me your undivided attention. This may not be fun, but it’s important.
OK, you know how we have perfectly clean, drinkable water on tap 24/7 year round no matter what, and for a reasonable price?
Right. That’s one of the great privileges we enjoy being so lucky on this planet. It seems normal where we live, but on the planet as a whole, it’s not normal. In fact you know in a lot of places, children can’t go to school, and all they get to do all day is walk a long way to collect water and carry it back to their home, and do it again the next day.
And even though we have all the water we could possibly want, do we throw it away on purpose?
Right. You know all the privileges we have; water, food, clothes, a place to live, loved ones, toys, books, electronics, transportation and medical care?
If daddy or someone makes you a beautiful plate of spaghetti and meatballs, do we throw it on the floor?
Do we throw any of it on the floor?
Right. That would be a waste of resources and a disgrace to our privileges. (And frankly, an insult to everyone who is not so lucky).
So, do you know the other great privilege we have? EDUCATION. Your school. A great public school! It’s not always fun but that’s because it’s school; it’s your job. When I am away from you working in the hospital, those kids would do ANYTHING to be healthy enough to be back in school. We’re lucky enough we don’t have to go to Children’s Hospital we’re so healthy, but we might. Anything can happen, like your classmate Samantha! She was healthy just like us until she wasn’t. She got horrible brain cancer and what did she do? Even when her eyes got crossed and she could no longer speak or lift her arm; what did she do? Until her very last living day?
“Go to school.”
That’s right. And what about your teachers. Do you think any of your teachers or staff at school are lazy?
Right. They work really hard doing everything they can for you and your education. They would do just about anything for your benefit. They would probably take a bullet for you, literally. So are you gonna take that beautifully prepared spaghetti and meatballs they make for you and dump it on the floor?
Right. You know, you will never get back last Tuesday. Or Monday two weeks ago. And there will only be one Thursday this coming week; that’ll be the only day to do the lessons for that day. The next day is for the next day’s lessons, not for the one you didn’t do. And doing your lessons is how you lay the foundation for the rest of your education. And that’s how you will be able to make a lot of really cool choices in your life. Like look at Mommy, I’m not perfect and I’m not the best, but I really love my job, and that is rare. And it is because I had the opportunity to make some really great choices in my life through hard work and education.
You know in Montessori you have choice. Sometimes I have joked to a friend that for my kids, sometimes that choice means, “Nah.” Well I’m telling you that’s not a choice anymore. I don’t care what Montessori says, my Oberhauser children will not be going to school and dumping their spaghetti on the floor. Not on my watch. I’m taking “NO” off the table for you guys. It’s no longer an option. I expect you to do your work. You don’t have to be perfect, just do your best. Do your best by doing your work! OK?
[Cue the snuggles and the sweetness and all the love and spaghetti.]