Recently, my son sprained his ankle and needed help at school to carry his heavy backpack. To his surprise, he found out that some of his friends were willing to help him and some teachers were supportive. Other so-called friends refused to help even when they saw him trip or struggle with his crutches and the backpack.
We had our usual discussion driving home from school. He told me about one friend in particular who apparently refused to help in any way. Me, being the eternal pessimist told him to stay away from this bad friend.
My son responded, “You know Mom. This kid really isn’t bad. I mean, yes, he has his faults, but he is pretty nice. You know, I think his parents teach him to be not nice, to not mix with other kids and things like that. Apparently this kid does not socialize with students who are not in the gifted program because of his parents.
Later on, I turned on the self-analysis.
As a parent, I was learning from my son rather than teaching him. He was teaching me to look at the glass half-full, to like people in spite of their faults. He was teaching me to accept others as they were.
I wonder – Is this why we have children? So we can learn from them rather than the opposite? As adults we seem to have lost our innocence. Do children teach us to be innocent again? To look at life without prejudice, bias?