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A Manner of Speaking Sep/Oct '98

by Bonnie Neugebauer
September/October 1998
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Article Link: https://www.childcareexchange.com/article/a-manner-of-speaking/5012304/

It was his unusual gait that caught my eye. The young father dragged one foot, creating a path in the sand with the toe of his sneaker. His son toddled behind, cheerfully, seriously, following the line. When I spotted their tiny parade, the line wound back through the sand for at least 400 yards. What a playful way to encourage a beach walk free of any tugging of body parts, barrage of instructions, or nagging encouragement.

I was waiting for my luggage when I noticed the two brothers. The three year old was neat and tidy, hair combed, shirt tucked in. He waited patiently in the periphery of adult conversation, holding his mother's hand. His older brother just looked like trouble. His hair stuck out in all directions, his clothes were twisted, his face and hands streaked with airplane grime. The father raced between wife and child, searching frantically for a method of control, as his son kicked each segment of the baggage carousel with loud, systematic concentration. Tension built among family members and onlookers alike. Not a playful soul in the crowd.

The spirit of the playful father reminds me of my husband Roger's creative, fun-loving approach to life in general, and ...

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