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Inspired Correspondent
Wrighty
Posts: 1,762
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Chapter 2 - Tea Alone

For the title of chapter 2 I took it for face value  "Tea Alone - On Mothering Without a Net"  Amy was now drinking her tea and mothering her child alone. She had help from her family of course but as a parent she was alone. I wasn't sure what to make of the blocks though. I didn't know if they were intended for her mother or for Amy.
Author
Amy_Dickinson
Posts: 17
Registered: ‎10-22-2008
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Re: Chapter 2 - Tea Alone


kayJ wrote:

emeraldisle wrote:
Do you agree with Amy's statement on p. 46: "We are not our best intentions. We are what we do." ?

 

Yes I totally agree with this statement. We try, but it comes down to the actual doing that counts.

 

On the TEA ALONE blocks...that really had me because I was not sure if her mother was being cruel or if that was the resigned fact now so face it??


Oh no!! When my mother spelled out "t-e-a  a-l-o-n-e" she was commenting on her own situation, not mine, I assure you. I wish I had thought to "spell that out" a little better. I had no idea readers would think she was being cruel.... she's going to kill me now!  

 

 Amy....


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Contributor
Tonya
Posts: 24
Registered: ‎04-13-2007
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Re: Chapter 2 - Tea Alone

Ahhh so they were left as a reminder for Amy's mom. I was going to post a question to Amy this morning about those blocks.

 

Tonya

Wordsmith
Tarri
Posts: 457
Registered: ‎02-26-2007
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Re: Chapter 2 - Tea Alone

<snip>


Amy_Dickinson wrote:
Oh no!! When my mother spelled out "t-e-a  a-l-o-n-e" she was commenting on her own situation, not mine, I assure you. I wish I had thought to "spell that out" a little better. I had no idea readers would think she was being cruel.... she's going to kill me now!  

 

 Amy....


Okay, I think killing you for giving readers the idea that she was being cruel, might constitute cruelty.  ;-)  I'm just saying. 

 

 

Inspired Correspondent
Wrighty
Posts: 1,762
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Chapter 2 - Tea Alone


Tarri wrote:

<snip>


Amy_Dickinson wrote:
Oh no!! When my mother spelled out "t-e-a  a-l-o-n-e" she was commenting on her own situation, not mine, I assure you. I wish I had thought to "spell that out" a little better. I had no idea readers would think she was being cruel.... she's going to kill me now!  

 

 Amy....


Okay, I think killing you for giving readers the idea that she was being cruel, might constitute cruelty.  ;-)  I'm just saying. 

 

 


Amy,

 

You never portrayed her as an unkind or cruel person throughout the book so it didn't seem cruel to me. It was just unclear what the blocks meant. I pictured it as a person just puttering around, playing with the blocks and thinking out loud as she was arranging them. I hope your mother was pleased with the way you wrote this book because the impression I got was that you had an amazing, close knit and supportive family.

Distinguished Bibliophile
Peppermill
Posts: 6,768
Registered: ‎04-04-2007
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Re: Chapter 2 - Tea Alone


Amy_Dickinson wrote:

kayJ wrote:

emeraldisle wrote:
Do you agree with Amy's statement on p. 46: "We are not our best intentions. We are what we do." ?

 

Yes I totally agree with this statement. We try, but it comes down to the actual doing that counts.

 

On the TEA ALONE blocks...that really had me because I was not sure if her mother was being cruel or if that was the resigned fact now so face it??


Oh no!! When my mother spelled out "t-e-a  a-l-o-n-e" she was commenting on her own situation, not mine, I assure you. I wish I had thought to "spell that out" a little better. I had no idea readers would think she was being cruel.... she's going to kill me now!  

 

 Amy....


For implying that "TEA ALONE" might have been your situation rather than hers or for using the expression "going to kill me"? 

 

I know which one would have gotten my mother's goat! :smileysurprised:

"Seize the moments of happiness, love and be loved! That is the only reality in the world, all else is folly. It is the one thing we are interested in here." -- Leo Tolstoy
Inspired Correspondent
bookloverjb85
Posts: 168
Registered: ‎10-12-2007
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Re: Chapter 2 - Tea Alone


m3girl wrote:

emeraldisle wrote:
Do you agree with Amy's statement on p. 46: "We are not our best intentions. We are what we do." ?

 

Definitely.  And it is most obvious today during campaigns and television interviews (not necessarily politically related interviews just interviews in general).  It is not what I say....It is what I do....

 

Susan


I absolutely agree with the statement and Susan.  You can have every intention in the world to do something correctly, or to do something at all, but what you actually do shows who you are as a person.  Whether it's right or wrong, or something someone else would do, is a different story entirely.
--Jen--

"A house without books is like a room without windows."--Horace Mann
Inspired Correspondent
bookloverjb85
Posts: 168
Registered: ‎10-12-2007
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Re: Chapter 2 - Tea Alone


Stephanie wrote:

"I don't like to share and I'm often amazed that we insist that our children do it.  Being nice is one thing. It's important to be kind, respectful and polite.  But why should a child give up something that belongs to her, just because someone else wants to take it?"  

