You never really remember how hard it is to learn something until you watch your children go through it all for the first time...
Writing (as long I'm relatively inspired) comes fairly easily for me. I'm sure it wasn't always like that, yet it can be hard to be patient with my older son as he struggles to even come up with an idea some days. I decided this summer would include writing for him as well as for me. I am a teacher - I help students with their writing on a regular basis - but since I'm his mom he just doesn't want to hear suggestions from me. He's working on his typing skills using a typing program, but he's also started a blog that he shares with family and close friends. I'm hoping that the constant practice and freedom to choose his own topics will help him shake the despondency he feels when he's forced to write. So far, so good. His topic list is still fairly narrow and revolves around cheese, Minecraft, and our dogs, but he has been more positive about writing so far this summer. I hope this is a good sign that his growing pains in expressing himself in writing may be subsiding. Maybe he'll even let me jump into to provide some guidance from time to time.
My younger son has taken up the violin. He's officially old enough to start school lessons in the fall, but he absolutely wanted to start this summer. In some ways, these growing pains have been easier for me to watch. After all, I know nothing about violin. I can offer vague tips that entirely depend on my memory of what his brother learned at this stage two years ago. The screechy sounds, I am assured, are completely normal. His instructor seems quite pleased with his development, and that's good enough for me. This must be how non-teacher parents feel as they watch their children learn new skills. There's a lot of hope, a lot of trust, and a lot of finger crossing.
It's hard work being a teacher, and hard work being a mom. Doing both at the same time is downright brutal. Yet my sons continue to teach me that each flower blooms in its own time.