Eyes and Independence
This week I have been inspired
What inspires you? Share your inspirations...
On Friday, I worked with a young 8 year old boy who when reminded it was Friday, with an excited tone declared “I’m going to my Nanna’s this weekend”. His eyes lit up, he was smiling and very much looking forward to it. I asked him what was it he looked forward to, when going to Nanna’s. His response was “she lets me go on her computer”. There was no ‘Poppy’, just Nanna and he looked forward to spending time at her house, just the two of them.
I was third born in the family but the first girl. My sister followed 6 years later. I used to love going to my Nanna and Pa’s house by myself and leaving my siblings behind at home. It was a chance to listen to Nanna’s wise words. I used to sleep in a bedroom with a very large bed and a very thick mattress. What I really loved in that bedroom was the dark wooden dresser with the three mirrors that produced a triplicate of whatever was in front of the mirror, which most of the time was me – practising hand movements, singing, talking, acting out commercials all for my own entertainment.
The bedroom and the bathroom smelt like Nanna’s Oil of Ulan that she put on her face every day. Her skin did feel extremely soft along with her hands. Her hands also showed me some tunes she could play on the piano. The piano was another special thing that I used to love playing when staying at Nanna’s. I think I only knew a couple of tunes I had taught myself but then I would make some up and create a story around the notes. Aside from meal times, there didn’t seem to be much of a schedule that I had to follow. I could stay playing the piano or singing in the mirrors until, the waft of roast dinner with baked pumpkin filtering through the house could no longer be ignored.
During my visits, I remember Pa being out in the backyard caring for his apple trees after he came home from work. Pa’s car always had a vanilla like smell mixed with something else? In his boot, he carried lots of tins of things that smelt good. He was a Rawleigh’s man, selling vanilla essence, medicated ointments and hair combs door to door.
I spent quality time with my Nanna and Pa. There was always time to talk, share stories, walk together around the yard and dry the dishes after a meal. I could explore Nanna’s ice chest that had been converted into a ‘cupboard of all sorts’ including ‘Neddy’-the miniature walking horse (from the cereal packet) attached to a disc with string. I would place him on the edge of the kitchen table and watch him walk across as the string lowered down towards the floor. They were special times and although times have changed with more technology and automatic machines, I love the fact that children are still looking forward to that time with their Nanna and/or Pa or other members of the community that provide similar unforgettable precious moments.
I would love to hear about your memories with your grandparents or a significant other when growing up and learning more about life through others' eyes. Feel free to share your thoughts in comments.
to all mothers including...
Me as a Mother
My sister as a Mother
Mothers that I have supported
Foster Mothers of many children
Mothers I looked up to as a child
Mothers I wanted to have when I was angry with my Mother
Mothers that I admired
Mothers that gave me advice
Mothers who have lost their child
Mothers who are grieving for the child they wanted
Mothers who were made to give their child away due to their youth
Mothers of adopted children
My mother’s mother
My father’s mother
In the middle of writing this blog, I switched to Facebook for a moment to see what was happening on Mother’s Day posts and came across one that I could have almost written too. I wanted to mention similar understandings about those mothers. I guess it proves the point that ‘mothers know’ about each other, their mother, their mother’s mother and no matter what kind of mother you have been given in life to be, there are others out there who can relate and do relate – and love to share those relationships over coffee, phone call, skype, with a hug, on social media, support group.
What is a mother?
Mother of James
Mother of angels in heaven
Over the weekend, I read an article about research for those with Parkinson’s disease and the importance of singing to improve their symptoms. I’ve always believed singing doesn’t just happen on a stage, or the shower. Singing can be incorporated into teaching and learning, speech development, social communication, motivational encouragement.
In my early years of working with children with a vision impairment, I was given a small class of kids who had some additional challenges. They all had a degree of intellectual impairment along with their vision issues. The language abilities of the group varied including one boy who was quite echolalic, an anxious boy who needed more confidence to feel comfortable talking and a young girl who presented with delayed, but clear speech. I played guitar at times when I felt like being musical and a song or two in a classroom was always ‘a hit’. This group of children had struggled with their literacy skills and reading so I thought I would try a different strategy. I collected information about the students, their interests, where they lived and what they enjoyed doing at school. We then put it to a tune and played them on the guitar. They loved singing and to sing their stories was extra special. Since using this strategy, teachers commented on how much they had come out of themselves and were talking so much more.
As an O & M specialist teacher, I have continued to use song for teaching techniques. Encouraging the arcing of a cane has included “side to side, side to side,…..”, or to the tune of “Where is Thumkin, where is….” , “Here comes J…, here comes J…, with his cane” and these songs have motivated the children to follow the directions and become more automatic in their cane skills.
I would love you to comment on where you have seen great success in singing, inspirational ideas, or what has singing done for you? There is a lot more to write about singing – or sing about!
Below is a photo of a 'robin' singing.
Kerri Weaver is a passionate and caring service provider. She loves sharing her knowledge and skills to supporting those with vision impairment and additional disabilities. Kerri has worked in the field of disability for over 30 years. Her experience includes working in Tonga with a specialist team on multiple occasions.
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In growth, through play, and when reading, we learn...
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