Living Examples 2: The Gentles

Living Examples 2: The Gentles

“Mommy, the birds’ nests are blowing a lot in the wind. I feel sorry for the birds.” 

Marian and her son, Denny were driving to the Farnsworth’s for a simple supper. It was very windy. They both saw how much the branches were bending.

“Oh dear Denny, birds know how to build their nests so they are perfect for them, wherever they live. I really think they will be fine.” 

They pulled into the driveway and in seconds Marian was hugging her dear friend. “Thank you for having us, Heddie. We’ve been so looking forward to seeing you all.” 

“We’re excited too. Thank you for the wine and whatever is in the foil.” 

“Denny and I made chocolate chip cookies. They’re a little funny-looking, but we sampled them and they taste okay.” 

Arms around each other, the women looked into the family room to see Denny, Millie and Tammy already drawing and talking. 

“I just learned how to draw a house,” Tammy offered, “And Millie can write an M.” 

“Boy, you can do cool new things.” Denny was excited for the girls. 

As Heddie opened the wine, Marian looked around. “It’s lovely here. I always feel happy when we’re in this kitchen.” 

Heddie smiled. “I feel the same way.” 

Denny entered the kitchen. “Mommy, look, I can draw a house now. Tammy teached me.” He held his paper up proudly.

“You children are nice to teach each other,” Marian smiled. 

While Heddie’s lasagna was cooling, the women made a simple green salad. They dished out the children’s portions on big white plates. Pretty bright napkins gave this cozy time a perfect party feeling. 

“Heddie, you’ve never made better lasagna. It’s delicious.” 

“Yes, Mommy, it is so good,” Tammy exclaimed. 

“I like the salad too,” added Denny. “Thank you, Heddie.”

Milk and wine glasses clicked and everyone said, “Cheers!” The meal was soon devoured and the cookies were produced.

“Mommy and I made them. I hope you like them. I ate one with Mommy. I looked at mine a lot and that helped me learn to add chips to the cookies in my drawings.”

The children were delighted with the cookies. The counted their chips and then yawned together.

“Mommy, can we do this again?” Tammy asked.

“Same time next week,” Heddie replied cheerfully.

“Yippee!” the children said in unison.

The ride home was short and quiet. The wind had let up. 

“Mommy, the birds are better. Their nests aren’t blowing anymore.” 

By the time Marian pulled into the garage, Denny was sound asleep. She unsnapped his car seat and carried him upstairs. He woke up as she pulled on his pajama top, and managed to brush his teeth with his eyes half closed. In bed, Denny looked at his mother and said, “I love you Mommy. Goodnight.” 

“Goodnight my wonderful boy. I love you too.” 

Marian and Heddie obviously set a respectful, positive tone for their children, who reflect it right back. They will be well served by their happy attitudes, as we can’t help but think that teachers and children will love having them around.

In case you missed last week’s column, Living Examples: The Horribles…

Anne Martine Cook has 39 years experience teaching nursery school children. We welcome your comments and questions.