Wednesday, April 15, 2015

My Son's Favorite Teacher

I heard something I didn't expect to hear last Sunday afternoon while I was reading aloud a new book to my sons before their nap. This book was given to my eldest son as a gift by his godfather who's also one of my closest friends in college. When I came to a part wherein a question was posed, I asked that question to my eldest son.

His answer was, "You... and Daddy."

The question in the book was, "Who is your favorite teacher?"

It was our first time to read the book. So, I did not expect to encounter that question there. I was also pleasantly surprised to hear my eldest son's answer. 

Tears clouded my eyes right away. I could no longer continue reading the story. I could not stop myself from crying. I was too happy with what I accidentally found out.

I did not expect him to give that answer. Although our sons are homeschooled and I am their main teacher, my eldest son had other teachers in the past. Most of them were his occupational therapists whom he calls his teachers. He had four so far. Then, about a month ago, we got him a piano teacher. A week ago, we enrolled him and his younger brother in a theater class. Thus, he has one more teacher to add to his growing list of teachers. 

I was so touched to hear that among the teachers he was exposed to in the past, he considers me his favorite.

My son's favorite teacher is me!

Another reason why I cried when I heard his answer is because I felt God's hand at work in my son's heart and life. I admit that I've made a lot of mistakes in teaching my sons, my eldest son especially. He was my firstborn. And just like in many cases when you are doing something for the first time, I made countless mistakes. I learned through the years through trial and error. I was so thankful to God that in spite of my mistakes, my eldest son still considers me his favorite teacher. 

Moreover, I felt that it was an affirmation from God that my husband and I made the right decision to homeschool our kids. 
After thanking my son, kissing him, embracing him and telling him how happy I was to hear his answer, I asked my husband to take over in reading and finishing the story.

I was still crying while my husband was reading the rest of the story.
I was moved not only by my eldest son's answers but also by how the author described the characteristics of teachers who usually become their favorite.

Let me quote from the book:

"If you're like most children, your favorite teacher is someone who cared a lot about you. That teacher cares enough to give you extra help when you needed it. Maybe she noticed when you were sad and cared enough to ask you why. Or maybe he worked really hard and did a good job, all because he cared about you."

We were reading the book Children's Book of Saints by Amy Welborn. The Saint story we were reading that day was the story of Don Bosco.

I liked the way the life and ministry of Don Bosco were told in the book. It was not only our kids who learned that day. My husband and I learned as well.

It was my first time to learn that Saint John Bosco or Don Bosco was first called by God through a dream that he had when he was just 9 years old.

His dream made an impact on me because in his dream he saw kids running wildly and God told him that he will be the leader of those boys. This surprised him. He also felt afraid because he didn't know how to lead those boys.

What God said to him struck me as well.

"Not with blows will you help these boys, but with goodness and kindness." It was said in the book that after this line was said in Don Bosco's dream, the boys in his dream became calm.

I could relate to Don Bosco somehow. My boys have the tendency to run wildly, too. They easily get excited and when they are excited they sometimes run around and shout or make a lot of noise. They are like supercharged atoms bouncing everywhere! These behavior drives me nuts and tries my patience A LOT each day.

So when I learned from the book that Don Bosco helped the boys to become well behaved through his love and his relationship with them, I felt that God was answering the questions in my heart through his story.

I pray that I would be more like him. I pray that I would patiently invest in my relationship with my kids and wait for them to be transformed by the love that I pour into their young lives. I pray that this story of Don Bosco's ministry would provide for me encouragement during difficult days -- when things do not go as I hope and expect them to be when my faith is wavering and I want to see tangible results of my efforts right away.

Do you also have very active little boys like me? Do you know who your child's favorite teacher is? If you are homeschooling your child and he gives the same answer as my little boy did, would you also be moved to tears?

Feel free to share in the comments. 

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