All my life I flip-flopped about wanting to become a mother and one of the things that was always holding me back was the idea of having to teach someone how to walk and read and talk and all the other things kids are supposed to know before you send them out into the world. Not to mention how I was going to help someone with math and science (I really liked chemistry, but as hard as I try, my brain can’t seem to hold on to that kind of information, same goes for geography).
Now my little girl is here, just about two months old, and I’m not worried any more.
She’s bright eyed and she loves looking around and drinking in the world. When we read to her she looks as the pictures and listens to the words. She lies in her crib talking to herself, making out sounds. When we lay her on our chests she pushes with her legs and tries to get into a push-up as though she wants desperately to crawl. All I have to do is help her along as she figures things out on her own, and remind her how beautiful and smart and strong she is every day.
I can teach by example, I can teach by doing, I can teach by surrounding her with the people I know and love that can be great examples of other choices, other lifestyles and other paths. I can introduce her to my co-workers in an office full of strong and intelligent women and expose her to some of the feminist ideals that I’ve learned to adopt during my time on the planet. I can teach her to be open to different ideas, but to develop her own strong opinions. I can teach her that following your passions is a necessity of life by staying true to my own.
I can help her appreciate the arts and sports and literature and history. I can teach her how important the past is to the future. I can lay the foundations for her future and she will succeed on her own.