Roots of Empathy Report
I think most of you know that my son is a Roots of Empathy teacher. Meaning as a growing baby he goes to school once a month as a facilitator of kids, in our case 9 year olds, trying to connect empathy to their lives. It is practical program making a real difference in schools around Vancouver, and elsewhere.
Yesterday's class was not just powerful but fun. The topic was identity and the kids had composed about a dozen questions for Baby A. I was to channel his answers; you know, because I "know him best". (I scoffed a bit at that part. So would his sister.. I mean isn't this about individual identity... Ok enough from me -- Yes, G. I do think about stuff way tooooo much)
Here are a few of the really good questions I had to 'answer'
Do you like coming here?
What is your favorite thing to do?
What is it like when you can't talk? (pretty philosophical, huh?)
What was it like to be born?
I told them A. likes coming yes. And that his favorite thing to do right now is drum. I had trouble with the question about talking because he is just getting going with language and as his Mom it is hard to think of him as not 'talking' cause he makes a lot of noise to express himself, or words to that effect.
As for being born? Hmmmm. Since Baby A. was overdue and since his last couple inches before the rattle of bones which signal his expulsion from my body involved a quick hand hauling him out by his shoulder I had little story for them. I told them that for A. the experience of birth was also tied to someone giving him some help. It might have rushed him a little and as such he came out quiet. Like he had to think about that help for a moment before he really got connected to being here with all of us. "You know how that is?" I asked them. When someone goes to give you some help and then you sort of have to take a moment and think about it. That might be something like what it was like for A. being born.
That was a toughie but I think I did ok.
This month is sign-up time for September Roots of Empathy sessions. If you know an expectant mother delivering in June/July/August (or so) I highly recommend the Roots program. They can email me anytime at motherwoman zero four at yahoo.ca with questions. Or visit the Roots website. The program reaches children from Kindergarten to Grade 8 across Canada, in English and French, in rural, urban, remote and Aboriginal communities and is being piloted internationally in Australia and New Zealand.
Labels: Roots of Empathy