We’ve been discussing schools lately, Troy and I. As we talked over the pros and cons, the private versus public, the facilities and the philosophies, I was struck with the realisation that the school we choose matters much less than what WE teach our son, here in our home. For the past two years I have been so focused on the ‘survival’ part of parenting I hadn’t really considered the ‘teaching’ part. The part where you teach your child about life, and morals, and how to tie his shoelaces.
And that’s the thing, as parents we truly are our children’s greatest teachers. Our curriculum extends far beyond the academic. It ranges from the practicalities of using cutlery, to lessons in love and loss and compassion. We must teach our children how the world works, in all its complexities, with all it’s dark and light and shades between.
Even though he is just two, we are teaching Lachlan every day. The bigger lessons are yet to come, but for now we teach him to count, to cut his food, to say please and thank you, to be kind. These lessons don’t always come easy. And we are inexperienced teachers. But we try. And when we fail, we do our best to reassess, and try again. Thankfully we have a forgiving student.
A student, who in fact, is nearly always also the teacher because as much as we teach him the practical and philosophical, and the school-ready necessities, from him we learn about patience, unconditional love, and how to find joy in unexpected places. He shows us not what or how things are, but what they could be. And for some brief moments we see the world from his eyes, a place unbound by conventions, and ripe with possibilities.
And sometimes when I look at this little person full of energy and personality I think regardless of what we do Lachlan will turn out great. And he most probably would. But as his parents it’s up to us to equip him with the skills and knowledge he needs to be the very best version of himself. Whatever that equates to I don’t mind. Just when I see my baby boy as a grown man I want to know, that in life, we taught him well.