Was training a new cashier today. I had forgotten the feeling of teaching.
Of course I want her to do the best that she can, so my first instinct is to help her. Yet I know that she will learn best if I stay back and let her flounder a little. Teaching is an incredibly fine line between helping and watching. Too much helping and she will never learn. Too much watching and she won't learn the tricks that I can help her learn.
The hardest part about this line is that it involves watching her suffer a little. I have to quite literally hold myself back from helping sometimes. She is smart and kind and able to do it, she just needs practice and I need to let her go do it. My watchful eye is over her in case she needs my help and I help her as she needs, but I also need to let her learn and grow on her own.
Teaching to me has always been like being a parent. My love overflows for the ones I wish to teach. As if they were my own children, it pains me to see them flounder, but I know in my heart that I must let them flounder so that they may grow and learn. Too close and I coddle them and prevent them from growing. Too far and I neglect them and fail to teach them the things that can help them succeed. Just right and they feel like they have learned everything by themselves, yet go out with all the skills I have learned myself through sweat and blood and tears.
My respect for parents is enormous. I could not imagine the nervousness and requisite will it takes to make that balance happen to someone as dear as your own child. And I am lucky enough to have two parents who pulled it off pretty fucking flawlessly.
Thank you. Everyone who is or will be a parent. Thank you.
...Another thing about being a parent. I do not think there is a way to say, "she WAS a parent." Even babies passed away or unborn... Those parents are parents too. Forever.