Thursday’s Child

Martha Artega, NRCS Public Affairs Specialist, works with children on a conservation education project in Roma, TX. [Slide 97CS3024]

Photo by Ken Hammond, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.

There is an old English nursery rhyme that I learned from my mother. It’s commonly known as “Monday’s Child.” It has many different versions. Here is a well-known one:

Monday’s child is fair of face,
Tuesday’s child is full of grace,
Wednesday’s child is full of woe,
Thursday’s child has far to go,
Friday’s child is loving and giving,
Saturday’s child works hard for a living,
But the child who is born on the Sabbath Day
Is bonny and blithe and good and gay.

Mom always reminded me that I was a Thursday’s child—born on Thanksgiving, no less—and that I had “far to go.” She knew it was just a silly little children’s rhyme, but she encouraged me to make it come true.

Anna is a Thursday’s child too, born at 12:10 am on a Thursday morning in mid-January. I think about this rhyme more since she was born, and more still as I see how much she loves to learn. And when she boasts that she knows “everything” in her eight-year-old way, I reminder her that no one but God knows everything, and that the real fun is in learning something new.

That’s how I think we can all be a “Thursday’s child.” We can always be learning, always be growing, and no matter how far we’ve come we always have “far to go.”

So I’m starting a new—hopefully weekly—series on Fatherhood Etc. called “Thursday’s Child.” Every Thursday (go figure?) I’ll write about something I’ve learned or something that Anna has learned, or anything that encourages learning in general.

Here’s our first lesson—something Anna taught me during our visit to the Oregon Zoo.

african_porcupine

Photo: Julia Ozab

The African crested porcupine’s quills help it float in water.

I already knew, of course, that porcupines use their quills for defense. I also knew that their quills were hollow. But I never put two and two together, maybe because I didn’t know that crested porcupines are good swimmers and spend a lot of time in the water. Anna learned that from WildKratts, and taught me something new.

North American porcupine

Photo: Julia Ozab

A few days later I learned how North American porcupines climb trees so well. They use their tails, which are flat and strong, like a beaver, but stubby, to push themselves up the tree trunk. We all learned that together from watching a porcupine at the High Desert museum.

That’s just two short examples of what to expect in the weeks to come.. I’ve worked as a college instructor, my wife has taught elementary school, and our daughter is a brilliant, curious, little sponge. I’m sure I will find plenty to write about.

And every Thursday, no matter what day you were born on, you can be a “Thursday’s child” too.

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