To say I taught my son, is a misguided statement.
I taught my son why we have to be quiet in church, and its one of the lessons I am most proud of. I taught him that people are quiet in church because they are listening for God. I taught him that people have to quiet their minds and then they have to quiet their bodies (and the body-messages that rise up the moment their mind gets quiet) and that after they quiet both their minds and their bodies, sometimes they can feel hear sense and experience God. And I taught him that by being quiet in church, even when we don’t feel like it, we are helping others around us by not distracting them away from their internal focus and from God’s presence.
But, I don’t know that I have actually taught him anything. Teaching means passing on knowledge so that it becomes the property of the student.
Have I told him? Yes, definitely. Have I answered his questions? Yes, and thoroughly. Has he paid attention? Yes. Has he expressed interest? Yes. Understanding? Yes.
But, has he experienced the reason to be quiet in church? Has he personally felt within his own body and mind the reason, the internal motivation, to be silent? Probably not at seven years old, yet.
Some do. I did. At seven, it was vitally important that I go with the flow and maintain the norm in order to keep order and calm inside my body & mind. At seven I was an expert adult. I was helping those around me learn the rules so we could all stay safe. At seven I knew God and was listening intently to that internal focus that brings about spiritual curiosity.
So, I am proud and so very excited to finally BE an adult, a mother who has the explicit responsibility to teach someone the spiritual things that I know; the things I have known since I was seven.
But, the lessons, the teaching that I am doing for my child are actually for me right now. I am the one getting something from them. Him? maybe. I trust him to find his way and I trust my instinct to teach what comes out of me naturally. I don’t for a second believe that he is learning just because I said so or just because I paid attention. It takes time because it takes experience; real-life experience that doesn’t come from me. It comes from that place inside of him that I cannot see or touch or even influence, it is that mysterious place in all of us that drives what we learn.