Lessons in Humanity, Courtesy of My 7 Year Old
One of the interesting things about being a parent, is that it presents a constant gauge on my humanity, empathy, and ability to step outside of myself completely and wear the well being of another person.
Today my 7 year old was working on a homework assignment. My son is a brilliant old soul. But he often doesn’t like to work hard at anything that doesn’t come easy. So one of the things we’re working hard on constantly is not giving up. Working hard at things even if we don’t initially like them. Trying new things. Putting 100% into everything we do - academically, socially, emotionally. The fact is, as a mom, I think I know my son’s potential, so maybe I’m not always easy on him. When he whines and complains and says he can’t do something, I’m perhaps not always mom of the year. Today as he was working on a writing assignment that I felt he had all the ability in the world to conquer with ease, he broke down in tears and said, “this is just so hard, I wish it was just a math equation.” He loves math, he’s great at math. Math and science are where he lives. Reading and writing, not so much. Reading and writing, he has to work really hard at. But that’s just it. Not everything in life is going to come easy. If I let him just get away with only doing what he loved, he would miss out on a whole world of learning. Imagine all the Pokémon books he wouldn’t get to read!! The horror!! But Seriously, i also really had to check myself. For him, this assignment was more than his little self could bear. I grabbed his little body, wrapped him in my arms, smothered him with kisses and we went to work tackling his assignment. A few minutes later he smiling and happy and proud that he kept at his work - with a little help.
I think we can all do a little more to look at the people around us and realize that they may not engage with the world as we do. I like words and books and art. That’s where I live. Math. Not so much. My son and I see learning and enjoy learning in different ways. But when we bring our different minds together, it works well. As humans making our way each day, maybe we can all make adjustments to how we engage with peop who think differently than us. And likewise, instead of just looking at ourselves and the world and saying "yep, I’m only going to seek out what is comfortable, and what I know, because everything else is too hard," we could try to be more. Because there’s a whole lot more learning out there. And if I only stick to what I know, imagine all the life I could be missing! Thanks 7 year old.