Tree frogs start their summer evening songs in the scented boxwoods and lilacs and assorted bee attracting foliage that shade our leisure evening view over the children running and playing on the green fields of their country club bubble. We’re talking about them. As usual. Do moms talk about anything else?
“It goes so quickly. Middle School. Then High School. God, I remember when they started Kindergarten!” A sip of wine and a sigh.
“As much as I miss them being babies,” a friend chimed in, “it’s kind of exciting to see where they are going. Who they are becoming.”
“Yes,” I agreed. “What is their path in life? Of course they’re too young to really have a clue now. But I wonder what they will be when they grow up?”
“I told Drew just yesterday that he could be anything he wanted to be…..”
“Ha!” I interrupted, “as cliched as that sounds !”
We laughed and she continued, “as long as its not a teacher !”
Interesting hearing that from her. Given that she is one.
And I fully understand. Teachers are in the trenches out there with diminished support, battling crazy parents, undisciplined children and bungling bureaucratic myopism. But teachers are also the first line of defense. Education is the weapon to win any battle worth fighting. Educators might not necessarily see the finished products of their labors, but they lay foundations for greatness whether they witness it or not.
I come from a family and extended family of teachers. Good ones. Effective ones. Leaders in their fields. Ones that have almost killed themselves in the line of duty. It is a hell of a profession and one I would be sorely tempted to warn my children against too.
Yet what arrogance suggests I know my child’s particular life path?
Chances are a seed for greatness will be planted when least expected by a teacher whose name he will never even remember. Maybe even one whose class I lobbied frantically to get him moved out of.