It’s a very rewarding thing when you learn from your own kids.
I think it’s safe to say all three of our kids are smarter, more driven, and more socially active than I could ever dream of being. Basically, they’re all better people than I am. They set a good example for their cynical, self-absorbed, lazy-ass mama.
Case in point:
This is Middle, at the symposium for her university’s honors undergraduate research journal. One of her papers was published in this year’s journal, and she presented it at the symposium last month. Wow. You know what my reaction was when I had to write papers in college? “How can I get this done in the least amount of time with the least amount of effort?” This girl blows me away.
And here’s a story this young woman shared with me, that’s an example of something important she taught me recently:
She had a brand new student a few weeks ago in the class in which she’s student teaching. First day at a new high school – I think we all can picture how rough that is. Making it harder for the new kid was the fact that he’s transgender. My daughter made a point to ask him, early in the hour, what pronoun he would prefer she used for him. (Note: Here’s where I learned something. It’s okay – good, actually – to ask.)
At lunchtime that day, her new student came to her classroom. He didn’t know anyone, he explained, and he felt welcomed by her. Would it be okay if he ate in her room? Of course it was okay.
That’s the kind of teacher she is. She’s deeply interested in every student. She spends a great deal of time checking for what they need and bending over backwards to make sure they get it. She’s going to be ten times the teacher I ever was.
I wonder occasionally, as I think we all do, what will be the mark I leave on the world. I’m never going to be rich or famous. I certainly won’t be written up in any books.
But I’m pretty confident I’ve raised kids that are going to make the world a better place. I’m good with that.