Family & Education

Connecting with Ramona Quimby through something unexpected

Connecting with Ramona Quimby through something unexpected

Ramona Quimby. What do you think of when you hear that name? An annoyance? A troublemaker? A pest? (Watch out, she’ll get you for that last one). Or, do you think of something different? A kid just being a kid? It’s definitely possible that I think of all three, especially when I look at Ramona from Beezus’ point of view (her older sister). Beezus and I share the name Beatrice, and I can often sympathize with her regarding the little sibling aspects, for I, myself, am an older sister. This month, I’m not exactly going to review a book, but talk about how Ramona Quimby and Beverly Cleary’s timeless books have helped me see what being a kid can be all about and how I was able to connect with Ramona Quimby through something unexpected.
I was always that one kid who was scared of doing anything wrong. I would follow the rules and would only break them if one of my friends had superhuman convincing powers. I was pretty uptight, if you know what I mean. Whenever I read about Ramona’s adventures I would think to myself, Why on Earth would anyone do that? And I wondered why Ramona did not know better than to wreak havoc wherever she went. The truth is, I wondered what it would be like if I did these things, if I was a rebel once in a while. This was just in my imagination, but somehow I connected with Ramona and all her wild ways. 
I connected with her through adults. Sounds silly, right? For all the kids reading, you most likely understand. Adults can be frustrating. It often seems (though it’s not the case) that adults can do whatever they want, whenever they want, and the worst part is you have to listen to them. Ramona always fought back against the grown-ups in her life, mostly because they were somewhat restricting. She just wanted to explore and find joy in life, but the way she went about it was not always the most pleasing for her parents. As she grew up, she began to get a glimpse into the world outside of Klickitat Street. I loved how Beverly Cleary showed this throughout her books. Ramona was learning, but was still finding ways to retaliate against the hierarchy. As a kid, I’ve always done that, even in small ways. Adults can be a lot of fun, but sometimes it can be difficult to find that whimsical side of them, so here is a little trick for the adults out there! 
What do you generally ask a child when you meet them? I have been asked time after time “How is school?” Or “Where do you go to school?” Or “What subjects do you learn in school?” It can be quite frustrating, and I wish adults would have a little more variety in their icebreakers. If you really want to get to know children, ask them about what they enjoy, what are their hobbies? What do they like to do? You can also ask seasonal questions, for example, “Do you like to play in the snow or stay inside?” I love it when adults ask me stuff like that! If you are able to fit the time in, engage the child in conversation and talk about what you like to do, as well. This always made me feel included and seen by adults. 
To conclude, I would just like to say that Ramona Quimby has affected me in many ways. She has made me cringe, made me laugh and has connected with me on so many levels. She is the ultimate pest, the ultimate little sister, but she is also ultimately a classic. 

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