With each letter I pump my hands hard like an orchestra conductor. I want them to focus on the distinct shape and sound of each letter. "H, I, J, K, L, M, N, O, P." I use my clenched fist and the excitement in my voice to keep their energy up as we turn the corner and finish strong. "Q, R, S, T, U, V." I'm sure this is a ritual many uncles-nephews share. Simple. Fun. Educational. Done. Still, I think our ABC-singing is quite exceptional.
I have two nephews who are both named Unique. When the oldest, Amar, is about to begin Kindergarten, I make it my duty to build his confidence to complete his homework. Two weeks before his first class, I go to the house, help them clean their room and create a homework area. The next Thursday and each week for the first month of school I make the hour and a half commute from Brooklyn to Queens to sit down and do homework. The younger brother excitedly joins in.
The next day, I sit down and write a list of all of the A words my nephews might learn in school and need to use during their lifetime: Apple. Afrika. Alphabet. Add. Ask. Act. Age. Anger. Answers. Able. Arms. And. Art. Arc. Angle. Angel. Aunty. Aim. All. Agree. Attract. Appreciate. Access. Attitude. Altitude. Aptitude. Avatar. Agitate. Aggregate. Assets. Assess. Attributes. After. Annoy. Aggravate. Aggressive. Agony. Alone. Ace. Android. Abbreviate. Administrate. Abs. Amp. Ali. Advertise. Annotate. Alzheimer's. Astroid. Anarchy. Adult. Awe. Away. Action. Attention. Abstract. Abundance. A+. A-hole. Anatomy. Ambition. Atom. Apprentice. Against. Aloe. Acidic. Attack. Akin. Alloy. Ally. Alienate. Above. About. Advocate. Asthma. Acknowledge. Ache. Alleviate. Acculturate. Ahhh. Ameba. Ambiance. Armor. Amor. Analyze. Appetite. Agriculture. Adept. Adversity. Associate. Addiction. Accomplish. Admit. Always. Absolute. Actual. Adapt. Anarchy. Address. Abroad. Adjust. Advance. Advantage. Accountable. Afraid. Affirm. Again.
I still have to learn how to ask and recognize when I am being led by my anger. I have to remember to assess my assets and attract abundance. These are just some of the A words that have been important to me during my lifetime. When I feel alone, I must remember that I have allies, life is full of adversity and now that I am an adult I am able to adapt. The agreement I made with myself, act, always affirm my attributes then do it again.
Check out the pre-writing lesson, The Alliteration Game, inspired by this exercise.