Children can learn far earlier than many of us believe. That’s why I began reading to all of my children while they were in the womb. Even in the womb, I figured our son, Elijah, was paying attention, because whenever I would thump my belly, he would thump back – EVERY time! Because we exposed him to words through a variety of means early on, he began reading at age 2. He now reads three grade levels ahead. We did the same for our little kindergartner, Miranda, who entered kindergarten reading and is now reading two grade levels ahead. We’re proud of them both!
Mesmerized while watching the little boy play the piano, I wondered would anyone know that he had the ability to play the piano if that piano wasn’t in his house? Would the world know that Tiger Woods had the ability to play golf, that Wilma Rudolph had the ability to be a track and field Olympian, that Venus and Serena Williams had the ability to play tennis, that Gabby Douglas had the ability to be a gymnast and that the Jackson family had the ability to be musicians if someone hadn’t exposed them to golf, track and field, tennis, gymnastics and music respectively?
Recently, I went into a gas station to pay for gas, and noticed that all the employees were Indian. Let me say immediately that I have no problem with that. I was looking at a family business. A teen was working as the cashier. I was looking at a family business that will fund his college education – no student loan debt! When I looked at the older gentleman, I was looking at a man who was leaving a legacy for his descendants. I see all of that when we go to our favorite Chinese restaurant, and the son is taking our order while my husband talks to his father. Even if his son never goes to college, he is leaving him financial security. We live in a society that teaches ‘rugged individualism.’ There’s nothing wrong with some people choosing that path. But if we look around and see members of our families who are struggling, maybe it’s time to take an inventory of the gifts God has given each family member, combine them with other family members’ to form a collective and create businesses for the family. They don’t have to be brick and mortar businesses, they can be online businesses. Everyone doesn’t have to quit their jobs to start the business – maybe the ones who are currently unemployed can run the business. I recently looked at my closest family members and thought, “Nick is an artist – among other things, Kayla is an artist and she writes well, my brother is an artist, I am writer – we should combine the talents God has given us to create businesses.” I’m sure when you look at your family members you will see all kinds of gifts and talents that God has given them that are going unused. Many of us have been looking outside ourselves for the answers to financial problems. Maybe God has been telling some of us, “You’ve always had the answer.”
I know I’m late on this, but I just discovered the farmers’ market. When I tasted the zucchini that I sautéed, my eyes stretched wide as I experienced the explosion of flavor. It was as if I had never tasted zucchini despite the fact that I have been purchasing it from nearby grocery stores for nearly two decades.
I purchased fresh snap beans from the farmers market recently as well. As I taught Elijah, 5, and Miranda, 4, how to snap the beans, I realized that I had not eaten fresh snap beans since my late great-grandmother grew them on Hilton Head Island, S.C, when I was a child in the late 70s and early 80s. I cook mine with chicken broth, a garlic clove and a seasoning blend. I peel a red potato or two and toss them in the pot of snap beans near the end of cooking time just as my late grandmother used to do. I forgot how simply delicious they are, and that I grew up eating the watermelon, lima beans and corn among other produce that my great-grandmother grew. We dined regularly on locally caught fish, crab, shrimp and oysters that the neighbors a mile up the two-lane road that is now the four-lane William Hilton Parkway, gave us. We ate fresh. It tasted wonderful, and we were eating organically before we knew what organic was.
While I love farmers’ markets, I am intrigued by the idea of our family growing some produce of our own. Deborah of the BlackEducationTV channel posted a five-minute video about their backyard mini greenhouse. She certainly inspired me to build my own. Actually, Lawrence would have fun building it, because he as built houses and quite a few other structures!