What is too hard?
What is too much?
What is possible?
What is unrealistic?
I remember being totally confused reading Beowulf in college. How in the world would my kids ever understand this story? They’re too young for this kind of stuff!
Veritas introduces the poem with an “image this” scenario…
You have a sleep over, and find the next morning that a monster under your bed has killed all the friends that spent the night. So, you invite an exchange student to come and kill the monster for you. Etc, etc…
After that, the boys couldn’t wait to start reading.
Thanks to LibriVox (free audio recordings of public domain books), we could follow along with a reader (English accent and all) and hear the rhythm of the poem that I never caught in college.
The kids found an animated version of the story on Youtube and then told me what details the cartoon had left out.
I gave them the assignment of describing something from modern times in the style of Beowulf using kennings and alliteration and was amazed with what they came up with.
Every afternoon, the boys wanted to “play Beowulf” with their toys. They decided to put on a show. They drew pictures, had “cast auditions” for their plastic men, and planned set designs. Retold the story with great detail. I was so impressed.
My boys not only understood and appreciated Old English Literature, they enjoyed it!
Monsters, Heroes, Swords, Kings, Dragons…
What boy wouldn’t love a story like this?
When I first saw the Omnibus book list, I thought it was ridiculous. I was overwhelmed thinking that I would have to read these books. I spent months rethinking whether I had chosen the wrong curriculum. Would this be “too hard”?
Surprisingly, even on the most daunting texts, which we take turns reading aloud as a family, have not been more than we can handle.
[I’ll mention that I also ordered the older version of the Kindle with the read aloud option for each of my boys. Most of our texts are in public domain and are free downloads.]
Once again, my children have surpassed my expectations.
to consider the probable… the possible?
awaiting the birth of a child, a dream.
What are my expectations?
“If (I) aim at nothing, (I’ll) hit it every time.” -Zig Ziglar
Though I am tempted to aim low so I won’t be disappointed, I idealistically aim for perfection and set the impossible as the goal.
This only sets me up for the temptation of never starting for fear of failing.
Temptation is not the sin. The fault lies in the choice.
Knowing myself, I must reject the lure to live “safe”.
When I was growing up, my mother framed and hung the following quote by Theodore Roosevelt, “Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat.”
This doesn’t mean I should rashly rush into foolishness for the sake of proud ambition. I’d rather be bold with wisdom and courageously attempt the challenge of a mountain that initially appears to be too high, and if I fail, dust myself and either press on or find another mountain.
It would be ashamed to miss out on the “greater works” (Jn. 14:12) because of laziness or fear.
I’m stepping out today with Greater Expectations!