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Listen, my children October 31, 2007

Posted by Jeff in Parenting.
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On Monday, Ruth asked me to tell her a story before bedtime.  I couldn’t think of a good story on the spot, so I told her I’d tell her a poem instead.  This was perfectly fine with her of course, because it delayed turning her lights off.  I quoted her the following:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I –
I took the one less travelled by,
and that has made all the difference.

She liked it because of the big words and the imagery (and because she has a certain penchant for poetry, I think).

On Tuesday before bedtime, she asked me to tell her another poem, so I told her I’d tell her a new one if she memorized the first one.  So she practiced a little and went to sleep.

Tonight (Wednesday), she informed me that she had stayed up late last night memorizing “Two roads” so that she could learn a new poem tonight.  I asked her to recite, and sure enough, she had it down.  This put me in the position of having to come up with a new poem on the spot – something I should’ve known I was going to have to do anyway.

I asked Mandi if she had any poetry books and she started looking through one for a poem for Ruth.  While she was doing that, I remembered that I had read “Paul Revere’s Ride” to Ruth back in August at Campmeeting and that she had really liked it.  I said, “Oh, Ruth, I just remembered the midnight ride of Paul Revere”.

“I already know that one,” she said.

“Well, I read it to you once at Campmeeting, but I don’t think you know it,” I said.

“No, I know it.”

“Ok, then, tell it to me,” I said.  “It starts like this, ‘Listen, my children, and you shall…’.”

Ruth said, “‘…hear of the midnight ride of Paul Revere.'”

Needless to say, Mandi and I just about fell over.  I had to confess to Ruth that I was wrong and that she did, in fact, know the poem.  So, I went in the other room to find my book that had that poem in it, and when I was out of the room, Ruth told Mandi, “Oh yeah, I remember the rest of it now: ‘…hardly a man is now alive’.”

We were both flabbergasted.  I suspect Ruth is a genius.  If so, I’d claim dibs on being the one she got it from.  🙂

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