Thursday, August 02, 2007

Proper Instruction Gets Proper Results

The jackalope has returned from a very well deserved and absolutely bodacious vacation. The joy of seeing my young niece and her rambunctious brothers play and enjoy life was most gratifying and relaxing. The absolute thrill I saw on my nephew’s face as he began to master his new “big” bike’s hand brakes in a curve was reward enough for an hour of coaching him in the high altitude sun that reddened my middle-age wild turkey waddle that used to be a svelte tower of a neck. I was young again, sharing in his joy of learning to do something big and intimidating. I saw it in his face: The world is conquerable! It is not something overwhelming and uncontrollable. It is an undeniable truth: Proper instruction gets proper results.

So when we traveled to Salt Lake City to visit my grown man nephew, wife and son, this thought was in my head. How wonderful was this visit. It was the first time we had seen Justin since his return from Iraq. What joy to see he and his wife, Heather, playing with little (almost) 3 year old Hunter in the front yard as they waited for us to drive up. To hug and kiss and see with your own eyes that everything is alright and getting back to enjoying the life he had fought to preserve for the rest of us. The secret of another child on the way being told first hand and in person to his childless aunt and uncle. The circle of love and family is ever expanding.

Then began the furious evening and following full day of getting the marrow and fat of enjoying each other's company. Absence had definitely made the hearts grow fonder. This time, we had a grand-nephew to listen to and observe and such funny things you learn. As evidence that youth is fleeting, little Hunter had already learned the retort, “I hate you” when reprimanded. Gee, it took me 14 years to come up with that childish rebuttal. As with most silly childish things, Hunter had learned this comment from an older cousin. Improper instruction gets improper results.

As we went about our shared adventure, the repartee in the car was quick and usually silly, but then came the moment for the sowing of salt along with the fun. This is the habit of a teacher: inserting something profound disguised as silliness into the conversation. The childish rebuttal — “Easy for you to say” — is the Liberal answer to anything confoundingly simple and logically concise. I listened with joy to the common sense my young nephew was relaying concerning his plan for the future of his family when, with childish cunning, I slyly slid in a lesson. “Easy for you to say, Justin.” He laughed because it was funny. I explained that the phrase was the catch-all phrase used by the sillies on the Left to excuse failure. He quickly rose to the bait.

“Get a job.” “Easy for you to say.” “Don't get pregnant before marriage.” “Easy for you to say.” “Learn to read and write.” “Learn to speak English.” “Don't drink and drive.” All easy for you to say! If the answer is anything but agreement, the adult/child is sowing seeds of silliness. We all had a great laugh, and then went to eat the most carnivorous hamburger ever invented: The Crown Burger of Salt Lake City. “Easy for you to say!”

Yes, proper instruction gets proper results!

1 comment:

lisasmith said...

Hey Nance--Glad your vacation was relaxing and joyful. We (all 6 of us) are currently working on overcoming objections (excuses) in our household. People of all ages use that catch phrase "easy for you to say" when looking for the easy way out. Our children need to learn that nothing great is achieved without hard work! Easy or hard, they must learn they always have a choice to make.