This week I went with the boy who shares my life to a Tae Kwon Do class. I watched as he followed the instructions, trying to do sit ups and jabs and reverse jabs, he was so happy. At the end, all the children were learning a sequence, and I watched as he copied as best he could and then at the end shouted "YAH!" along with the other children.
I was amazed at the freedom of his expression - how he really didn't care what anyone else thought of him, didn't care if he was doing it "right", he was so at ease with himself. I recalled how awquard I felt in my own skin, even up until recent years and how even now, I probably couldn't do what he did. I would just have felt so selfconsicous, so embarassed, so afraid of negative judgement. I am so entrenched in fear that I often miss life's opportunities. So damaged.
And as I watched him, long awaited tears fell down my cheeks, I gulped in pain. I was so proud of him the emotion was brimming. I was just ecstatic with joy that he was so free.
Since then, I have been thinking about how to not damage his authentic expression. How can I stop his confidence being damaged? May be there are no gaurentees, but I believe with care, with self care too, I can be the mother that I need to be to protect him when I need to.
I am getting closer and closer to pulling him out of school. After two months of school, he has been taught about retribution, seen children punished when in need of healing and learnt how to be controlled with punishments and rewards. I am sure he has learnt lots of positive beautiful things, like.... when a mother came in to talk about alternatives to houses, and meeting a builder, and discovering about the past 100 years. But I am just not sure that I want to risk loosing his creativity and authenticity? Whilst so many children thrive in school, it isn't suitable for every child because it caters for one type of personality, one type of learning style. The trouble is I don't know if it is his style and deep down I doubt it is.
All I know right now is that I am so lucky to share my life with these children.