Since I can remember, one of my “most-inspiring-hall-of-famers” is Annie Sullivan, teacher of Helen Keller. I love her because she took a child who had been labeled as “unable to be educated” and actually did just that – educated her to go on to be one of the world’s most brilliant minds despite the fact that she could neither see nor hear. That aside, Annie Sullivan used real-world examples and context to teach little Helen so that it was meaningful instead of relying on the drill and kill method that is so often utilized in this obsessively mandated test-taking world. My favorite scene of “The Miracle Worker” is when Annie takes Helen to the water pump, runs water over her hands and signs the word “water” directly into her palm. I love the lightbulb that goes off for Helen as she frantically runs around her lawn touching everything and holding out her hand for Annie to sign the word for her. So the other day I was dangling Bubba Boo over our kitchen sink in an attempt to wash his grubby paws before lunch. As the water poured over his chubby little fingers, I said “water” and his little face beamed as if to say “Cool mommy – I am getting this word thing” and I immediately thought of Annie and Helen at the pump. This then led me to reflect on what exactly I want to teach my children as well as HOW on earth am I going to do it and a few things popped into my head. First of all, there is no canned program, method, or theory that can educate your child more effectively than your actions. For this reason, I make sure that my children see that I am indeed human. I speak about my emotions freely, in fact, almost to a fault for just the other night as I was helping Missy Moo set the table for dinner she said, “Mommy, are you feeling grouchy?” I lose my cool and say things that make me feel like a horrible mommy that will psychologically damaged my children for the rest of time; however, I know that the right thing to do is say that I am sorry and admit that mommy was wrong. The world is not perfect and neither are we – we have good days, and days that are almost comical they are so bad. There are people who will wrong you, people who will put you down and make you feel like you are less than you are, and there are times when an hour feels like the longest period of time on earth. But on the other hand, there are more people who will right you, more people who will build you up, and days when you think an hour is just not enough time to do anything because it goes so fast. A moral compass cannot be changed or rocked in any way – regardless of the trials and tribulations one experiences, that core, that foundation should remain the compass and drive who we really are. No outside occurrence can shake this or take it away from you as it is your soul which was molded in your early years and is constantly shaped throughout your life. I remember telling the parents of the students in my classroom (yes, before I became a SAHM I was a second/third grade teacher) that they are their child’s first teacher but I never really understood the power and magnitude of this statement until I had my own. Emotional core development occurs between the ages of zero to three years old so how can any teacher mold this part of my children? It’s up to us to guide this development which is probably going to be my most valuable contribution to this planet after I am gone. To know that my hubby and I will work fervently to encourage our children to always do what is right makes me believe that it will sink in along the way somewhere and then when THEY have their own babes, they will do the same. It is how the cycle continues and the only way that I can foresee to truly leave the world a little bit better than how I found it. Life experiences take us back to the pump every time and force us to continue to mold who exactly we are and who we strive to be.
One generation will commend your works to another; they will tell of your mighty acts.
Psalm 145:4

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