Thursday, December 8, 2011

Gratitude Day 17

Today I've been busting my tail doing some software testing for work.  I'm still home, blowing my nose ever 5 minutes and coughing every 2 minutes, but this work needed to get done and get done today, which it isn't.  Oh, well.  I have to finish it up tomorrow, I suppose.  And my head hurts, too.  Did I say that I have a headache?  Some funky sinus pain right above my right eye, related to blowing my nose, I think.  My heads hurts.  I said that, didn't I?

Anyway, so right now I'm sitting next to my 6-year-old as he's doing a writing assignment.  He's very distracted right now, and my poking him in the side to motivate him isn't really helping.  He's writing about how "someone" comes on the night before Christmas to deliver presents.  And he keeps giggling about the fact that Christmas has the word "Christ" in it, which he knows is kind of the point, but he still finds it funny.

This reminds me of a conversation that I had (don't ask me why, my head hurts) with my daughter not long ago about how she wishes that we could live in an environmentally friendly manner.  I asked her what she thought that meant, and she talked about living outside.  I asked her what she would do when it got cold.  Or hot.  Or rainy.  She then said it was more about living simply, without electronics, and I asked her about giving up TV, and movies, and music.  She didn't like the way the conversation was going, and I reminded her that everything we have that enables us to live comfortable and content lives is related to the industrial world we live in, including all the clothes she wears and all the food she eats.  It has to get transported to our house, and we use cars and trucks to do that, but somebody has to build the cars, and they need all the stuff to build the cars, and it takes industry to do that.  The book she had on her lap represented a marvel of modern industry, which included everything from logging trees to chemical treatment of that wood, to the chemical composition of the ink to print on the page, to the metal industries required to build the paper rollers, and the oil industries required to make the glue to hold it all together.  The fact that we spent only a few dollars for all of that amazing industry to come together so she could sit on the couch under a warm blanket with soft pillows and enjoy the words printed thereon, made her head swim with its implications.  I like reality checks sometimes.  Tree huggers and environmentalists and Occupy people need to get off their high horse and appreciate what they have sometimes.  Did I say my head hurt?  A little stream of thought, this is.  Like Yoda, I am.

So, my gratitude list:

1) I'm grateful for the industrial revolution, which has led society to this point where I can sit in my house with a laptop on my lap typing out something as unfocused as this here blog post.  I'm reading a book right now about Columbus's voyages to the Caribbean and it went well.
2) I'm grateful for the fact that while I do this, my young son is actually sitting with paper and pencil and struggling to get words on the page, and that I can sit next to him as he does so.  This is an important skill so he can learn to be more like his old man.
3) In general, I'm grateful for homework.  Given in appropriate amounts, it can reinforce within my children's heads the lessons they're supposed to be learning throughout the day.  The much harder part aside from doing it is actually getting them to do it, meaning that once they sit down to do it, it's usually not all that hard.

Anyway, wow.  I need some Tylenol.  I'm grateful for that, too ...

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