Thursday, March 12, 2009

Don't judge a book

Great to get back to reality when I visited a parent with whom I had a few doubts about how healthy the home environment might be. The young fellas are hard case and life might be a roller coaster for them in the future. I went around, as I have a few times before, and found dad in his "4 by 4 back yard" a housing NZ special. There was no sign of a weed-eater and the "grass" was certainly in need of a cut. The rubble that housing NZ gives you means that a motor-mower wouldn't have a chance with the terrain of the yard.
The beautiful thing is that if they had a mower it would get in the way of the spinach, silver-beet, watermelons, pumpkin, potatoes, passionfruit and countless tomato plants. Sure dad admitted it needed a bit of weeding but the garden was "going good".
I asked if the kids liked tomatoes as I know my billy lids aren't yet keen on tommys. He said there is no choice. I then got a Forest Gump "shrimp" story. Tomato soup, tomato salad, tomato on toast, roast tomato, sliced tomato, barbequed tomato......etc..

I suppose the point is that we often are quick to judge families and kids by stereotypes. Here is one loving dad doing the best he can. I went home with my stereotype shoved where it belongs and with a lesson on parenting.


Bex said...

I love this blog.

Cheryl said...

Great story. I agree we are quick to jump to conclusions or see things through our own experiences. Who are we to judge others?
Over the years I have met some amazing people doing some pretty special things for their kids with limited resources.
The thing is that your visit created a relationship which will only strengthen learning. I reckon the parent knows you understood and acknowledged his support of his family. He's more likely to support the school and continue developing the relationship and that is powerful