Owen liked this idea and immediately launched into her three things: Emma at school said they could be friends again after previously snubbing her; she got to help me make dinner; and Samantha (the babysitter) gave her an Easter basket with a purple bunny.
She asked for my three good things.
I told her how a student had told me I was a good teacher.
Owen was so excited about this she sat straight up in bed and gushed, "That's not just good, that's awesome!"
I felt as big as the world.
"I wish you could be my teacher," she said, plopping back against the pillows.
"Oh I teach grown-ups, sweetie. I'm not sure I would know how to teach a classroom of kids."
She thought about this. Then, "There is something that Miss C-- does that you would be really good at."
"What is that?"
She answered sincerely, earnestly: "She yells at the class when we're all acting up."
Phhhhfffttttt went my inflated ego.
Then this weekend my mom related another conversation that made me feel some better.
Saturday I was at a workshop so Mom and Paul took the kids to the park. While Paul pushed Barrett on the swings, Mom helped Owen learn to roller skate.
"See," Mom told her, "I'm teaching you how to ride a bike and roller skate and have adventures. Mommy and Daddy are teaching you how to do art and read and write. And---"
Owen interrupted her to say, again sincerely and earnestly, "Mommy and Daddy are teaching me how to be a good parent."
Good and bad, what we think we're teaching and what our children learn are often not the same at all.