Dearest Emma

Friday was end of term for you and in your bag, along with all your works of heart, was your report.

Over a cup of coffee I sat reading through it, looking for the 1’s and 2’s, hoping not to see too many 3’s or 4’s. Looking through it I had to keep reminding myself that you’re one of the youngest in your class and that there are things you still need to grasp, understand and achieve, like numbers, social sciences and space and shape. It goes without saying that you’re a little Miss Chatterbox sometimes and you have a tendency to distract your fellow classmates, but I know that with a little bit of ‘maturity’ and time, you’ll soon understand classroom etiquette and settle down.

Where you do shine Emma, and I beamed with pride when I read it, is with your vocab, your sense of humour, your manners and your ‘spiritual development’. You show tolerance and acceptance of those around you. You display kindness, compassion and empathy beyond your years. You are independent with a good self esteem and you love making other people feel special too. You take the ‘newbies’ under your wing and even though some of them are the same age as you, or older, you make sure they’re okay. You encourage and praise and you make sure your friends know that their best is good enough. Even at home, if I’m putting one of your toys together or playing a game with you, you cheering “C’mon mommy you can do it! Try a little harder!” spurs me on. And once the task is completed your hearty and sincere “Well done mama! Well done!” makes me glad I didn’t give up.

Though good marks are important I have to remind myself that in a few years, academics might not matter. You might not want to go to university and follow a traditional career path. You might want to be an entrepreneur or a philanthropist. You might choose to be on a stage or work in a remote little town far away from the hustle and bustle of the rat race. I need to, in some way, future proof you and make sure you can tackle any challenge that comes your way.

In a world where failure’s inevitable you need to know that that’s not what defines you. What will make you successful (whatever that is) is how you handle it. If you’re able to recognise the lesson, get up and dust yourself off to try again, then you have succeeded. If you’re not afraid to try different things, then you’re a success.

Your report made daddy and I so proud. When people have asked me how I’m going to teach you your culture I’ve always answered that I won’t be able to. But what I can do is a raise a little girl who is respectful of others, who is kind, caring and aware of those around her.

Emma, you have mastered things that no classroom or textbook can teach you and we are so proud. These are ‘skills’ that will enrich your life and the people in it. With them everything else will fall into place xxx

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3 thoughts on “Things you can’t learn in a classroom

  1. very moving – I am in a simliar situation to you and can so relate. Would you be interested in writing for Jozikids some time? Rgds Merle

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