Wednesday, January 11, 2012

somebody who/that...

I'm the kind of person that takes too many pictures of her cat.

I've been teaching relative pronouns. I like guys that aren't too serious. I'm the kind of person who needs coffee in the morning. We use this structure to define and describe ourselves and others. It's intermediate grammar and my students always catch on fast. I think we come naturally to defining ourselves. I'm this, but certainly not that. I've been thinking a lot lately about this defining and describing. It comes up all the time with my kids and lately with myself.

Last night, I was leaving the house to go for a run when my neighbour called out to me. She said there was a toad in her house, and she needed help getting it out. I called my husband, I wanted to go for my run and figured he could deal with it. My husband went in, and then quickly came out and called me. It was upstairs, in the toilet. Well, this I had to see. It wasn't a toad, it was a frog. A big frog, like the kind they disect in biology class, swimming around the toilet bowl. Can't you just grab it? I asked my husband? He sheepishly, shook his head. With a plastic bag over my hand I grabbed the frog and took him out to the little creek than runs by our place. As I was going, my neighbour said, I knew she would do it, she loves animals. I was so surprised, I have never defined myself in this way. Because you know, my sister was the animal lover, I was the bookish one. Later, with my husband we laughed because, I had no problem grabbing the frog, but putting my hand in someone else's toilet (it was immaculate) totally grossed me out. For him, the toilet wasn't a problem, but he could not touch the frog.

I was telling my daughter this over breakfast. And I asked her, which kind of person are you: frog or toilet? She was frog of course. She's a lot like me in many ways. I'm making her go to sports camp but she hates it because, Mommy I'm not a sports person, I'm an arts person. I used to think exactly the same thing and I was totally wrong, and I wish I had figured it out sooner. I tell her, you can be both. Your brain will work better if you move your body. She doesn't believe me. She doesn't actually hate camp either; she hates the idea of it. She admits she has fun, but refuses to like it. I like to draw and tell stories, not do sports. I wish she wouldn't limit herself like that.

She'll probably figure it out though. One of these days someone (who's not her mom) will say, wow you're so strong. And she'll believe it and take it on, and define herself with it. Like me, the animal lover. I'm the kind of person who saves frogs from toilets. The perfect example sentence for my students tonight.

1 comment:

  1. Great post Laura! I would have saved the frog too, but definitely with the plastic bag. Teaching your daughter to be diverse and not be pigeon holed into one thing is a great lesson that she will fall back on for her entire life.