Wednesday, July 01, 2009

America has taught him well.

He came home from work early. "Today, I teach you."

His heavy ethnic accent (did you catch the accent at the end of this vlog?), the same it was the day he taught me twenty-five years ago, managed to intimidate my son. And me, all over again. "Leave him alone Tata." I whispered as I experienced a flashback of his nightly tutoring sessions with me, of mathematics lessons taught his way.

"No. I teach him."

And with that, my stubborn father lead my son to the garden to gather rocks. I watched them both from afar but close enough to rescue my son. My body stiff with fright that my son would experience the same stale breath, stern glances and negative enforcement that I had once been the recipient of. I allowed myself to exhale pushing away memories in order to convince myself that this truly was his way of connecting with his grandson. Through his love of mathematics.

"He means well. He means well. He means well." As I listened to my shallow breaths, my son's lesson started.

"3 times one row of 3 is..."

"Three!"

"3 times two rows of 3 is..."

"Six!"

"3 times three rows of 3 is..."

The painless lesson continued with enthusiastic high-fives between the two after each answer. A simple gesture missing twenty-five years ago.


After so many years in America the man has learned how to positively reinforce through high-fives. Who said you couldn't teach an old dog new tricks? It might have taken decades but today I was so proud. Of them both.

49classy comments:

Sarah said...

"The painless lesson continued with enthusiastic high-fives between the two after each answer."

My Dad used to do the same thing. As close as we are in age, my Dad is probably a decade younger than your Tata (I have such young parents!) so I think it's cool to see your Tata acting so young!

So glad that The Little Man (or is he The Big Man, now?) "gets" the times tables!

MaNiC MoMMy™ said...

Oh my gosh, that is so awesome! Can he teach me my times tables? I still get stuck!

Mr Lady said...

AWWWWWWW!!!!

Kristen said...

your blog is adorable! times tables are so hard to learn and to teach!

DysFUNctional Mom said...

Absolutely wonderful!

Marinka said...

Your son is so lucky.

Mandy said...

How sweet and how awesome for your son to be able to have this memory. :)

Scary Mommy said...

Love this post! It is so sweet watching our parents with our children, isn't it? I'm all warm and tingly now. :)

Jessica said...

What an amazing lesson for Jay...and your father I'm sure feels he is passing something of himself on to his grandson. That is very cool.

Krystyn said...

Funny how much they change when it's their grandkids...and how awesome that he taught him something!

Robyn said...

I've found that my parents have been kinder and gentler with my son than they were with me. Which I'm grateful for, but it is still hard to sit back, breath held, waiting for them to make your kid cry the way they used to do to you!

Immoral Matriarch said...

Awww, that's so sweet! You know I'm in love with your dad - posts like this are so not helping!

Stephanie said...

How sweet!

designHER Momma said...

this is awesome! and the pictures....what a memory for him to have someday!

haniaski said...

AWESOME ! ! !

LceeL said...

I love the visual aids. Simple, yet effective. But it's different for him now. You, he wanted to inform and instruct - it was Important!! Him, his grandson, he wants to be close to. That, too, is Important.

Kim said...

I love that last photo..and all I can say is awesome.. all of it.

Crystal D said...

I love it. This is really awesome.

amanda said...

incredibly fun! i almost teared up a bit...almost. ;0)

JennyMac said...

Love it. My Dad (retired police officer) would rather teach our two year old about Precautions, How to trust no one, how to make Top Ramen (and someday how to hold a .357 properly).

Junebug said...

Once again, a great post! Loved it.

Denise said...

I just love the old fashioned way of doing things. Now everything is on video of some sort. Actually, I love the visualization!

Jo said...

This brought tears to my eyes. First, because I too was the receipient of these types of lessons (are Polish parents just clones of one another) and secondly because that high five was VITAL. To you and your son. And I get that. Completely. It is a tangible expression of acceptance, and really, even adult children still yearn for that.
I am so happy for all THREE of you!

buzki
jo

I am P said...

gotta luv grandpa's and admiring their softer side, this time around!

Don Mills Diva said...

This was a wonderful post Pauline - the relationship between your dad and his grandson brought tears to my eyes...

renatamic said...

what a beautiful relationship your tata (aka dziadek) has with his grandson!! buzka to them both!!

Karen MEG said...

I loved this post! The picture almost made me cry :).

I find my parents are so different with my kids than they were ever with me at the same age. My Dad used to have me in lockdown mode with math too, although he was never like that with his grandson.

I need to borrow some of those rocks to reinforce with my boy.

Tracey - Just Another Mommy Blog said...

Rocks work. Better than candies, because they tend to disappear between each problem...

Nan Patience said...

very nice

Amy said...

I LOVE this post. Wonderful!!

Controlling My Chaos said...

That is the sweetest thing. I'd say maybe YOU taught the old dog some new tricks. Did you ever think of that?

Legallyblondemel said...

I like this. What a moment to capture in words & on camera.

Chandra said...

Your Dad really does know best doesn't he! What a great way to teach and learn. Who needs all this new technology, you know sometimes the ol' fashioned ways are the best!!

Cecily R said...

This is one of my all time favorite OHMommy posts...it's perfect. The perfect words and the perfect captures of what I'm sure will be a wonderful memory for all three of you. :)

Tara R. said...

So incredibly sweet! Good for Tata and good for Jay.

Elaine A. said...

That is such a special relationship. This post makes me all weepy...

Courtney said...

This was sweet...I think it's a rule, parents are more stern than grandparents...and I totally caught the accent.

Kate Coveny Hood said...

I've seen this with my own father too. He's a little more patient with the grandkids. Haven't seen his head explode once!

So Not Mom-a-licious said...

How fantastic is that? It's funny that, for some of us, we cringe when our parents fall back into the parenting roll they had with us. But we turned out okay right? And any connection is better then none. Who knows, maybe when Jay is older, married and has children, he will teach them the same thing and tell his children that he learned it from his Grandfather! Now this lesson has become something to pass down in the family. =)

Life As I Know It said...

Relationships between father/child are much different than between grandfather/child.
And so lovely that relationship is.

Our Crooked Tree said...

What a great story! I love watching my dad with my children...in their relationships I get something I missed as a child:)

Jaina said...

What a beautiful lesson.

AreWeThereYet? said...

Tears in my eyes.....just wait until your son teaches tata the art of the hand bump

Maggie May said...

HOw totally sweet. ANd your son is gorgeous!

Blessings From Above said...

Awe...so sweet! This is a wonderful memory to have documented for both Jay and his Tata.

Hope you are enjoying your trip!

Elisa said...

That's so lovely. It's said that when parents become grandparents, they soften up. I think it's true. My mom is not nearly as hard on Sarah as she was on me. Glad to see things are working out for you and the kids back home! Have a lovely time.

Nancy said...

I held my breath through the post after I read your worries. How awesome that Grandpa made that such a positive learning experience!

What a great story.

ShredderFeeder said...

I wish...I wish...I wish my father had been able to learn as yours apparently has...

Congratulations.... you've managed to raise both your father and your son at the same time.

The New Black said...

I guess a high five makes anything better, right? :)

I do like the visual way of teaching though...makes sense.

 

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