In an ideal world

I’m laughing at myself a little bit because I just read the first lines of my last post and realised that, even in my correction, I still only went as far as saying in an ideal world I could create the school that I want to send my son to; not that it already exists. But I guess that sounds about right. I don’t know whether it’s flagging control issues, ego or just not wanting to be left out, but it sounds about right.

As exciting as it would be, though, I am too perpetually exhausted to be doing a good job of a project that big. Oh. but wait, in an ideal world, I get a solid eight hours. I keep forgetting the brief. Still, we can take it further, and we should. That’s how we get to the heart of things – by pushing past the edges.

In an ideal world, everything we have collectively learned over our time on this Earth would be harnessed to tailor education to each of our children’s individual needs and potentials, and as parents we would be actively involved in this ever unfolding process, because the value of raising children would be elevated above what we currently consider productivity. Is that better?

It’s useful to think about what we want. What we really want. You know, outside of our self-imposed limitations. Outside of what we’ve learned to accept is possible. If we could have anything, what would it be? If you’re anything like me, you’ll have to push yourself beyond your first few answers before you get to the truth. Before you even get close to scratching the itch of your deepest ambitions. Or even begin to perceive the full extent of your vision.

In an ideal world…

It’s a good prompt.

Renovate the ponds

When I was a kid I knew I was a big fish in a small pond. My immediate environment did very little to challenge my innate capacity. In fact, no one had any real idea of my true capacity. Nobody ever really thought to check, or knew how to check, or had the time and resources to check. It lay there, dormant and, to some extent, atrophying.

I have a high IQ, and that meant I noticed the contrast between who I could be and who I was permitted to be more keenly than some others. But that’s not the kind of potential I’m talking about. Almost every child is a big fish in a small pond, because our ponds are shallow and paltry. In fact, my ability to score well on a test got me special extensions built on my pond, and it was still woefully constricting.

The spellbinding truth is we all have unfathomable human potential. We are, as a collective, a kadeidoscope of wondrous, talent-filled possibilities. And it’s sinful how much that goes to waste because we’re never given the support or space to explore it. Take us to the sea!

It scares me, sometimes, to think about all the ways school will inevitably fail my son as he grows. And the alternative – to keep him out of school and take on that responsibility and inevitable failure myself – terrifies me too. And that’s just one kid.

I have no answers here, just many troubling questions.