 

I am very much "on board" with this sentiment.  My son had two favorite toys when he was a toddler, and did not like other children playing with them.  They were fairly fragile for toddlers anyway, so when a friend was coming over, Woody and Buzz went up on my bed, and stayed there for the duration.  I never made him share something he was actively using either, and if I encountered a raised eyebrow at playgroup, I would jokingly say, "Will you share your Mercedes with me?"  

 

What do you think of insisting our children share everything?  We know children are naturally self-centered, and they usually grow out of it.  It's good to be a generous person, but to what extent?   Your thoughts?


It is true about sharing.  I am a teacher in second grade and we tell the children all the time to share their materials and such.  But like you mentioned, would someone share their Mercedes with you?  Would you share your house with someone you just met?  I believe that we have to teach children to share, but in moderation.  They should not have to give up everything to another person.  As mentioned, children do grow out of the self-centered phase and learn to be a genreous person, but we shouldn't push them too much when they are young.
--Jen--

"A house without books is like a room without windows."--Horace Mann
Distinguished Bibliophile
Peppermill
Posts: 6,768
Registered: ‎04-04-2007
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Re: Chapter 2 - Tea Alone

[ Edited ]

 I agree with what has been said here about care in coercing a child into sharing beloved possessions.

 

However, EVERYONE should teach their children about being greedy -- and Halloween is a good time for one iteration of lessons -- at least that is my attitude.

 

I  live in a community where one can get 100 -- 150 children on Halloween eve.  The vast majority are sweet, polite, funny, macho, and take only what they are offered.  But a few will grab all they can get or even lie about what they have taken.  The most disconcerting part is that many of those who do such will skip away and act as if they are glad and proud of what they have done -- and probably think they have gotten away with something.

 

It seems to me that there are several considerations here:  First, is the attitude of  respect towards self and towards another person.  Second, in a community where homes are close together and owners tend to be generous, each child can end up with more than enough candy by any reasonable standard.  Third, with that many trick and treaters, the expense becomes considerable, especially for those on a fixed income.  Fourth, it is very hard to guess how many visitors one will have and so, even with over buying,  it is quite possible to run out of treats by the end of the evening. 

 

I know there is usually an article on this subject in the local paper every year.  To some, I probably sound mean-spirited.  I don't intend such, I merely suggest Halloween can be a time to teach generosity and thoughtfulness.  (One of my most delightful group of visitors last night was a group of 4-5 girls, about 10-12 years, who gave me an impromptu song fest, with the leader acting as a real trouper, a curtsying fair witch as she backed down the yard and ran off to join her friends at the neighbors!)

 


bookloverjb85 wrote:

Stephanie wrote:

"I don't like to share and I'm often amazed that we insist that our children do it.  Being nice is one thing. It's important to be kind, respectful and polite.  But why should a child give up something that belongs to her, just because someone else wants to take it?"  

 

I am very much "on board" with this sentiment.  My son had two favorite toys when he was a toddler, and did not like other children playing with them.  They were fairly fragile for toddlers anyway, so when a friend was coming over, Woody and Buzz went up on my bed, and stayed there for the duration.  I never made him share something he was actively using either, and if I encountered a raised eyebrow at playgroup, I would jokingly say, "Will you share your Mercedes with me?"  

 

What do you think of insisting our children share everything?  We know children are naturally self-centered, and they usually grow out of it.  It's good to be a generous person, but to what extent?   Your thoughts?


It is true about sharing.  I am a teacher in second grade and we tell the children all the time to share their materials and such.  But like you mentioned, would someone share their Mercedes with you?  Would you share your house with someone you just met?  I believe that we have to teach children to share, but in moderation.  They should not have to give up everything to another person.  As mentioned, children do grow out of the self-centered phase and learn to be a genreous person, but we shouldn't push them too much when they are young.

Message Edited by Peppermill on 11-01-2008 09:49 PM
"Seize the moments of happiness, love and be loved! That is the only reality in the world, all else is folly. It is the one thing we are interested in here." -- Leo Tolstoy
Inspired Wordsmith
Stephanie
Posts: 2,613
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Chapter 2 - Tea Alone


Amy_Dickinson wrote:

Oh no!! When my mother spelled out "t-e-a  a-l-o-n-e" she was commenting on her own situation, not mine, I assure you. I wish I had thought to "spell that out" a little better. I had no idea readers would think she was being cruel.... she's going to kill me now!  

 

 Amy....


I think your mother would have a good chuckle over it!  I thought the meaning of "Tea Alone" was her way of telling you that she had been where you are, and it's not so bad. 

