Wednesday, March 5, 2014

SOLSC #5 Do you need my help?

I am posting every day during March as part of the annual "Slice of LifeChallenge for Two Writing Teachers.  Check out their website for lots more reflections on teaching.


He is walking slowly and calmly, just in front of me. I see he has missed a belt loop. He has trouble with fine motor skills. His pants are baggy and loose, and I wonder if his pants will slip down without his belt on correctly. Oh, he would hate that!

I should fix that, help him with that.

Hmmm. What to say? How to guide? 

No, I shouldn't jump to fix it - let me simply point it out.

So, I do -
"Oh, look, you've missed a loop here."

He comes to a standstill and begins working on re-doing this. The belt gets tripped up on another loop, he struggles to unhook it, and then looks at me with defeat. He needs my help to get his belt on, to make it right.

He doesn't want to ask for help. He wants to do it, all by himself.

"Do you need my help?" I ask, tentatively.

"Yeah," he admits. But he looks at me sadly. He can't believe he needs help with this.

"It's okay! I'm good at this! This is how I spend my day." I joke, referring to my work with preschoolers.

"Ahh, knock it off, Maureen," he laughs back, "I'm not a three year old!"

And my 84 year old father lets me fix his belt, both of us uneasy with this change in roles.

(A daily share by a preschooler, in their own words)
A Story Collage by Ashley

There was a gardening Dora.  That is the flower that was in the dirt. She holds the watering can. That bird came. He flied away again. She plays with the animals - penguin, butterfly, and a squirrel. And that’s Dora’s house. The End.


  1. Love that 'gardening Dora'! And because of what I've been up to these past few years, I knew what you were leading to, Maureen. I hope that when I get there, my children will be as kind and thoughtful as you were here with your dad. He's lucky to have you.

    1. Thanks, Linda. There's so much more I wanted to say - but somehow the brevity seemed best. It just send me chills sometimes to work on these skills with little ones and see them disappearing in my folks. Circle of life!

  2. Wow! Maureen. I am speechless. This is such a powerful story. Please come teach middle school with me!

  3. WOW. I almost got choked up there! That was really powerful and moving. I've slowly started going through something similar, as both of my parents' and my uncle's health have taken turns giving us huge scares. It is jarring to go from depending to depended upon and I'm slowly but seriously facing that transition. Thank you for sharing this.

    1. It is super hard on my Dad. Really a weird transition in life....