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FAVORITE SONGS AND STORIES.....AND MORE MEMORIES


"Greetings and salutations, my friends".....as Charlotte the spider would say....

April showers are falling steadily as I write this, and instead of chanting the familiar verse of "Rain, rain! Go away!  Come again some other day!," I am enjoying the soft patter as it hits my skylights.  The warm smell of mud and wet grass is wafting through my open deck door, and the sound of the gentle rain is therapeutic tonight...

It has been a difficult ten days since my father passed away, and the feelings of loss and sadness continue to weigh heavily on my heart.  Being together with some of my family members this past weekend helped though.  We shared many fond memories and old photos of Dad, and read through condolence cards from old friends with gratitude and pride.  He was very well-respected and admired, and I can only hope to be remembered as fondly by so many in my lifetime!

My students have been very understanding of my current sadness. When my tears come at unexpected moments,  a quiet hush falls on our classroom, and whoever is nearest to the tissue box at that time just delivers it to me.  To counter my "waterworks" and reassure my little ones that I will be okay eventually, I try to share a funny story to lift our spirits.  Today's anecdote related to an excerpt I'd read to them from  Junie B. Jones, Personal Beeswax by Barbara Parks.  There is a journal entry in the book where Junie B. writes a "note home" to her teacher's parents telling them how their "boy" (Mr. Scary) behaves at school.   This afternoon my group discussed (and had a good chuckle about) what they might tell my father about me.

Their list of things to tell "Papa Boney" about "his girl" included:

  • She sometimes tells us to "quit acting like a bunch of ya-hoos!"  She says you used to tell her that when she was not being well-behaved on long car trips!
  •  She sometimes calls us by our first and last name when she "means business," just like you used to do when she was a little girl.
  • She rarely raises her voice when she is a little crabby.  Instead, she speaks quietly and calmly, so we have to really listen carefully, just like you used to do.
  • She often exclaims, "Jiminey Cricket!," just like you used to do, when she is surprised or excited about something.

Other things my students might tell my father is that I love to share poems every morning during our "Rhyme Time" lessons.   I think that knowledge would make Dad smile, because I developed my appreciation for musical, lyrical, rhythmic, and alliterative verse at a young age while sitting on his lap.  He used to read to my sisters and I from a big book of Mother Goose Nursery Rhymes, and we'd chant happily along with him to "Hickory Dickory Dock" and "Sing A Song of Sixpence."    

Another thing they might tell him is that we sing the songs he taught me with my guitar every morning.  "I've Been Working On The Railroad," "You Are My Sunshine," and "She'll Be Coming 'Round The Mountain" are all tunes he used to serenade us with at bedtime.  He would stretch out in the bottom bunk and soothe us to sleep.  That memory of his voice drifting up to my top bunk will remain forever in my mind and heart.  These lyrics were my favorite....

You are my sunshine,
my only sunshine.
You make me happy
when skies are gray.
You'll never know dear,
how much I love you.
Please don't take 
my sunshine away...

My students would also tell my father that I love books, just like he used to, and that I make time to share their magic aloud at least 3-4 times every day.  They would tell him that I am a storyteller, song leader, and wordsmith, just like he used to be.

They would tell him that I can only hope to be as good a parent and role model for my own children as he was to me.  They would tell him that I am the teacher I am today because of all these lessons that I learned from him....
 
 
 
As always, thanks so much for reading. Know that your time, interest, and continued support is appreciated. May you continue to teach your children well, share your story, and hold a song in your heart!
 
Gratefully,
Jennifer Reynolds
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4 comments:

  1. What a sweet post! You have been in my thoughts and prayers. My mom used to sing "You Are My Sunshine" to us when we were in the basement during a bad storm or tornado warning. I do that with my kids now. :)

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    1. Thanks so much, Jennifer. Trying to keep calm and carry on, day by day here!
      Gratefully,
      ~Jennifer

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  2. I am so sorry to hear of your beloved father's passing. I had no idea or I would have said something earlier. I was just going to contact you to ask you about something else, but I shall wait until you've had some more reflective time. I want you to know that your comments and likes on Facebook bring a smile to my face. xoxo

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    1. Hello again, Kimberly! Feel free to contact me with your questions/idea whenever it is convenient! My e-mail at storiesandsongs2@gmail or a FB message works! Your picture of Annie reading in a comfy chair warmed my heart. She seems like a Ramona Quimby-type gal?!

      ~Jennifer

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