Sharing the Joy of “Work” with My Child

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes, 1 second

A couple of days ago, I had one of those days of meetings one after another… almost non-stop. My days are longer than most people because I work full-time in the morning and then I tend to have meetings or conferences or whatever on US morning-afternoon time… so I can literally work from 8am-11pm, usually with many breaks, but occasionally it gets out of hand. It was one of those 9am-8pm type days with a few breaks.

In one of my afternoon meetings, I was at my mom’s place, and my 9 yo peeked in, but she was too shy to say hello and talk much. However, a couple of hours later, I was attending a workshop (an LS Speculations one with Anna Jackson and Fisher Qua) with some of the same people (Anna and Fisher) and the workshop itself was kind of fun, with drawing and stuff… so when my daughter walked by, I told her she could participate. And she did. She sat beside me the entire 2 hours of the workshop, drew along with us, participated in the chat, joined breakout rooms to show her work and TALK about it. There was a part where we bring a book and smell it and talk about it, and she got one and talked about it. There was a spiral journal activity and she was like “I know Spiral journal, I’ll do it”. And she did. She also had a really cool answer for one of the questions “what is time, to you?” and she said “time is like a sloth in the day time, and in the night time, is like a sloth when it poops” (apparently she means night time goes by too fast and apparently sloths move quickly when they want to poop. Who knew?)

It reminded me of a day in Digital Pedagogy Lab Fredericksburg where she was much younger and she came in and spent a couple of hours with us while Kate Bowles and I taught. But this was different because she participated fully. I guess the videos she joined in on for the OneHE/Equity Unbound community-building resources helped, because what we were doing felt familiar…

I still don’t know what makes my child more or less likely to participate in an online conversation any more. I know she likes it when it is just one or two people whom she knows well. Certain ppl she loves to see, but sometimes she is shy to show her face. I know that when she was younger she did not care if it was livestreamed on YouTube, but now she asks if it is recorded and/or livestreamed first. When she started writing, she realized she could type stuff in chat with people without necessarily talking aloud. She still does that sometimes, even sending private messages.

Yesterday, I was signed up for a webinar with a feminist-entrepreneur type theme and I thought, it’s never too early for this… and my daughter joined me and we had fun. She took notes! She typed +1’s in the chat (Because the presenter asked people to do that when they liked something).

Granted, none of these was actually “work” but actually Professional Development that I was getting for free. But they are things I enjoy… and they tend to happen in my afternoon/evening, so she is home with me… and sharing them with her means we get to experience it together, rather than having to be apart. It won’t always work, but it’s cool when it does! She plans to join more of these inshallah!

Image by Kim Newberg from Pixabay 

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