 

I've wondered whether or not your mother had ever been "romantically involved" since her divorce.  I know my own mother, after my father died, couldn't be bothered, wasn't interested, never met anyone good enough- I don't really know the true reason, but for whatever her personal reasons are, no romantic interests for her.   None of her old friends have, either.  A generational thing, perhaps? 

 

 

Stephanie
Correspondent
bookowlie
Posts: 177
Registered: ‎04-15-2008
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Re: Chapter 2 - Tea Alone

I totally agree with this statement.  We all intend to do things in our lives, but what we actually do is what counts.  I am always starting on an exercise program, but don't always follow through, at least in a consistent manner.  As for the blocks spelling "Tea Alone", I think Amy's mother started thinking of her own situation, in light of the fact that Amy's husband left.
Inspired Wordsmith
Stephanie
Posts: 2,613
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Chapter 2 - Tea Alone

Pepper,

 

You're right- but I think the "greedy" kids are probably not discouraged from that kind of behavior at home.  I'm sure those are the same kids who push to the front of the line, who think it's funny to trip someone on the playground or push another child's face into the water fountain.  I think we all  knew those kids, and they're still out there, generation after generation. 

 

Trick or Treating has gotten slightly out of control.  I'm very glad that my son, at age 12 is over it, and he and his friends are having parties on Halloween night instead.  My daughter is lucky to have a friend who lives in a condo on the beach, so they did their begging there, and the grandmotherly ladies went all out for them- they visited 1/2 a dozen condos, each lady had some special goodies just for them (no other kids) and they were thrilled. The "grandma's" loved seeing them, and it was really relaxing and felt like we'd visited family.   I loved it. 

 

 

Stephanie
Distinguished Bibliophile
Peppermill
Posts: 6,768
Registered: ‎04-04-2007
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Re: Chapter 2 - Tea Alone

Perhaps I was indulging in a bit of day-after-Halloween whining.  The optimist in me keeps hoping that one more person, one more mother, one more family will hear the message, even though I know the situations are unlikely to ever disappear, if for no other reason than we probably each have our moments of thoughtless greed, let alone for those who affirm greed's value even at the expense of others.

 

Sounds like your children had fun for Halloween!  

 


Stephanie wrote:

Pepper,

 

You're right- but I think the "greedy" kids are probably not discouraged from that kind of behavior at home.  I'm sure those are the same kids who push to the front of the line, who think it's funny to trip someone on the playground or push another child's face into the water fountain.  I think we all  knew those kids, and they're still out there, generation after generation. 

 

Trick or Treating has gotten slightly out of control.  I'm very glad that my son, at age 12 is over it, and he and his friends are having parties on Halloween night instead.  My daughter is lucky to have a friend who lives in a condo on the beach, so they did their begging there, and the grandmotherly ladies went all out for them- they visited 1/2 a dozen condos, each lady had some special goodies just for them (no other kids) and they were thrilled. The "grandma's" loved seeing them, and it was really relaxing and felt like we'd visited family.   I loved it. 

 


"Seize the moments of happiness, love and be loved! That is the only reality in the world, all else is folly. It is the one thing we are interested in here." -- Leo Tolstoy
Inspired Wordsmith
Stephanie
Posts: 2,613
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Chapter 2 - Tea Alone

Pepper,

 

I think your post-Halloween whining was justified - I purposely avoided that whole scene this year, and my kids did have a good time.  Better than that- so did I! although I did drive 45 miles that night... unfortunately, my son's best friend lives a good 10-12 miles away, and the beach is another 6 miles in the opposite direction.  Oh well, it was worth it. 

 

I think this book has us thinking a lot about not only Amy's story, but the ways in which we interact with our different kinds of communities.  Having lived in lots of different places, I think I like the happy medium the best- in "town"  - somewhere between country and city - even though I do miss both.

 

 

Stephanie
Distinguished Bibliophile
Peppermill
Posts: 6,768
Registered: ‎04-04-2007
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Re: Chapter 2 - Tea Alone

"somewhere between country and city - even though I do miss both."

 

AGREED!  (Just noticed the "greed" in that comment!   :smileyvery-happy: )

 


Stephanie wrote:

Pepper,

 

I think your post-Halloween whining was justified - I purposely avoided that whole scene this year, and my kids did have a good time.  Better than that- so did I! although I did drive 45 miles that night... unfortunately, my son's best friend lives a good 10-12 miles away, and the beach is another 6 miles in the opposite direction.  Oh well, it was worth it. 

 

I think this book has us thinking a lot about not only Amy's story, but the ways in which we interact with our different kinds of communities.  Having lived in lots of different places, I think I like the happy medium the best- in "town"  - somewhere between country and city - even though I do miss both.


"Seize the moments of happiness, love and be loved! That is the only reality in the world, all else is folly. It is the one thing we are interested in here." -- Leo Tolstoy
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