My Tiny Teacher

JoAnna Bennett

JoAnna Bennett, O’Brien Communications Group

5 November 2020

I’m staring at my laptop. My fingers are resting softly on the keyboard, but I’m not typing. I’m thinking, “What will my blog post be about this week?” There is much going on in the world. There are hundreds of things I could write about. And still the words aren’t coming to me.

My five-year-old daughter ended her Zoom Kindergarten Math lesson on the iPad and looked over at me. “What are you doing?” she inquired. I replied, “Working.” She very matter-of-factly responded, “Well, it doesn’t look like you’re doing anything.” She was right.

While I may not have looked like I was doing anything, my brain was certainly working and processing much. So, I shared that with her, “You know what girl? You’re right. It might not look like I’m working, but my brain is thinking about what my blog post should be about this week. And it’s pretty hard for you to see when and how my brain is working.”

She skipped no beats in saying, “Well I know what you should write about, girl. Write about the Earth. The Earth is our place. The Earth is our good home. Sometimes we have bad days. Sometimes we have good days. And that’s okay.”

I’m Listening

As Doris Roberts, the actress who played Raymond’s mom on Everybody Loves Raymond, was quoted as saying, “Everybody’s a teacher if you listen.” Well, I’m listening. This tiny teacher of mine has summed up all the things I could’ve wanted to say in five short sentences.

“The Earth is our place. The Earth is our good home.” (LSB, my daughter’s initials)

We may be able to move into different houses, states, or even countries, but the Earth is our home. And it’s a good one. It provides us with air and water, materials to make shelter, and the ability to cultivate food. At times, we may take for granted all the Earth does for us, and we may even think we did it for ourselves. But we need to remember we are part of something much larger than our minds regularly perceive.

“Sometimes we have bad days. Sometimes we have good days. And that’s okay.” (LSB)

Amen. What else is there to say? She nailed it. The complications of COVID, a presidential election, a finally finalized divorce, and my normal working mom lifestyle – there are bad days and good days. And at the end of the day, that’s okay. If it’s a bad day, we can reflect and try harder the next day. If it’s a good day, we can rejoice and try to replicate that goodness again. But either way, it’s fine. We just must give ourselves a little grace.

Thanks to my young live-in life guru. You have taught me more lessons in the last five years than I learned in the 31 years before your birth.

Keep teaching me all you know. I’m listening.