At brunch today, I asked my children if they mind if I share interesting stories from their childhood — stories that intersect with my work as an early childhood professional. They laughed and said, essentially, “they are your stories to share, Mom.” I agree, but similar to posting photos and experiences on social media, I feel that in a world of limited privacy, the subjects of our sharing must be given the opportunity to dictate what is shared.
My children are correct: I evolved into the early childhood professional I am because I had to be their mom. I couldn’t be prouder of the adults each of them has become. I see bits of the best of me and bits of the best of their dad in each of them. I see more of the best of the experiences that shaped them. I see three individuals, who have some common traits and are very good friends with each other but also very different. I see that their interactions with each other are much more influential than I will ever be, as the rest of their lives unfold. They are my first-hand case study on the influence of nature and nurture on the development on an individual person. As an early childhood professional, I wish I had a definitive answer to the age-old question about which of these forces has the greater influence. As their mom, I am glad I don’t. Not having the answer allows me to bear witness to the joy that is their lives.