03 January 2012

3 of 31: Where's my scaffolding?

The boys and I baked brownies (from scratch, as they are intended--don't argue me on this point) and I needed to move them out of the house as soon as possible lest I shove them all down my throat while no one is looking.  I packed up a few layers on a plate and A2 and I brought them to A1's school at pickup to treat the other parents and younger siblings while waiting for the afternoon dismissal bell.

I'd alert A2 to the arrival of one of his little buddies and nudge him to offer a brownie.  Then, he'd avert his eyes, terrified of the impending social interaction.  Like a well-practiced puppeteer, I'd announce, "(A2) would really love to offer you a brownie."  And the other parent would reciprocate the puppetry with her own child, "Why, thank you, (A2), I'd love a brownie."

Such are the social skills of 4-year-olds, I suppose.

But rather than walking them to the ledge and pushing them off, we offer scaffolding so that they are able to climb out in safety and explore greater heights while constructing their own foundation of social skills.  And, if all goes well, they will spend their lives growing and learning on the very edge of their comfort zone.

Here's the problem.  I'm an adult and no one walks me through unfamiliar territory--I have to force myself to reach and stretch beyond my limits all by my lonesome!  I got my first speedlight today.  I know nothing about flash photography not because I'm not interested, but because, inexplicably, I've been terrified of pushing myself in that area.  So here I am, sitting at my desktop with a flash unit staring and taunting me, and no parental scaffolding.  I'm scared of failing, of feeling like an idiot.  But I'm also excited to be uncomfortable by it all.

Here's a natural light, no strobe, image from today's one-sided leaf fight.  Ah...so familiar, so comfortable.

No comments: