I have, on a few occasions, written here about the regrets I feel for that first year of students that came through my classroom. The ones who sat through my own abrupt learning curve as I attempted to simultaneously teach and be taught how to teach as part of an intern program that came as a great relief for me as I made the leap from warehouse manager to educator. I'm not sure what sort of relief I gave to those kids way back when. Once again, I apologize for the scatter shot nature of that first year and the limitations I brought to your academic endeavors.
Strange, since at that precise moment, I was an intern in another program: parenthood. Over this past month, my son has been involved in a sleep study at the University of California in Berkeley. I mention this because it has been this process that has begun to open my eyes as to the amateur status I hold as a parent. I am certain that this will come as no surprise to my son: I am making this up as I go along. It has helped to shine a light on the essentially experimental nature of what we are doing in our house. This is not to say that I am embarrassed by my efforts. I feel that I have done quite well, along with my co-amateur parent, considering the vast spectrum of outcomes we have both experienced and avoided as a family. My wife and I are acutely aware of the relative successes and failures in our little family unit compared to those around us. It is part of the reason we tell people that we stopped at the only child plateau. We have been able to focus all of our parental energies into this one kid, much to our collective chagrin.
That's not to say that I don't owe my son an apology. He gets one now and again, but mostly he is a good sport and forgives me the ones that I forget. In the next few months, research may tell us that we have been going at this sleep process all wrong for the past fifteen years, and we should have been doing something radically different than we have been as a group. I will accept the findings and do whatever I can to implement them as we head into the home stretch of undergraduate parenting. With humility.