This is a guest post from Julia Graeper from the Scholastic Classroom and Community Group. Thanks, Julia!
Stop me if you’ve heard this one.
An exhausted-looking woman in a grocery store passes a rack of fresh eggplant with her kindergarten-age child, who asks, “Mom, what are those?”
The woman says, “Shut up! I should have left you at home.”
A second mother passes the eggplant with her child, who also asks about them.
The mother replies, “Eggplant. It’s a vegetable.”
A third mother passes. When her child asks about the eggplant, she says, “That’s eggplant. It’s one of the only purple vegetables. That one probably weighs 1 or 2 pounds. We could slice it open at home and see what it looks like inside…” and so on.
Well, if you’ve ever heard the incredible Phyllis C. Hunter speak (author of It’s Not Complicated), you know the eggplant story. She told it on Monday here at Scholastic during Teacher Appreciation Week.
Let me tell you, the eggplant story is with me all the time.
I’ll never be Mother #1. I am really mindful not to be Mother #2, but when I’m tired, it happens. I strive to be Mother #3 all the time.
And that is what it’s like to be a parent at Scholastic.
Speaking of eggplant, it’s possible that my 15-month-old daughter has not eaten a real vegetable since last week. It’s possible that she really needs a bath. But while I’ve been neglecting her nutrition and her bath (wait, this post is getting embarrassing!) I am this close to decorating her room like a kindergarten classroom. I have an alphabet poster; I am worrying about why she doesn’t have alphabet blocks. I am seizing opportunities to expand her vocabulary. This bear is a Grizzly bear. That tree is a Redwood tree.
I don’t think I am a very type-A parent; I’m not plotting her triumphant matriculation at an Ivy League college. But hang around Scholastic long enough, and you (OK, I) can get a little compulsive about reading and vocabulary. You try to remember to say “matriculation” instead of “going to college.”
But I think this is a wonderful thing. It is ingrained in the culture of Scholastic to respect books and reading, and to view a happy reading life as the keystone in a happy life in general. For some kids, a happy reading life does not come easily, but that’s ok. We have resources for everyone. And for me, just trying to be Mother #3 is a good place to start.