What have you missed?

“Be in today.”

“Be in the moment.”

“Be where your feet are.”

I heard those words in a book discussion about gratitude at my church. (We read Grateful by Diana Butler Bass.)

I heard them at a retreat for women in recovery.

And as part of a discussion about living life on life’s terms.

So I decided to try it.

Over pizza with 2 grandchildren at The Best Pizza In Town place (that’s what they call it), I learned from Adaline, then 8 and starting 3rd grade, that geckos can lick their eyes. You know the little guy on Geico commercials? That’s a gecko. Here’s a picture.  No, I’m not sure how she knows that, but her mom used to be a zookeeper and they talk about animals a lot, so I believe her. I love hearing the thoughts that go through the minds of my grandchildren.  If I’m “in the moment” I don’t miss anything.

I spent 4 years at UNC Chapel Hill. I walked past a statue of a guy with a gun called Silent Sam dozens if not hundreds of times. All I ever knew about the statue was what I was told at orientation–he fires his gun if a virgin walks by. (It was the early 1970’s. We thought that was funny. I have evolved.)

I didn’t know until Confederate statues became a news item that Silent Sam was erected in 1913 in honor of UNC alumni who died in the Civil War. The dedication speech was given by Julian Carr, a prominent industrialist, UNC alumnus, former Confederate soldier, and the largest single donor towards the construction of the monument. He urged his audience “to devote themselves to the maintenance of white supremacy with the same vigor that their Confederate ancestors had defended slavery.”

How could I not know that?? I never stopped to notice. Or ask.

When Adaline started kindergarten 4 years ago, I was so excited for her. I loved school. I felt safe and i enjoyed learning. I wished for her the same. I was horrified a few weeks later when her mother described the active shooter drill her class practiced that day. Adaline had her own special cupboard to climb into and hide in. All of my grandchildren are in elementary school now. I guess all three of them have active shooter drills just like they have fire drills. I wonder what the teachers call those active shooter drills.

I read about Kevlar book bags. Kevlar is what they use to make bullet-proof vests for police officers. This company, Bullet Blocker, makes “School Safety Solutions.” My first thought was, “Wouldn’t that be heavy?” My second thought was to be shocked that I wasn’t shocked. I can’t imagine explaining to a 6 or 8 year old child the need for a heavy, bullet-proof backpack.

How do we teach a child who is fascinated by a gecko’s long tongue about the world she lives in?

One moment at a time, I think.











Published in: on October 18, 2019 at 6:24 pm  Comments (4)  
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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Robin, love your kicker.

    “I can’t imagine explaining to a 6 or 8 year old child the need for a heavy, bullet-proof backpack.

    “How do we teach a child who is fascinated by a gecko’s long tongue about the world she lives in?

    “One moment at a time, I think.”

    But when I read it again, it scares the hell out of me. What have we wrought for those following us?

    • Exactly, Jeri. And thanks for your comments.

  2. I always love your writing. It makes me think. It makes me appreciate what I have. It makes me want the very best for everyone around me, even those who I dislike because I don’t understand their views. Your writing offers a problem and not a solution but an adaptation. In our world today, I like that we can think about adapting as we work toward solutions.

  3. Love it. And reading about Carr makes me sick.

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