Tuesday, February 21, 2012

2.20.62 and other thoughts

The 50th anniversary of John Glenn's historic mission snuck up on me; it was yesterday. Mom sat me down on the cold floor in front of our black and white television that day: February 20, 1962. I had little interest in watching a space launch since I was just seven years old. "You're going to watch this," she ordered. "Someday, you can tell your children and grandchildren that when you were just a little girl you watched the first American orbit the earth, ." And so I watched .

I'm not sure my children or grandchildren are very impressed by my witness to history but it's special to me. I had a mother, a 1960's traditional homemaker, who thought higher and broader than some. She didn't send me to pre-school, nor was kindergarten offered in the public schools, so she accidentally schooled me at home until I was nearly 7. Mom taught me to read as she hung clothes on the line. She had a crazy curiosity about everything, showing me that learning - and life itself - was an adventure.

Mom drove us all over Detroit, Michigan, our home for 15 months, exploring Polish bakeries and meat shops and other wonders that were foreign to a southern family. She traded her amazing southern friend chicken for homemade meatballs with our Italian neighbor, Mrs. DiPasquale, who spoke no English. Mom bought ice skates for herself and me and we learned to skate alongside teenagers playing ice hockey: the national sport of Detroit.

Look for the wonder in ordinary days and adventure in your neighborhood and share it with a child. It holds the makings of memories and relationships.

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