Didn’t know I had a petard, and here I am hoist with it

Grenade, Bomb, War, Weapon, DangerI had to look petard up: a small bomb apparently.  As for being hoist on/by/with it, we have Shakespeare to thank for that one.  All I knew was that it meant, roughly, to fall into one’s own trap, and that I’ve certainly done this week.

Embarrassed, but trying hard to be authentic, so…

Allow me to explain.

A few weeks ago I was asked to take on a pair of new students – young brothers who shared a genetic condition with their mother.  “Multi-systemic” I was told, so the effects of this syndrome involve skin, joints, brain and just about any part of the body you can think of.  The words ‘complex learning difficulties’ were also mentioned.

To be honest, I was almost at full stretch before these lads appeared on the scene.  Planning two lots of lessons in maths and English tailored to their particular mix of strengths (very high intelligence) and challenges, as well as homework each week would, I knew, take at least an entire day.  Then there was the teaching itself, which I could only just slot in amongst my other young pupils.  Everything logical in my mind was screaming, “No, don’t do it!  What about that work/life balance you wanted?  You are past retirement age, you know.  And this lady wants you to work on right through the summer holidays.  When will you get to see the family?”

But the kids were lovely.  Finding ways of working around their difficulties would be fascinating – previously uncharted territory, the type of challenge I thrive on.  They weren’t fitting into schools.  Their constant pain and exhaustion, as a result of the syndrome, was too much for them when combined with a normal school day.  The mother, though, was being threatened by the authorities for not providing sufficient education.

I said, ‘Yes’.

Of course I did.

Writing, Boy, Child, Student, KidFor a couple of weeks it went fine.  Yes, I did end up doing lesson prep all through the weekends but they seemed to be progressing well and I was enjoying working with them.  Then this week they appeared full of smiles but without homework.  A casual ‘lost it somewhere in my room’ from one and ‘I didn’t realise you wanted me to do that’ from the other.

Inwardly I was irritated.  The homework sheets had taken me ages to prepare.  The work I’d planned for this week followed on from what they were meant to have done.  Their mother had particularly requested homework.  It was meant to protect her from being taken to court… and blah, blah, blah.

Outwardly, I smiled, suggested mildly that maybe they could try to get it done for the following week and carried on.  The lessons went fine and I went to bed that night feeling very happy.

Oh I know at least one of my readers knows exactly what’s coming!

I woke up the next morning to a text from the children’s mother.  Both of them had told her I was ‘grumpy’ during their lessons.  She wondered what was wrong.

I was mortified.  The lessons had (I thought) been lovely – lots of laughter and progress.  Was I just a delusional old bat?  Had I ended up like those elderly lady teachers I remembered from my own school days – miserable and past it?  Was it time to stop and give up – to sit in a rocking chair knitting all day?

I flashed a quick message back, saying I had been disappointed that they’d not bothered with the homework, but wasn’t aware of being grumpy about it; that I’d tried hard to keep the work lively and enjoyable and so forth.

Then I sat and thought.

Why was I choosing to be so upset by this?  Why had this incident shown up in my life?  What did it have to teach me?

The reply came almost at once, in a further message from the children’s mum.  She hadn’t wanted to upset me.  She just felt she had to be authentic and tell me their reaction.  It wasn’t my words or actions they had reacted to, it was my feelings.  They were, she added, extremely sensitive and picked up on the energy people projected.

Heart, Love, Idea, Light BulbAh.

Got it.

That heart-based telepathy thing.

So I thanked her – and the universe – for providing me with that reminder.  I told her about my last blog post, on exactly this subject, and promised to attempt to be more open and authentic in future.

See what I mean about being hoist with my own petard?  This communicating-from-the-heart business is not easy.  I’m glad to have these two young teachers.  Like all good teachers, they’ve appeared just as the student is ready 🙂


15 comments on “Didn’t know I had a petard, and here I am hoist with it

  1. How do you become a person who never projects a negative emotion? In this case, it is part of their consequences for not following through. I don’t see how I could stop myself from ever feeling a negative feeling in another person’s presence…. What a challenge!

    • No, I don’t think any of us could, but I guess the challenge is not to try to cover it up. If I was being authentic, I’d have said something like, “I feel really disappointed that you didn’t do this,” and explained why.
      Not easy, but I won’t be trying to conceal my true feelings from them again in a hurry. I just hope they don’t annoy me too much!

  2. Homework is a disaster waiting to happen. I always worked really hard at school. But Homework? It doesn’t “Compute”. Actually, I don’t think I ever did any homework. And I can remember a time when I really wasn’t aware that I was meant to complete something at that point. And then I was “lazy” and had to stay in. Even my mother didn’t get that.
    Ugh. Our Brains are not wired like yours!
    Homework and us don’t mix.

    • Believe me, I’d sooner not set it! Spent years in schools being forced to set – and mark – homework. I KNEW it was almost always done by the parents, if at all. Felt like writing ‘Well done Mrs Jones, you’re getting the hang of long division now’ at the bottom.
      I only set it in this case because the parent requested it. Still, it taught me a valuable lesson.
      Thanks for your insights, anyhow 🙂

  3. I love it. Always pulling us back to our centre, to where the truth is, no matter what the shade. Can you imagine a world where we flow from this place, instinctively always with each other, and not taking it personally where others happen to be sitting within themselves? I love that we are moving in this direction on the whole, its my favourite part. Truth. X

  4. This so fascinates me. I could read this kind of unveiling forever it seems. You are teaching the future, I’m ever so curious about how we are going to move into it.

    It strikes me that, because the body is the mirror of the heart and these kids’ heart is their communication base, that this is affecting them throughout their entire system. It hurts to be this empathic as people are generally insensitive to HSP people.

    I wonder what would happen in an atmosphere of only acceptance. *Very difficult, I do conjecture. Would it heal the body too? I have a sneaking suspicion that it would.

    • Now there is a thought. What a wonderful idea, Art. I think you could be right.

      That has sparked off a whole new line of thought. I need to go and ponder on it for a while…

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