My sister, Pearl, home-schooled all four of her kidsÂ as she took a break from her being an attorney, editor and writer.Â She shared an amusing and enlightening story about her son and melon moments.
Pearl’s Seedless Watermelon Theory: How to Deal With the Inconvenience of Raising Children in a World of Convenience
Watching my son spit out bites of watermelon while seeds remained in his mouth made me realize I had made a costly error in judgment.Â I should have bought the watermelon labeled, “Crammed Full of Seeds” instead of the seedless one.
But alas, now, many seedless melon years later have me looking at a pile of sweet melon on the ground and a very unhappy and frustrated son with a mouthful of seeds standing in front of me.Â Who the heck doesn’t know how to spit out seeds?Â Â And, why does he look like he’s about to cry?Â No one cries over watermelon!
Randomly speaking, seedless fruit causes the same problems as, say, trophies-for-all, no “F” report cards, fileted headless boneless fish, air conditioning, endless hot water, andÂ bug-less indoor playgrounds.Â They all make my job as a mother just that much harder.
One goal I have is for my children to go to the outside world and experience it as a vastly easier, more convenient, more fascinating, more just, more delicious, more appreciative, immensely fairer, and a far gentler place to live in than their home, and not vice versa.
In other words, start off in the back of the room — the very, very back… not the front.
Make your kids eat what you cook, do their share of chores, reconcile fights they didn’t start, drink room temp tap water, share when there’s not enough, offer first to others, don’t take last piece, thank others often, don’t whine, forgive others but do the time for the crime if you’re wrong, do more not less, don’t compare what you have, apologize for unintended hurts, re-use towels, air dry hands, eat leftovers, wear clothes more than once, don’t use disposables at home, don’t ask for gifts, grant favors often but only ask for one in an emergency, expect no credit for good deeds, but accept blame for Â bad ones, and know with absolute certaintyÂ that others will sometimes forget your birthday.
Remember, the seedless watermelon is what you want to end up with, not with what you start.Â Otherwise, you might end up with a mouthful of seeds, a cry face on, and looking at all the goodness on the ground that you just spit out.