My tribute to homework

Homework time—I love it… Oddly enough there’s no sarcasm attached to that statement. In fact, some of my favourite time spent is when my nieces and I sit down together at the kitchen table and hit the books. Perhaps it’s a bit of nostalgia—perhaps its just the time spent together. But whatever it is, there seems to be something about the way that homework time transcends in the mere matter of an hour or so, from an air of frustration, confusion, and anger painted across my nieces faces, to confidence, excitement about subjects, pride in their work, and happiness beaming from their eyes as they look down at their finished product with delight, before running off to show mom and dad the fruits of their labour.

As I write this in fact, the table is strewn with note books and pens, crumpled papers and highlighters, scribbled outlines and empty pop cans, as the girls intensely concentrate—masterfully perfecting the finishing touches on their essays.

Between questions and brainstorming I squeeze in moments here and there, hoping to put pen to paper and find motivation, or at the very least, release, from a hectic work week.

As I watch these girls begin to beam with contentment in their final products coming together, I’ve decided, in the spirit of homework and education, to share some of the lessons they’ve helped to teach me over the past few months living with my family.

Lesson 1
Never under estimate the power of a Hug.

So basic. A Hug. But they are so much more to me. They are Heart warming, sorrow melting, stress breaking—moments of perfection. It’s such a simple concept, but so powerful in my little corner of the universe these days— perhaps it’s overly sentimental or a little bit sappy, but they seem to shatter all negativity in me even on the most difficult of days, and remind me of how blessed I am to have my family with me in my life.

Lesson 2
Moments of epic significance are not always of epic proportion

Some of the smallest trivial moments of my life spent are the ones I treasure most dearly with my family. My nieces and I have a habit each night of having what we have lovingly dubbed the “toothbrush party”. Simply put, we brush our teeth together, wash our faces before bed, and spend a few minutes together to just chat and catch up on the latest happenings at school and work.

My favourite time spent with my sister in law is in the mornings before anyone else get up, when its just her and I to talk, and drink coffee, for about 15 minutes before I go to work. Sometimes, the mornings are quiet, and nothing is said, and at times, we talk too much, and I run late for work, but they are times I look forward to throughout the week, and miss, when our schedules don’t allow them.

And last, and certainly not least, there are the flyers—the day when the flyers come to the house, and despite not particularly caring much about the “bargains” or “great deals” my brother and I spend a half hour, sifting through them looking for amusing generic items, and ridiculous and entertaining product labels always sharing a good laugh as we play our flyer equivalent of “where’s Waldo.”

They are simple, but they are moments through out my days and weeks that I simply adore.

And last but certainly not least…

Lesson 3
Sometimes it’s okay to dance like no one is watching, and sing like no one is listening—even when they most certainly are.

I’d be lying if I said I didn’t know how to dance the Hoedown Throw down by Miley Cirus, or haven’t belted out Justin Bieber lyrics along side my nieces in the car. And yes, I’ve danced the Macarena in my living room with the windows open—and no matter how geeky it may be—I wouldn’t change it for the world. While anyone reading this may think I’m just about the biggest looser of a 26 year old know to man, I know two girls who, at those moments, may have very well placed me in the running for auntie of the year, and if the geeky shenanigans, and uncoordinated dance moves was enough to put a smile on their face, then it was worth every moment.