Well, There’s This…
A dear friend mused about how my newfound parenthood would impact my teaching and how being a teacher would impact my parenting. Regarding the latter, I can already note a tangible difference in an unexpected area.
I’ve never been the most physically affectionate teacher and, amongst early childhood teachers, am probably at the extreme end. This is for two primary reasons: inherent personality and self-preservation. I’ve needed to be more physically affectionate this year than most because I have a particularly huggy, cuddly group of kids, but it still never really became a big thing for me. Being a cold-hearted bastard will do that, I guess.
But since Mayonnaise arrived on the scene, it’s been different. And I think I finally put a finger on why.
When the children hug me, I think it is less about their love or affection for me and more about me serving as a proxy for who they wish they were really hugging and loving at that moment: their parents. And I realized this because, while giving one of them a hug, I was doing so thinking of Mayonnaise and how much I wish I was hugging him at that moment.
Now, maybe I’m projecting. Maybe the snot nosed brats like me in spite of my best efforts. But before Mayonnaise, I never even really thought about the power of hugs in the classroom beyond providing comfort and providing a tangible symbol of love. After him? Well, maybe they’re a bit more useful than that…