Monday, June 19, 2017

Mowing by Osmosis

Growing up, I was expected to help out around the house.  I never got an allowance or was paid to do those jobs, but incurring the disappointment of Mom by not doing them or doing them not to her expectations was not a good thing.  Typically resulted in completely redoing the chore or a really good chewing out. Being a single mom most of her Mom years, meant she needed help and I needed to learn these things. I wasn't always the brightest star in the sky.

  Webster's Dictionary defines Osmosis as this: :  a process of absorption or diffusion suggestive of the flow of osmotic action; especially :  a usually effortless often unconscious assimilation 

Smart Tutor states: “Learning through osmosis” is an analogy for natural, organic and  indirect way of learning. To learn through osmosis means to learn by immersion an exposure. For example, children learn their family’s native language through osmosis.
So if you want your child to learn something, immerse them as much as possible in whatever it is as a way of learning seamlessly. Learning a language is a prime example of this, however it can apply to anything, through a gradual, unconscious process... You never know what they will pick up and what connections they will make."  
While I do agree that kids pick up on things they have observed, some things just need to be outright taught.  As a mom, I understand this completely. It's the countless hours of doing and folding laundry, vacuuming and moping the floors, putting away dishes, brushing their teeth, making their beds, driving to them to various functions and so much more.  You think they would observe you doing these things daily, but these are things we've had to teach our kids. Sometimes, they pick up on things we never knew they were observing, and it befuddles us. 
Mom, brother, and myself (at the wheel)
Every time I help Honey mow the yard,  I am reminded of my mom.  In fact, I remember the first time I was allowed to use the riding mower and it was not good.  My mom had mowed the yard hundreds of times, but I didn't sit there observing her while taking notes.  That's where she went wrong.  That red Snapper mower was a work horse, but the secret to a nicely mowed yard and making it work efficiently was due to my mom's persistence to details and taking care of her equipment.  I remember standing by her side as she showed me how to clean the under carriage of the mower, scraping off all the moist grass and dirt, hosing it down with a strong stream of water, and leaving it clean and ready to go the next time.  She showed me how to add gas, oil, check the spark plugs,  lower the mower deck, etc, but I not ever remember her teaching me specifically how to mow the yard.  
similar to my first mowing
Disaster in the making. We had over 10 acres to mow of our yard, grandma's yard, and pastures, and she couldn't do it by herself.  She told me what section to start on, made sure the deck height was just right, told me to stay on speed 3, and walked off.  I wonder if she watched from a distance or just hoped I was listening.  It was pretty fun and I thought I was doing pretty good until I heard her yelling at me while waving her arms.  Her face conveyed she was pretty upset and I had no clue.  Did you know that you're not supposed to mow your name in the yard, do great spiral designs, and not run over her favorite blooming flowers?  Yep, I told you it was a disaster!  After I got a fantastic chewing out and precise instructions that I wasn't to nick the trees, to follow a pattern, not mow in the center to a wide piece leaving a small section on either side of the mower, to set my eyes on a marker in the distance and mow straight towards it, so I would mow in a straight line. You get the picture right? With instructions, I actually did pretty well, but I'm not an osmosis learner by any means.
  I love mowing actually.  It's me time.  I put on my earphones, set my Mamma Mia music to play and sing madly along as I go, but I always am reminded of my mamma and that first time I ever mowed.  I now set my eyes on a marker, as I make each turn, but every once-in-a-while, I am tempted to mow my name in the yard...