The British relay team had worked diligently honing their skills for the 2012 summer Olympics.
The four members of the team were considered some of the fastest in the world. One aspect of the relay race, the passing of the baton, had been rehearsed and rehearsed. The criticalness of the ‘pass’ could not be over emphasized. In the relay race one runner comes to the end of his/her ‘leg’ of the race and begins to run tandem with the next runner for a period of time until the baton has been passed.
It was with great anticipation as the stadium spectators stood to their feet to view this very exciting event. At the end of the first ‘leg’, there was a gasping of breath and the onlookers could not believe what had happened. The first runner failed to make a smooth transfer of the baton to the runner. The baton had been dropped and the team lost valuable time resulting in their failure to finish in a winning position. I use this illustration as a means of emphasizing what I consider to be a dropping of the baton when it comes to our society of millenniums (ages 30 and below).
In our society there are two curricula; a formal curriculum usually taught in school and a second informal curriculum taught at home. In a genderless society both parents must carry the baton, however, traditionally MOM carried the baton with the hidden curriculum. It was mom who reminded us of the basics, put your napkin in your lap, sit up straight, get your elbows off the table, don’t play with your food, don’t interrupt when someone is talking, wait to eat until everyone is seated, and so on. The big one was, wait to start eating until everyone has been seated. It’s mom who, more often than not, is the enforcer. The one who can control the situation with that ‘look.’ But most importantly it is the positive example she sets for her children that makes the difference. It is the same stuff she learned from her mother and her mother from her mother.
Our freedom seems to impede our baton passing. What ever happened to those ‘lady’ lessons that all young girls learned? Use proper table manners, sit up straight, grace with style, gentle, community minded, honest, nurturers, and my favorite, being a good cook.
When the race of those teen years is over what will your children be doing? They will be doing the things you have taught them. When they step on that college campus or in the world of work it will be the core values, i.e baton, you have taught that will guide them.
Mom, Dad, I encourage you to have a family meeting and make a list of all the things you do in your daily lives that represent social etiquette, respect and responsibility. Some will be best taught with Dad carrying the Baton. Some will be best taught with Mom carrying the baton. In any case they are the values you want your children to possess when they leave your home. Remember, the four R’s of a happy home. Rules and Regulations without Relationships lead to Rebellion. Don’t drop the baton. If the baton has been dropped, pick it up.
The garden spot was adjacent to our house and lay waiting for the magical moment when planting would start. My dad had made it clear we would begin the process on “Good Friday.” “Why Good Friday, Dad?” His reply was less than scientific and not filled with agricultural insight. “ We’ve always done it that way.” Besides, “the nights are warmer after Easter and the seeds come up quicker.” Therefore, in my bare feet holding a cloth pouch which mother had sewn and filled with seeds she had saved from the previous year’s harvest, I set about following the rows Dad had laid out by dropping the seeds at a prescribed distance, albeit …a half stride or a full stride apart. After the seeds were in place I mastered a technique whereby I could walk down the row with a foot on each side and push the dirt over the seed. It was the original ‘boot scoot and boogie.’
As a young boy I enjoyed playing in the freshly-plowed ground. You worked hard and you waited. I can vividly remember examining the plants as they brought fourth the beginnings of vegetables. Then we would wait some more. Not everything we plant comes to fruition on our timetable. And then there is the possibility, for unknown reasons, the plants don’t grow, the tomatoes don’t produce, the broccoli flowered and failed, the corn had beautiful stalks with no corn. All of these events happened and we could not do anything about it. Nature teaches us many lessons and sometimes the most valuable one is patience.
More current is the fact Ruby arrived at out house after her extended trip to South America. She left last October after storing up for the long flight. I find it interesting her global positioning system (GPS) guides her over the long trip while I get lost in Atlanta. It is probably because Ruby’s GPS was given to her by God and mine was given to me by the Ford Motor Company. Equally as significant as Ruby the humming bird’s arrival is the activity surrounding the recent bird house I placed in the backyard.
The birdhouse was primarily ornamental and was attached with a small chain and hung from a limb. It moved with the wind and at times turned complete circles. But there he was…..a beautiful blue bird sitting for a long period observing the bird house. Finally, he decided to enter the house. I waited anxiously to see if he could still fly after being in the house with its movement. But exit he did and departed. Didn’t expect to see him again. Not only did he return but he brought his wife who after careful observation entered the house. After her tour I was expecting the crew from “fixer uppers” to arrive, but apparently she decided to take it “as is.”
A flurry of activity surrounded the bird house with the two birds, who marry for life, busy carrying straw and other items constructing a nest that a graduate of Georgia Tech would be proud to claim. In short order mother was staying home and the incubation process began. Dad sat outside on guard and occasionally changed places with the expecting mother while she took a break.
God did it again it’s Spring.