Asking Simple Questions
When this pandemic began and my husband and I needed to learn to balance our three children with our work requirements, we split the education responsibilities where we naturally felt the most adequate. Oded took math and Hebrew and I took English and general knowledge.
Oded diligently sat with each of our kids and worked on handwriting, reading, writing and later on addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. It sounds crazy, but our five year old is now doing fractions in his head. My husband is an amazing teacher and my kids are lucky to have him.
When it came to my areas of expertise, I created hands-on lessons about the ocean, the continents, different countries and their cultures and many art and baking projects. I took the kids outside as often as I could to collect flowers, pine cones or just see how the world changed based on the season and the weather. I read to them in English and I corrected their spoken English, but when it came to diligently sitting and teaching them English, I had less patience.
I spoke with a friend yesterday about my fear that I wasn’t teaching my kids enough or that they may grow up to see the concrete skills Oded is giving them to be more valuable. As parents, we often question our worth and the value we bring our kids, and these questions bubble up every now and then.
She asked me a simple question: why did I love my Mom? Did I love her because of what she taught me or because of how she made me feel? I honestly have no recollection of my mother teaching me anything concrete, although I am sure she did. She was a teacher, after all. But I loved her for the feeling of safety, love, and joy she instilled in me. I loved her because she took no shit from anyone and always spoke her piece. I loved her because she knew how to leave the house with no plan and create a day full of fun and adventure. I loved her because she gave me space to develop into who I am without any preconceived expectations.
This simple question did a lot to quiet my fears and remind me to stay true to what I know: experiences and feelings are my guide, and if I follow my heart, then my kids will grow with the same sense of awe, love and curiosity that I got from my mother.