I’ll be visiting my mom’s seventh grade classroom on Monday, but I won’t be helping with a lesson plan as I usually do. This time I am the lesson plan. Apparently they want to have a formal business meeting with me, which to seventh graders means rearranging the classroom into a long conference table and coming to school in formal clothes. They’re even preparing agenda items they want to talk about. I’m really looking forward to it, but I will obviously need to prepare a bit more than just rolling out of bed as I usually do.
My mom and I had a lengthy conversation about this on IM, in particular about what types of advice they’re looking for and reflecting back on when I was in seventh grade. I’ve thought deeply about the path to where I am now, but I hadn’t really considered my parents’ perspective much on that. My mom provided this thought on the subject:
One thing interesting to me is that you pretty much started when you were their age, or just a bit older and we never understood it at all. So you were very open with us, and we “friended” you and stuff and finally we could see that it was very strange but good and we left you alone. But you always said you wanted to work for yourself and you always had some sort of vision that was very long-term, or some feeling of which direction to follow as different choices came up that would end up working for you. And you also knew when to get out. So, maybe it’s about trusting yourself?
There’s a lot of meat in that paragraph. I spent years alone on the family computer in our basement. And my parents paid attention to it, participated sometimes, funded it, talked to me about it. I’m fascinated that there was this thing that I was doing, and my parents just let me do it without really knowing what it was or what would come of it. They just trusted me and that taught me to trust myself.