Thursday, November 10, 2011

Some Things You Can't Teach

I strongly believe that all great parents are, in their own way, also great teachers.  This is particularly true of those with "special" kids.  It seems we never stop teaching. 

In some aspects, our lives are no different than everyone else.  There are some lessons that our kids just don't want to learn.  With Nathan, teaching him to hold the door open for others has been a constant battle.  He just doesn't want to do it and gets downright grumpy about it.  This is a problem for us.  Ours is a Southern family.  We have manners. 

I was raised to show a certain deference toward ladies.  All females are considered "ladies" until they prove themselves otherwise.  I was taught that gentlemen do not offer their hand to a lady in greeting as they do a man.  To do so showed a lack of upbringing.   Should a lady offer hers, I was taught a proper, genteel handshake that showed appropriate deference. 

The boy has got to hold that door open!!

He reminded me last night that the "homeless feed-out" is this Saturday.  Nathan likes to feed the homeless.  He doesn't just want to go, or help move tables.  He wants to be one of the people who gives them things.  This same kid, who bristles at holding open a door, demands to be part of the group putting food/drinks/utensils into the hands of the needy.

Amanda noted this apparent dichotomy last night.  A lesson of "basic courtesy" doesn't stick the way we'd hoped.  A much more important lesson, one based in real compassion, his heart and mind have firmly impacted.  The second makes sense to him.  The first does not.  I think I get it now.

Sometimes I wonder who is teaching who.

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