Teachable Moments

There’s something about those moments when you find yourself teaching your kids life lessons.  Not the lectures about how they know what’s right and wrong when you know they aren’t listening to you.  I’m talking about the times when they are open, particularly when they’re really young, particularly when they want to learn.

Our three-year-old has taken to counting the feet of our pets.  “Bodhi has four feet!” she exclaims excitedly.  “Cosmo has four feet, too!”  After breakfast this morning, while she was petting the cat, I asked how many ears he had.  She looked at me, and we entered the teachable moment.  What ensued was an exchange of information, imitation, question and response. I learned that she wanted to match holding up fingers to the amount of numbers.  I also learned that she holds up two fingers like a Vulcan or like a scout.  She’s learning about math, and I’m learning about her.

But teachable moments aren’t just happening for my kids.  I’m getting them, too. I have teachers guiding me, teaching me, nudging me into new and unchartered territory.  There’s nothing like jumping into something familiar and experiencing it as new.  There’s nothing like humility to keep you grounded and appreciative.  There’s nothing like raw experience, beautiful and awful as it may be, to keep you in the present moment.  I’m learning, too, and my teachers are learning about me with their own mother’s patience.

The underlying truth behind all this is that every moment is teachable.  We just may not know whether we are the teacher or the student.  The fact may be that we are both, and the lesson therein being that we have much to learn from both sides.

Again, thank you for teaching me and allowing me to teach you.

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