Clara woke up early this morning and scurried into the living room, bouncing on the ends of her toes. She was excited to get started with school for the day. She jumped and clasped her hands tight to her chest while eyeing the mysterious new object that sat on the couch. The small piano keyboard we had ordered for her had arrived the day before, and she had gone to bed while I was still struggling to figure out how to make it work with her computer. So, today was like Christmas morning and this keyboard was a fresh new sled that she would ride into unknown unmapped territory filled with thrilling adventures.

School, even her home-school brand of it, is turning into quite a magical place. It is a place where she is invited to witness and explore the world that, until now, she has only glanced into while hopping along the tall hedge fence that encircles it. We are trying to find a comfortable even pace, but she is digging holes in the living room carpet as her wheels spin at the starting line. She is ready. She is determined. She has no idea what she is getting into.

One of the first things she is struggling to understand is how the whole process of education is going to happen. She knows that we, as her parents, are going to be teaching her, but what will that look like? And as she grows in knowledge what will happen? Well, she apparently has thought this through, and has developed her own answers for how it will work.

She sat down next to me on the couch this morning running her hands across the shiny new keyboard, and turned her head to look at me.

“I can’t wait to learn about things.” She said. “Mom told me how it is going to work.”

“Oh?” I said, looking up from my shoelaces.

“Yes. She said she is going to teach me first, and then after she is done teaching me everything she knows, you are going to come and teach me the rest of it. Then I will know all of it.” She swept her hand in the air, as if “all of it” was floating like a balloon above her head just out of reach.

“Oh?” I said again, choking a bit in shock. I looked back to my shoelaces that I had blindly fumbled into an awkward knot. As I pulled the strings free and started over I told her, “You might have misunderstood a few things about what mom was talking about. Mom is much smarter than Dad, so after you know everything mom knows, there won’t be much more left for Dad to tell you about.” I glance up at her, and she was looking down at her piano with a furrowed brow. “Unless you are interested in knowing about G.I.Joe comics, or things I overheard someone saying about pop stars while I was at McDonald’s the other day.”

She shrugged. “Sure.”

“Well, let’s just start with the little piano,” I told her. My second try at tying my shoes successful, I kissed her on the forehead and carried my briefcase out the front door on my way to work.