Saturday, September 26, 2020

Today's post brought to you by the letter "P"

The Password

My 8 year old buddy, little P. (another "P") is the son of one of the counselors at the school where I work. His elementary school dismisses an hour before we do, so he rides the bus over in the afternoon to wait for his mom. We've been good friends since the start of last year. Prior to Covid, he would hang out by my desk and if I wasn't too busy and I'd let him use the copier, shred papers that needed it, and compose emails to his mom. He's a darling little kid. This year, due to Covid restrictions, he can't hang out in the main office. He has to go to his mom's private office down the hall and wait for her in there by himself. We still manage to have some fun, though. One time last year when he was typing an email on my computer he was acting silly and typed in a bunch of gibberish letters. I told him to "erase all that gobbledygook!" and he nearly fell off his seat, laughing. He had never heard the word "gobbledygook" and it tickled him to no end. It became one of his favorite words! So this year when he arrives at our school and rings the front door buzzer (which I man), and I see that it's him on the camera, I say "Hello young (insert Jedi, Hobbit, Astronaut, whatever springs to mind) what's the password?" and he jumps up and down and yells "GOBBLEDYGOOK!!!!"  This is usually one of the best parts of my workday, being silly for a minute with an 8 year old. 

The Present

Little P. loves the new aquarium in our school lobby. He's fascinated by the goldfish and asks really good questions about them. Gregg was so impressed with him showing interest that he picked out a book to give him from his own small library of aquarium reference titles. It had lots of information about recreating water habitats from around the world and lots of photos. Obviously it's not meant for such a young kid, but he reads far above his grade level and we're pretty sure he'll get something out of it, even now. 











The Prayer

Last week little P.'s mom came by my desk and said, "Mrs. Barlow, you've done it now!"**  She said that of course the boy now wants "a fish" for a pet and has been needling her about it. Of course, she's wisely hesitating to agree for the moment. Then the other morning they were having their "morning devotions" before leaving for school/work and when P said his prayers he added at the end: "....and please God, let me get to have a pet fish. Amen."

**I've explained to P that an aquarium is something that requires some regular chores to maintain and it's a real responsibility. I told him that if he really wants an aquarium, that the best way to convince his mom will be to keep learning about the two at our school and proving that he won't lose interest in the next few months. There's no hurry. And I didn't tell him this, but of course Gregg could help him get started with something small and manageable for a kid if we're sure he'll take care of it. We'll see.

21 comments:

  1. animal companions are a big responsibility; hopefully little P will be up to the task.

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  2. Now these are wonderful stories about your friendship with this little boy. How nice for you and him! And I found your blog via Weaver's blog and was lured by the word "gobbledygook" to check you out! I have looked at some of your older posts and see that we think alike! So I will add you to my bookmarks so I can check you out more regularly! Thanks!

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  3. Oh Jennifer, I love this post! Isn't it fun to have an 8 year old friend you can be silly with but still discuss other things like the aquarium. You did a great job of explaining the responsibility of having an aquarium. It was so nice of Gregg to give him the book and to be willing to help him out if he does get one.

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  4. 8 is a very good age to begin learning some responsibility. I'd be more concerned about how bad he'd take it if the fish died because... you know... some fish are not long-lived.

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    Replies
    1. eight is a great age to teach a kid that loss happens and he can grow through it

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  5. I enjoyed reading this post. It fits with your blog profile. "Capturing the beautiful moments of an ordinary life"....or maybe it could be "Capturing the ordinary moments of a beautiful life."

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  6. I truly believe that when a child has someone other than family who shows real care and love for him or her, it makes a huge difference in their lives.
    You are making a difference in a child's life.

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  7. Have you quizzed him on aquarium designs?

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  8. I think an aquarium is a good choice for youngsters that show an interest. I got my first one at age six and have never been without one. Good post Jennifer.

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  9. Little P. will probably remember his fun times with you for the rest of his life. How sweet you are.

    Love,
    Janie

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  10. This all made me so happy. How great to have such a special bond with Little P! He'll have a really cool aquarium I'm sure. And no gobbledygook!

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  11. How about a 5 gal. tank of guppies.

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  12. I've always maintained that children/teenagers need good (and safe) adult role models (besides parents/family) in their lives to talk with and to help them navigate the path to adulthood. Clearly, you are such a one for young Mr. P. Lovely.

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  13. This is great! You've motivated a future aquarium enthusiast! Maybe he could just start with a goldfish or two in a bowl, or a fighting Betta, rather than a full-on aquarium? It's terrific that you've formed a bond with this kid. He'll remember you forever.

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  14. I love it when your posts include your special friend P! Who knows, it may be that the school aquariums spark a lifelong interest in fish in the boy‘s mind, and he will always remember that it were his beautiful friend Mrs Barlow and her husband who helped him along on the first steps of this fascinating hobby.

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  15. I love his sense of humor! The gobbledygook interchange is priceless.

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  16. I suppose being around an 8yo keeps one young and excited on one one's toes

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  17. Every kid needs to learn about gobbledygook!

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  18. Any kid who has to suffer "morning devotions" deserves to have a couple of goldfish. He can call them Gobbledy and Gook. Let's pray to The Creator that Gobbledy doesn't gobble Gook.

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  19. What a lovely and quiet post today.

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