Grow Where You Are Planted

This simple pot on our front stoop has become somewhat symbolic to me, a sign of season’s change, reminding me there’s even beauty in snow covered dead plants when you look hard enough. Which, in a roundabout way, reminds me…
I have a little story to tell you. You may want a cup of something before you settle in.
Once upon a time, before school days, homework, taekwondo, hectic schedules, my kids and I spent a lot of time just being together here at home. Our days had a rhythm that was all ours, that usually involved parks, libraries, meetings with friends. At home, there were pots and pans to play with, ponies to build stables for, thomas trains to chug chug to their destinations. We were, each of us here, busy in our own ways. We liked the background noise of some kid-friendly music, or a good audio book, when we were whiling away an afternoon, busying ourselves with our tasks at hand. Around this time I believe I was flipping through a Chinaberry catalogue and read about an audio program for kids called Boomerang!. It was described as “NPR for kids” and, as a self-confessed news junkie (for better or worse), my interest was immediately peaked. I ordered the box of 4 cassette tapes. When they arrived I pushed play, and the kids and I listened. This was not simple an audio tape of a kid’s book being read to them. This was information…jokes…facts…and all told by kids. As a family, we were on board from the very beginning.
I started asking friends if they’d heard of Boomerang! and was surprised that none had. None! I clearly had stumbled onto a very well-hidden gem. Why didn’t teachers know about it? None I talked to did. Homeschoolers? Again, none around here. My family became the local authorities. We would grab a new one as a download whenever we could find them (not easy to find back then). I mentioned these programs in this space as a great summer activity back in 2006. These have been an amazing accompanyment to our daily lives. Many summer afternoons the kids have spent listening to Boomerang! in their treehouse (which is not really a treehouse, but a structure that seems to be up high in the trees, so, a treehouse). During a long summer day of being at home (or a long winter one, for that matter), a 70 minute long audio program the kids can play and relax while listening to, is pure bliss.
Emma and Ian recently listened to Dave’s episode of the “Money Mess” (issue 10-12)… again, keep in mind, the explained by kids, for kids is powerful. I think even I got a better understanding of it. Emma is doing a project on the French Revolution and went back to an old episode to listen to a kid “interview” Napoleon. The kids pulled out the segment on Henry Ford for yet another school project. I love the idea that they are not surfing the internet randomly looking for this info, that they have this available to them this way.  If we don’t have a particular episode, it is very easy to go back to the website and look through the back issues. I will never try to explain quantum physics to my kids, for fear of turning them off of the idea of ever wanting to know more. But Boomerang! will tell them.
Flash forward to just a couple of months ago. Peter and I got a phone call from the creator of Boomerang! (also known affectionately as “Dave Schmave the Elevator Man” by my kids and others). That voice was recognized by both of us immediately. The teller of our favorite stories! (And by the way Dave, I love that my daughter thinks you’re cooler than Hannah Montana.) Through a series of conversations, Peter and I partnered up with Dave, and Boomerang!. We all felt strongly that it was time to spread the word to a wider audience.
Well, I am very sure you’ve reached the end of your cup now. Thanks for reading along, and for your support, as always. You guys are the best.

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