ANOTHER DAY IN THE COUNTRYSIDE: Spread some fertilizer | Marion County File

Another day in the countryside

Spread some fertilizer

© Another day in the countryside

This week my daughter called and said, “How about playing Jokers and Pegs on Facetime later this afternoon?

I agreed it would be fun to do. It’s not so much about who wins or loses a game that is played in such a strange way, but the conversations that take place between the parties. Isn’t that true for most of the games we play?

My grandson was my partner. He looked less than enthusiastic, stepping away from the game board, collapsing onto the couch – you know how teenagers can be. My daughter kind of nodded her head to sit down and pay attention.

He came back into the frame and said, “I’m sorry, but I’m not particularly in a good mood.”

Of course, we were curious as to what had brought on his state of mind, and he said, “Well I’m trying to write a 100 word essay on why I’m interested in taking a course. on Zoom that I do not particularly want to take.

His school offered extracurricular courses to students interested in everything related to computers: graphics, coding, even protection against cyber attacks. Space was limited and Dagfinnr was tasked with explaining why he was interested in taking the course and why he thought it would be a good fit.

That’s a mouthful of information for a 14-year-old who has just started high school. I could understand why he was in a bad mood. He had tried writing the essay but didn’t like the way it sounded.

It seemed the hardest part was telling what he was doing right.

“For good reason,” I tell my daughter. “What child of this age knows himself? They’re just supposed to find out.

I doubt that teens spend a lot of time thinking about what they’re naturally good at. They’re much more aware of all the things they’re not good at, probably because we remind them – often!

At least it was true for me. I remember what I was like at that age – awkward, shy, hesitant, and scared that I would miss something important, be it how I was built to understand geometry.

While we were chatting, we came up with some ideas on what Dagfinnr might say.

“Isn’t that bragging?” My grandson wanted to know.

The next day I was still thinking about the 100 word essay my grandson was writing. While he was in my head, I texted him quite a bit. I tend to be a wordy person, as you can tell from this column.

“I know we’ve given you a lot of advice,” I told him, “but in the end, write it down however you like, say whatever you like in your own words, and trust that you’ll learn something. This is one of the ways to learn more about yourself.

I didn’t think he would respond. It was not necessary. When I was his age, I probably would have thought that any communication this long was what I called a “sermon.” But he answered.

“I appreciate your contribution, Baba,” he wrote.

I laughed to myself and replied, “Well, you have another good trait: you’re a diplomat!” ”

Some of you reading this column are probably thinking, “I’m glad I didn’t have to write a 100-word essay on my strengths! You would probably find yourself searching for words, muttering to yourself, “What am I good at these days?” “

As an older generation, I think we should think about this and make a list on our own.

This is important because, when we know our own strengths, we can more easily recognize the strengths of others. And I think it’s our job to reflect those positive traits and skills that we see in others – especially those in our circle of family and friends.

Too often our own fear for our children and grandchildren makes us more critical than affirmative. Surely you remember what it was like to be a teenager. Even though it’s much more complicated for kids today than it is for us, there is still a similarity.

It’s just another day in the countryside, and we’re all thirsty for a positive affirmation, so let’s spread it all over the place. It’s like manure in the field – enriching and stimulating growth!

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