Christina M. Currie: Life lessons from little ones
August 29, 2008
Craig — My children aren’t the funniest, cutest, smartest, best kids in the world. That’s a hard thing for a mother to admit. But, I will break down and say that there are other children just as funny, cute and smart.
I’m a mom, that’s the biggest concession I can make.
As the beginning of the school year (thus, the end of summer) approaches, we parents are rushing to make sure our kids have a few last hurrahs before that first bell rings.
That means camping trips, time at the swimming pool and that last chance for mid-week sleepovers.
It worked out (gotta love fate) that my girls were invited to spend the night with two different friends on the same night.
There was some scrambling to make it happen, but really, when aren’t we scrambling?
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Nikki was heading to her friend Darbi’s. The next day was a work day, so that meant the girls would have to spend it at “the shop,” which was Bullseye Taxidermy.
Was that too morbid for a 6-year-old? Not a chance. There are some life lessons being learned there.
Darbi’s dad explained that they would be fine. There was plenty to do.
And there was. His three kids have established their own little world there, and they rule it with absolute certainty.
They each have their own “property” – small lots where 8-year-old Drake has built them little houses. Occasionally, they have trespassing issues, and Darbi’s dad has to mediate when he hears the wail, “Drake’s on my property!”
I remember sharing a bedroom with my sister and running masking tape down the middle to clearly define “hers and mine” (never worked, by the way), but I never considered myself a land baron.
Or the master of any other natural resource for that matter.
Not so for the Zimmerman clan. A rainy day brought a trickle of water down a small drainage that ran past the kids’ “property.” All of the sudden a war broke out over water rights.
Seriously? I know adults who don’t understand the complicated world of water law, and here a 6- and an 8-year-old were taking it on.
Luckily, it seems the younger you are, the simpler the solution.
Darbi’s dad drew up an agreement giving each child 50 percent of the water rights in the drainage, and Darbi and Drake carefully signed their names in red marker.
That agreement hangs on the wall of the shop. There’s a lot of great work in there, but, in my opinion, that’s one of the best.
It’s the thing that convinced me that maybe, just maybe, my kids aren’t the cutest in the world.
It’s the neat thing about kids. Every time mine do something that makes my jaw drop, I hear that someone else’s children are doing the same thing. Knowing that makes us all feel better.
Of course, each one is doing it a little bit different.
It’s fun to write them down and remember later. And, it’s such great ammunition for the teen years.
Nikki didn’t get involved in any property disputes. In fact, she spent much of her time observing the art of taxidermy. She’s proud that she can tell the difference between an antelope and a mule deer.
Now she explains how you make them look life-like.
I told you. Life lessons.