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Friday, November 15, 2019

Pumpkins, Patience, and Phalaenopsis Orchids

By Jan Pease

Friday in story time we read a wonderful story by Karma Wilson, “Bear Gives Thanks.”  For our project we made little pumpkins decorated with glitter glue and raffia, two of my favorite things.  The idea was to decorate the table for Thanksgiving.   I enjoyed watching the children, who ranged from very young to school-aged all producing unique pumpkins using the same basic materials.  One of the older children produced a really lovely pumpkin that had just enough glitter to sparkle.  Her youngest brother enthusiastically produced a colorful, somewhat globby creation that somehow captures his personality.  Globby may or may not be a word, but it should be.

On the 22nd we will talk about saying thank you and enjoy Ms. Wilson’s book again.  We’ll also talk about manners and what to do when confronted with a new or different food. Are your children or grandchildren used to eating meals with napkins, silverware, and manners?  Let me know.  I won’t be judgmental, but I’m curious.

Some titles that might help prepare children for holiday manners are books like “Miss Molly’s School of Manners,” by James Maclaine, or “Mind your Manners,” by Nicola Edwards.  For a fun approach to the subject try “Manners Mash-up: a Goofy Guide to Good Behavior,” by Tedd Arnold and other  well-known children’s illustrators.  If you need to brush up on your own etiquette, try “Table Manners: How to Behave in the Modern World and Why Bother,” by Jeremiah Tower.

Many of you know that I like to grow orchids.  I grow phalaenopsis orchids, often called butterfly orchids,  and have several plants.  Right now only one plant has blooms on it, but two of the others have new interesting bits sprouting from the stems that may produce beautiful flowers.  We’ll just have to wait and see. Sometimes I get tired of waiting, because for part of the year I have a plain plant that doesn’t do anything.   About the time I’m ready to give up and throw it out, something interesting begins to happen. 

Watching children grow learn to be creative is a bit like growing orchids.  Not that we would throw them out like a plant!  But sometimes it’s hard to be patient.  But if you provide some basic materials, give them time and patience you’ll see growth and creativity happen.   It takes a lot of time and patience, but it’s worth it.