Thursday, October 17, 2013

Turning Tables - When the Teacher Becomes the Student

I knew it would happen eventually - or, at least, I hoped it would. That Monday morning email when you realize this child of yours - the sweat, tears, and joy of your last umpteen or twenty years, actually paid attention to something or someone along the way.''

 "Dear dad,"  - I note the intended receiver with much delight. Yeah, it's nice to know that maybe he thinks mom already has stuff figured out... or, perhaps he's just too polite to tread on my pride just yet. Whatever the case, I smile at the sentiment and take a moment to lavish in the irony of it all.

"I wonder if..." - Gently working his way in, my young elder begins his thought. Well played, my son, I silently applaud, hoping he learned that technique from me. My applause ends quickly, though, as I realize that, although I'd like it to be, gentle tact is typically not my style. I'm a bull-by-the-horns kind of girl. Maybe I should work on that. Perhaps it'll be the subject of his next letter.

"Things happen for a reason... There is always something to be learned."  Wait a minute. Stop the presses. Is that...? Could it be...? Why yes, I think those are... MY WORDS! Or at least a derivative of them. "Look for the lesson," that's what I've told my kids since they were in diapers. Okay, maybe not diapers, but at least on training wheels. Pretty much the same thing, though... right?

They're good words. I give him a nod of approval before realizing what he really just said. Translation: "Dad (and mom), you are now the student and I am the teacher."

Yeah, I know he didn't out right say it, but that's what's happening here. Sheesh, the boys barely been out six weeks and he's already turning the tables?

It's a testimony of experience. Lessons quickly learned. Maturity ever building. He's on the right path, and for that I am proud.

Humbled by his growth, I take a personal inventory. Perhaps I better start preparing myself now. I have a hunch that sooner or later more of my words will come back to bite me. Or teach me, as will more likely be the case.

"Dear mom," the letter will probably say, "take a step back and tell me what's wrong with this picture."
(Oh, heaven help me when that day comes! Hopefully I can come up with something better than some juvenile snarky reply... but then again... *shrug*)

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