Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Learning from Our Children

The thought has occurred - we learn much more from our children than we can teach them. I have certainly learned from each of my four, and often the hard way. But more often, in wonderful ways. It would seem to me I've learned the most from my youngest. Perhaps that is because it is my most recent experience. Perhaps because we spent the longest period of time alone together.

Kitty was only six when her father died. The others were teenagers. By the time I emerged from my zombie-like state following his death (It took a long time) they were well on their way to moving on to the big, wide, wonderful world. Kit and I were left to ourselves.

I remember a card she gave me - for a Mothers' Day, I think - in which she thanked me for showing her the world. But in truth we found it together, and she went on to introduc
e me to so much of it that I had never seen.

This child had wanderlust. All my life I dreamed of faraway places, but rarely explored them, for a variety of reasons - or excuses. She made it happen for herself, and sometimes for me as well.

When she was little, as with the other three, I saw the places we visited and things we did through her eyes and thrilled to the excitement. As she grew and traveled farther she was generous in sharing her words and her photos with me. I have visited her and her friends in an international dorm at school. That was an enlightening
experience. I have traveled vicariously to Mexico's Yucatan, where she spent six weeks living with a family in a small village, and on back-packing trips through Europe, meeting amazing people. She was always a traveler, never just a tourist. We have entertained her friends at home. And best of all, I have been able to visit her wherever she found herself, in this country and overseas. She spent a year teaching English in a gymnasium near Budapest, and I spent a little time there with her and some of her students. She managed to teach those kids a good bit more than English.

Kitty would tell you that she is a writer, not a teacher. But we are all teachers in this life. And she does it better than most.

Gee. Do you think Mom might be just a little prejudiced?

1 comment:

Ramblings of a Villas Girl said...

Very nice. A lot of people try to live their lives through their children. You are living your life with your children and enjoying it.