Mother of Round Pegs
I always say my kids have been square pegs in round holes (as the saying goes), but seriously they’re the round ones and the holes are square. And if the saying’s not familiar, it’s referring to those that don’t fit the mold, particularly – when it comes to kids – the square boxes (holes) the education system likes to put them in.
All praise for ‘wrongly-shaped’ pegs, that’s all I can say.
I did despair somewhat over the extent to which the school system failed my son (he didn’t fail, they did!), but we persevered, offering both our children several opportunities for out-of-school experiences in very different environments. A little bit of home-schooling, a semester away in the southern wilds of New Zealand, a year off to travel the US, UK, a bit of Europe and the Middle-East… (and we did that on the smell of an oily rag, truly)
I now have a comedian (19yo son), and an artist-cum-world-traveller (16yo daugher). Oh my god, they’re so amazing. They think for themselves, they’re independent, courageous, absolutely charming, and they know what they want.
(Ruby in San Francisco, en route to Brazil – on her own!!!; Madison with Billy Connolly in Wellington last year)
I firmly believe our primary purpose as parents is to not allow the pressure of the system to overtake us, to help our children think about their purpose not someone else’s/society’s idea of what they’re ‘supposed’ to do, to allow them to explore the world, to allow them to have an opinion – as one friend says: if you’re breathing you should have an opinion – and to teach them kindness.
And whether they are aware of it or not, to somehow connect them to Spirit, to the Divine, however that manifests itself – certainly not by force of religion, but by art, openness, meditation, love of life, joy, and yes, sometimes religion and God; that connection is what allows them to access their own purpose, I believe.
Take a deep breath and let them experiment, explore, and try not to make the safety net too obvious…