Be what you are.
This was written on a post-it note on our bathroom mirror this morning. I know Tad wrote it for himself. Because it's hard to be who you are and be a teacher at the same time. There are so many roles you have to play. But then again, it's hard to be who you are and be anything else at the same time.
There are so many roles you have to play.
The other day, Coen was talking to us about the social stratospheres of his classroom. It's starting. He's in a class with 4th through 6th graders and he is aware of who is "popular".
"Oh, Coen" Tad had said, "Popular just means that everyone knows you. Everyone can know you for good reasons and bad reasons. It isn't something you need to try and be."
"Oh, I know." Said Coen. "Me and my friends are kind of the weirdoes."
"And the weirdoes have the most fun." Tad said.
He said that when he sat down at a table to work, all the girls who were sitting there got up and moved. My face fell when he said this, but Coen smiled.
"Oh don't worry, Mommy." He said. "I didn't mind. Then there was room for my friends to come sit!"
Coen really doesn't seem to mind. And Tad tells me not to worry. His experience sounds so much like the one I had in 4th grade. I was a weirdo. People moved to another seat when I sat at their table. But, oh, how I minded. But you know, Tad and I just affirm to Coen that he is a wonderful person and that this time of life is hard and going to get harder before it gets easier. But that we love who and what he is. We're all weirdoes in our family.
So we'll just keep teaching our kids: BE WHAT YOU ARE. That's all you need to do. Oh. And be kind.
-Elliot Rosewater's Baptismal Speech (Kurt Vonnegut, 1965)