FINDING THE WORDS

WORDS OF EXTINCTION

This morning as I was posting the next weeks vocabulary words on our white board I found myself perplexed. You see, our white board vocabulary words are the ‘bonus’ words that I would like to expose our children to. We have grade level vocabulary words and robust vocabulary words that they must learn every week. The white board words are those that I might have stumbled upon in a book or that have come up in discussions. These words have spoken to me and therefore I am compelled to expose my children to them. One of the words was ‘bravura’ and this is where the bewilderment comes in. Bravura is an old and lovely word that has lived among the musical world for centuries. Bravura: Noun: 1) a musical passage requiring exceptional agility and technical skill in execution 2) a florid brilliant style 3) a show of daring brilliance. It is of Italian origin meaning literally, bravery, from bravare – to show off. The first known date of use is 1757. The standing ovation and “BRAVO” were birthed from the word bravura. So there you have it. Why then was I so baffled? The word, as it appears, it now extinct. When you search the word in our daughters dictionary, it comes up, “word not found.” Word not found? It has become extinct, abolished, archaic, deceased, defunct, departed, disappeared, done for, doused, ended, exanimate, exterminated, extinguished, inactive, lifeless, lost, no longer known, outmoded, passed on, passé, snuffed out, superseded, terminated, unknown, vanished, vanquished, voided, obsolete…dead. Well…I’m outraged! It is now my mission to resurrect the word Bravura. Our children and their children and their children’s children will all know this word and will spout if off willingly. For such actions, the world will be a better place.

ARTICULATION AMONG TODDLERS AND PRESCHOOLERS

For anyone who knows our children, you may have noticed a thing or two about them. One of which is, they like LOVE to talk! When it comes to our 4-year-old it is not simply a generalized statement, it is emphatically so. This dear child has earned the nickname Breezy Jr. from family members. Junior of course implies that his father was also a talker, although today you would never know. As legend would have it, my husband was quite the talker as a child. You just couldn’t get him to stop talking. I have come to the conclusion that this has been genetically inherited by our 4-year-old son. There are times days moments when I wish I could find the mute button, but for the most part I am enthralled by his expansive vocabulary.

Thus brings about the main point of this thought process. I have always found it curious as to why people assume that young children do not have the mental capacity to understand, process and furthermore use complex vocabulary. Personally, I find myself hard pressed to find anything more adorable than a toddler who can spout off words that most adults cannot comprehend. I am constantly amazed at how our children have absorbed vocabulary, mind you, not always the most appropriate at times, but I digress. There little minds are an expansive black-hole with the sole purpose of taking in as much knowledge as possible. So why limit it? I will admit that I have (on more than one occasion) found myself talking to a child with ‘baby talk’. For the most part I try to speak with them as I would any other human being. If they do not understand a word, they will quickly ask and I will most likely stumble to find an appropriate way to dull down and explain it on their level (mind you, I am no Harvard genius). However, I’ve found it rarely to be a problem.

Just yesterday, as I was serving lunch, a discussion emerged that confirmed this theory. These discussion have become more and more frequent with each passing week. Which makes this mother very proud. The kids were playing and I had announced that lunch was on the table and to please find their seats. Our 4-year-old said, “yes, but I think I am going to take my plate into the living room and eat on the floor.” To which I replied, “no, I do not think that is necessary.” His immediate response was, “actually, it is very necessary, my cartoon is on.” Well….with vocabulary like that, how can you argue?

Personally, I try to carry out each conversation with our children with this mantra: I see you, I hear you, what you say to me matters. Their opinions, cares and worries carry great validity. When they can articulate these things with such pose and within proper context, it should certainly be considered. In many ways, their ability to be articulate enriches my own mind on a daily basis. You see, I believe our children are our greatest teachers. They force us to expand our limits. They have the ability to cultivate the best in all of us, if we will only listen. There are many times that the philosophical knowledge that pours from their tiny mouths is of pure beauty. We should all be so lucky to see the world through a heart of a child. The opportunities that have been given to me through the ability to be a SAHM and Homeschooler to our children can never be measured. They inspire me, encourage me, and yes, as times it can be stressful trying  frustrating draining. By simply keeping the big picture in mind, the spilled milk, broken toys and sibling rivalry are inconsequential.

When I grow up, I want to be like my children…

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One response to “FINDING THE WORDS

  1. I agree with you completely. We have never used “baby talk” with our children and it drives me nuts when my parents use improper grammar when talking to them. I just don’t get it. Don’t we teach by example? Why would you want them to pick up bad grammar habits, because that is how you speak to them? It’s very frustrating!

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