Monday, November 22, 2010

Laces

I sat Indian Style (or as they say now “criss-cross apple sauce”) closest to the base of the piano that Mrs. Miller was playing. I don’t recall if Mrs. Miller actually played songs or if she just plinked away on the keys to get the Kindergarten class’ attention. Almost every day she would read a story from the piano bench to the 18 or so kids sitting on the ground before her.

Usually I would sit in the middle of the pack, or more likely towards the back with Jeff Stewart and Mark Greeves, but not that day, that day I had something to prove. I don’t remember the story Mrs. Miller was reading because I was too busy concentrating on the task at hand. I had to time everything perfectly. Mrs. Miller, with the book facing her, would read a few sentences, then she would turn the book towards the class and with a very slow sweeping motion from our left to right (her right to left)show the class the pictures in the book.

As Mrs. Miller read, I slowly untied my shoe. As she showed the class the pictures I would try to quickly tie my shoe, muttering under my breath something about carrots and making rabbit ears. I tied and untied my shoe several times during the story. Mrs. Miller finally finished the story and asked the class some questions about the moral of the story. I did not pay attention to the discussion I was busy tying and untying. I was frustrated that my plan did not work. Just as Mrs. Miller was dismissing the class back to our desks I untied and tied my shoe with much flourish. I exaggerated every move, crossing the laces, making a huge loop, pushing the loop through.

“Oh Billy!” Mrs. Miller said with a huge smile. “You are tying your own shoes. That’s great.”

I looked up and smiled, finally she noticed.

“Listen up everybody.” Mrs. Miller said to the class. “Billy has learned to tie his shoes. That means he gets a star on his accomplishment chart.”

Mrs. Miller took out a red shiny star from a small box and stuck it next to my name on a chart hanging on the chalk board. “And now Billy has 3 stars so he gets to help hand out our snacks today.”

It was one of the greatest days of my early life. I think I was one of the last kids in my class to learn how to tie my shoe. It was a big accomplishment for someone who looked like this.

Yes that is Mrs. Miller.


When people used to ask my dad how he did it raising so many kids he used to respond by saying he really only need to teach the first few and the rest of us learned from them. I learned how to tie my shoes from my brothers. I am not sure which one. Dennis probably took too long to explain. Kevin was probably too quick. My guess it was either Dan or John who taught me to tie my shoes. It was also probaly Dan or John who would give me noogies to make my hair look like that.

Most of the sneakers for the kids in my house have Velcro straps. There is no real need to teach them how to tie shoes. Do you think that as their generation grows that their shoes will always have a Velcro straps?

19 comments:

Ethan, Zach, and Emma's Mom said...

I think about that a lot. Zachie just got a "U" on his report card for tying shoes. Because he has velcro. MOM FAIL.

BTW, that is the greatest.hair.ever.

M@ said...

that hair is KICKIN!

My son is almost 13 and still doesn't tie them the right way. Velcro is a blessing and a curse. A lot of things are to tell the truth. I still regret the day I bought our first game system.

Anonymous said...

That is still the scariest ventiloquist dummy ever !

Anonymous said...

What lessons did you learn from your second to youngest brother when he would show you pictures from his books?

Anonymous said...

I do not know much about velcro but I know you look like a scotch tape model.

Anonymous said...

Locks without Love

eclectic said...

During several soccer games this past season, kids cleats would come untied in the middle of the field, and they either stepped right out of their shoes exposing their tender little feet to others' cleats (dangerous!), or they stopped in the midst of the action to bend down and tie them (dangerous!). Clearly, shoe laces constitute an inexcusable danger to our nation's children, and Congress should probably pass a law banning them.

kcinnova said...

Thanks to Velcro, it took my kids YEARS to learn to tie their shoes. And then most of my boys just leave them tied and slip their shoes off and on again.
Does that make them smart or lazy?

Coffee Bean said...

LOVE the hair!

The Locks without Love comment made me laugh out loud.

Kathy said...

Thanks for sharing that picture again. Anonymous cracks me up!

Kathy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Melinda said...

Good story. And even though your hair is a bit screwed up, I think you look adorable.

Ali said...

UM. Mother of the year right here. I have absolutely no idea who taught my kids to tie their shoes...because it most definitely was NOT me.

SciFi Dad said...

You could probably just stop writing and post that photo once a week and STILL get comments.

As for shoelaces, I think that velcro only works when you're just using the shoes for day to day use. Once a child gets into sports (or, as in the case of my daughter, an ankle sprain requiring better supporting footwear) they will need lace-up shoes and be forced to learn.

Laura said...

I think I'll have to teach my kid how to tie shoes because I have to buy them often enough that I get the less expensive tie shoes every other time.

The picture is always great but I still don't get why you were dressed like a girl if you had so many older brothers.

kalki said...

Happy (belated) Thanksgiving to you, Bill. And to your sweet little family and your crazy larger family. Hope your turkey day rocked.

Bogart said...

Dude...I love the hair. Usually, you only see that after, ehem, relations...

JP said...

Power laces. Great hair. It is very European.

Mhairi said...

Awesome post!

When I was little I wasn't allowed to have velcro (my little pony) shoes until I could prove that I could tie laces. Same went for getting a cool pink digital watch!- not allowed until I could tell the time on an analog clock!

Sure put the fire under my butt to learn!

:)