My son finished his degree last year and his graduation ceremony was held this week. I can’t begin to tell you how very proud I am of him; he is a wonderful young man. Of course as his mother you’d expect me to say that. However, I am objective enough to realise the sun doesn’t rise and set with him; though he has been a shining light in my life and bought me great joy and taught me so very much.
This, event, Blair’s graduation, got me thinking about life and learning; about teachers and lessons; about relationships and growth. I reflected, not for the first time, how incredible it is to realise your own child is one of your most powerful teachers. It humbles me, delights me and gives me pause to realise that I have learnt more from my child than he from me.
Blair has always been independent, wise, witty, discerning and determined. From a young age he has set goals and achieved them. As a child Blair loved Lego. He would spend hours constructing intricate cities and machines. At seven he found a Lego set worth $300 that he liked. So he decided to save his birthday and Christmas money to purchase it and, over time, he did. This determination and patience was again displayed when, in grade 2, he declared he wanted to play the trumpet and was told he would have to wait until grade 6. His goal was always to play with James Morrison. So, he waited, auditioned and finally got to play the trumpet. He enjoyed playing in the school bands for several years and even got to play with James Morrison at a jazz festival. Today Blair still sets goals and quietly goes about achieving them. His tenacity, focus and perseverance have inspired me to do the same: to set my own goals, to be patient and to celebrate.
Blair’s love of learning, his quest for knowledge and inquisitive nature have encouraged me to continue exploring my own passion for learning and self development. He is a great advocate and is hugely encouraging. His measured approach to life, his quiet observations and acceptance of human differences have encouraged me to be less volatile, to calm and ease my inner volcano. He has, through example, instilled in me the ability to accept and love others (especially family members) without the need to change them. He recently taught me about unconditional positive regard.
There is so much more I could share. There is so much more that I have learnt from him. However, I am mindful that my son is an intensely private person and I know he will be cringing that his mother has been so public in sharing these few stories. Surely though graduation days are times of reflection and celebration! Can not a mother share her pride, her gratitude, her love?
I am extremely proud of my son and of the admirable young man he is. He brings me great joy, challenges me to be a better person, to think differently and to consider other perspectives. He is my teacher.
There is much to learn, I am sure, from sitting at the feet of great gurus and masters but sometimes the wisest sages are not to be found in some far flung exotic location across the world but are those closest to us.
Who are your nearest, dearest, wisest teachers?