I just finished Skyping with Hubby and Moose. I am sitting in a quaint bed and breakfast in Germantown, Pennsylvania (right outside Philly). My heart hurts from seeing my baby and my boo and not being able to hug and kiss them good night. This morning, Moosie was asleep when I left. As I lay there on the bed, staring at his little face and smelling his breath, I thought, ‘What am I doing? Is this worth it?’
See, I just completed day 1 of the How to Multiply Your Baby’s Intelligence course at the Institutes. It was just a half-day – they spent this afternoon introducing the staff and other parents. Even though I haven’t officially learned anything, I am already convinced that yes, it is worth it.
Our class is fairly small according to their standards – just over 30 people. We represent 10 states and 5 countries. There are a handful teachers here to learn about the program to support their sister preschool that started the program last year. But the rest are just parents, some with newborns, some with toddlers, and a few that don’t even have kids yet!
The Institute has been around for over 40 years. Their original goal was to help brain-injured children and babies. They researched and looked for “gentle” ways to help these children function somewhat normally. What they ended up doing was getting these kids up to speed with their healthy peers, and in some cases surpassing them, physically and intellectually. This raised the question – if you can achieve this with brain-injured kids, what can you do with a child of normal capacity?
The first thing that impressed me was the staff. They were a diverse group, physicians and parents from all around the world. They all had a very gentle, loving nature about them. We also had the distinct pleasure of meeting Glenn Doman. The man is well into his 80s (90s even?) but he is so full of excitement and enthusiasm it brought tears to most of our eyes.
The next thing was meeting the other parents. I have told my dearest friends about this program, and only one (that I know of) has gotten as excited about it as I have. To hear the other parents talk about the progress of their children, and how exciting it has been was so motivating. I had the pleasure of eating dinner with several of the out-of-town moms. It is interesting that although we came from such different walks of life (Russian, Japanese, Indian, Canadian, and of course, me, Filipino) we all had the same ideals about raising our kids. Besides doing the Doman program, we all share the same ideas about nutrition, TV and education. We shared our different experiences with raising our kids in different countries and cultures, and compared typical education systems (I think most of us want to move to Canada!!)
But the biggest thing that moved my heart was an incident that took less than 3 minutes. When I checked into the B&B, the owner mentioned there was a family visiting from Italy that was also attending the Institutes. I looked for them in class, but didn’t see anyone from Italy. When I returned from dinner, I heard some noise coming from the kitchen. There was a mother and a boy of maybe 10 or 11, who was obviously not one of the “well” children. They didn’t speak any English, and I speak no Italian, but I stopped to say hi. The mother was lovingly watching her son eating his bread and soup. He was having a difficult time, but he was doing it himself. Through gestures and basic Italian, she indicated they have been here several weeks. I introduced myself and said ciao. He stopped , arms wavering, making an effort to look at me. Then he gave me the most gorgeous smile and slowly said,” An-ton-i-o” as he patted his chest. My heart melted and I told him he was “molto bello” (thanks to Luigi from Disney Cars, I know that phrase). “Grazie!”
I went up to my room and thought about what this boy was doing and how the Institutes had helped him. I think about Moose, my healthy, happy baby boy. When I first started out on my Stay-At-Home-Mom journey, I didn’t really understand my role. I thought I needed to go back to work to find purpose in my life, that I needed to have something outside of life as a mom to feel important. I’ve come to the realization that at this point in my life, there is no greater purpose than giving my child every opportunity to learn and play and discover the world. I am grateful for being given the opportunity to be Moose’s mommy, and I can’t wait to see where our journey takes us.