“If we free ourselves from our ego and simply observe our children’s development as life spontaneously teases it out of them, they become our teachers. In other words, living authentically allows us to cease looking at our children as blank canvasses on which we can project our image of who they should be, seeing them instead as fellow travelers on the journey, changing us as much as we are changing them.” – Shefali Tsabary
It’s a sad commentary on the state of our world that we have to shield our children from the news.
I normally won’t watch the news with my children in the room, but this week I wanted to watch a particular story.
Meanwhile, a story came on the television about a white police officer that used excessive force against a black youth. I quickly grabbed the remote to change the channel, but Parker had already witnessed the violence on the screen.
His first words were, “Wait, who was the bad guy?” Sadly, Parker, sometimes it’s difficult to answer this question.
I nestled him into me on the couch and explained to him that the young man was pulled over for speeding in his car. I truthfully told him that the story made the news because the police officer was too rough in the way he placed the other man under arrest.
Parker said, “Well, if I was the officer, I would have told him not to be scared, and I would have given him a big hug!”
Something about the juxtaposition between the violence on the screen and the innocent words that came out of his mouth brought tears to my eyes. If I can only have him hold on to this part of himself; if I can only teach him about the realities of the world but still keep his pure heart untarnished.
The wisdom in his innocence made me think about how our children serve to teach us lessons every day if we’re only willing to listen. It inspired me to write the following words.
To My Kids:
I teach you how to talk, but you teach me how to talk about love in a form that I never knew existed.
I teach you how to share your toys, but you teach me how to share my time.
I teach you how to hug, but heck if you don’t teach me how to hug even tighter.
I teach you how to walk, but you teach me how to walk the line between discipline and affection.
I teach you how to run, but you teach me how to run through the sprinklers.
I’m trying to teach you how to see the world, but I see the world in you.
I teach you how to say Please and Thank you, but you teach me how to say Please and Thank you to God. (Please God protect these little people that I love more than life itself and Thank you God for giving me these little people that I love more than life itself.)
I teach you how to tell time, but you teach me that the most important part of time is the present moment.
I teach you how to read, but you teach me how to read the world with my heart.
I teach you what the holidays are all about, but you make the holidays what they are all about.
I’ve tried to teach you wisdom, but you show me the wisdom that already exists in your innocence every day.
I teach you the meaning of words, but you show me the meaning of life.
Mommy doesn’t care if she sounds like a total sap.
You deserve credit for teaching me just as much as I teach you.