Mary Liz Ingram —  October 10, 2013 — Leave a comment

Repetition. Sometimes it is spirit-crushing monotony; sometimes it is a rhythm.

Lately, as my husband and I have been collapsing on the couch each evening, we have discovered a more defined explanation for our weariness. It occurred to me that all day we slowly and repetitiously teach. We train the puppy, “no bite, no bite, no bite, no bite.” We teach the baby, “sit down, sit down, sit down, sit down in your high chair.” We teach our son to read, our daughter to spell and learn place value to 1000 (in 2nd grade?!). I teach preschoolers to respect their teachers, follow the rules, be kind to others. My husband teaches teenagers to discover themselves, to make good choices. Teach, teach, teach. Over, and over, and over.

It may sound like I’m being negative. It is tiring sometimes, this repetition. But I do not intend negativity. It is a gift, to teach. To mold and shape and grow. It requires a growing patience, which I am trying hard to acquire more deeply each day.

In reflection upon this discovery, I reclined on the couch in a quiet moment and scribbled down a quick, unrevised poem.


Drip,  original photography

Drip, original photography

Teaching every moment
Teaching at work
Teaching my children
Teaching my dog
Teaching myself
Like a constant dripping
Reminding the same behaviors
Reciting the same words
Watching for signs of answers
Slowly shaping
Gently molding
Patient work
That doesn’t end
A gift
Often unrecognized
To others and ourselves
So we remind ourselves
Teaching brings goodness

Mary Liz Ingram


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