My son is a teacher, a university professor. I find this amazing because, in spite of my father and sister being teachers, I was not born with that ability. My efforts to teach my children piano met with disaster: crying, refusing to do as I instructed, and finally quitting after a half dozen lessons.

Though I play the piano well, it does not translate to being a good piano teacher. When I understand or do things intuitively, I can’t conceive of other people not getting it, so I have no idea how to teach them.

I repeat: I am not a teacher. Never have been. Never will be.

My son, Chris, however, has been teaching me all his life. I first glimpsed his ability when he was only seven. His little sister was in hysterics one afternoon because I couldn’t help her with homework (remember, I’m not a teacher), so I decided to put myself in time-out (i.e., remove myself from the situation.) As I walked towards my bedroom fighting back tears, Chris stopped me with these words:

“It’s okay, Mom. We love you. You don’t have to be perfect.”

Wow. Only seven, but still able to put his thumb on the heart of the matter, something I would see him do time and again in the future.

I believed that as a good mother, I should be able to help my child with homework. When I couldn’t, I felt like a failure. I wasn’t just upset out of empathy for my child, though that was surely part of it. I was also distressed because I believed that a good mother should be able to soothe the tears, take away the pain, and fix the problem. Hard as I tried, I couldn’t.

I don’t know where I got the idea that I was supposed to fix every problem. I don’t remember my mother doing that for me; I just recall working long and hard to figure out and fix things for myself.

Regardless of the reason, I expected to solve things for my children. And Chris saw this. I don’t know how, but I suspect I know why. God allowed him to see truth as a way of awakening me, helping me to see the foolishness and impossibility of my self-expectations. We have to see before we can take a step towards change, a step towards letting go and giving things to God.

A much needed lesson to a mother from her son…God’s little teacher.


  1. Susie
    Aug 27, 2015

    i’ve caught up on your last three blogs. kids. crikies… good thing we had kids or we wouldn’t have anything to blog about, right? they’ve survived us and we survived them. so far. (well done, friend)

    • Karen Curran
      Aug 28, 2015

      So far:)
      Thanks, Susie!

  2. cindi
    Oct 16, 2015

    Love all your thoughts and the way you express yourself!

    • Karen Curran
      Oct 16, 2015

      Thnx, Cindi!

Leave a Reply to Karen Curran Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *