Life's journeys: Language, culture, communication

Tag: children

  • Sleepwalkers

    The street awash with children leaving school. The bus stop one big isle of kids. An overspill of youth. Huddled. Immobile. Captivated. Captive. Each child, oblivious to child, stares down into a phone like it’s a well of meaning. A girl ponders over the best emoji. Her finger hovers, undecided. Tap. The street awash with…

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  • Children saying scary things

    My daughter (10), elated that she got into the class she wanted and avoided the all-girls class: ‘All-girls classes suck!’ Me, naively: ‘Why?’ My studious 10-year-old: ‘Because they’d be all prissy and there’d be no boys to fall in love with.’ Ladies and gentlemen, the main purpose of public schooling, right there… in case there…

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  • Podge and his book from the sky – A fable

    Once upon a time there was a badger. We’ll call him Podge, because that’s what his friends called him. Podge was an intrepid and adamant little badger and he liked to roam the neighborhood at length, looking for fellow creatures to pester – or to snack on. On one of his nocturnal foraging trips, Podge…

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  • Quote of the day

    On sex education: “There is no sound reason, of any sort or kind, for concealing facts when talking to children. Their questions should be answered and their curiosity satisfied in exactly the same way in regard to sex as in regard to the habits of the fishes, or any other subject that interests them. (…)…

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  • Child’s play

    A boy drags an empty bag through the sand. He’s tied it at the end of a rope.The wind blows into it, swelling it, ruffling it,making it float and thennearly ripping it out of his hand. The bag is as transparent and light as this boy’s soul.Boy, breath, wind blowing, soul… Later, when it’s full…

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  • Questions

    Setting: Catholic religion class at school. Characters: New teacher – a man. A bunch of 9-year-olds. Open discussion about covenants. (Based loosely on recollection, don’t shoot the messenger!) Girl in my daughter’s class, with genuine curiosity: Why are all the priests men? Why are there no women priests? Teacher, gently: Well, you see, Jesus was…

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  • The Remains of The Day

    timid spring. the careless beauty of my children romping in the woods today, sharp, colorful, against the greening gray backdrop, gathering twigs for a “bonfire” but first washing them in the tumbles of water or stacking them one upon another and into bridges alongside the brook where they were leaping, looking for frogs; huge stones…

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  • 7 Reasons I Am Eager To Go Back To School (My Son’s Version)

    1. To see my teacher again. She’s pretty. 2. To learn new and interesting stuff (hopefully about animals). 3. To meet my friends. 4. Less time to be nagged by mom. 5. Less time to be nagged by my younger sister. 6. I want to become a natural scientist. 7. I want to become a natural…

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  • 10 Reasons I Love The Summer Vacation (My Son’s Version)

    1. Sleep 2. Sleep 3. More sleep 4. Cartoons 5. Cartoons 6. More cartoons 7. Sun, sand, water, ice cream 8. Sun, rocks, water, ice cream 9. Sun, grass, water, ice cream 10. Reading, LEGO, board games, trees, voyages of discovery, pebbles and insects (except mosquitoes!).

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  • Laughing stock

    My daughter (2yrs. 7 months) just chose a profession. I was putting nose drops into her nostrils, an action which – as was to be expected – led to a certain amount of hysterical yelling and rivers of tears rolling down her cheeks. Me: “Lady, you sure have a nice pack of loudspeakers on you!…

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