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The School for Making People

Mother gently hold baby leg in hand

Parents teach in the toughest school in the world --

The School for Making People.

You are the board of education, the principal, the classroom teacher,

and the janitor.

Virginia Satir

Until moments ago, I was sitting at my desk pouting that I didn't know what to write. Some days? I have a dozen blog posts ready-made in my mind just waiting to be unwrapped and popped into that efficient microwave of creation. Some days? My mind is a blank slate.

(Like today.)

But then. I checked my email. As I so often do when there is a lull in my thinking and doing. And there it was. An email from my good friend's husband. From late last night after I had gone to bed. I saw the email and smiled. For I knew what news was one click away.

A new person.

Last night, my friend, one of my very oldest and best friends, and her husband welcomed their first daughter. And they gave her the most whimsical and lovely and fitting name that it is not my place to share here. But trust me. It's gorgeous. And at this very moment it is only 7:36am, so I will force myself to wait a couple more hours before I call my friend and offer my congratulatory words and welcome her.

To the school. The School of Making People.

We humans are not just in the business of producing tiny infants who cry and coo. No, we humans make people. Once we become a parent, we are automatically awarded tenure in the most challenging university of all. And our work matters immensely. We are shaping and sustaining organisms. We are raising and rearing people. And our job is not all glitz and glamor and professorial monologue. We must make the hard decisions about curriculum of childcare, we must fashion prizes and punishments, we must teach the basics. We must clean up the messes in the hallways of our homes and heads and hearts.

This is not an easy job. No, it is a hard and humbling career. One from which there is no summer vacation or retirement.

But, in my estimation, it is a profound and priceless post to have. Daunting, but deep with importance. Exhausting, but stuffed with significance.

For what is more important that making people, the people who will grow to goodness and maybe greatness, the people who will, if we do things right (whatever that means), one day thank us for being good teachers, for making them who they are?

Apologies for the jagged nature of this post. At the moment, that pout is gone and I am just overwhelmed, happily overwhelmed, with the idea and reality of the teacher role I play along with so many of you. With the fact that the two little girls inches from me on the floor eating honeydew in pajamas are little people whom Husband and I have made.

Whom Husband and I are making.

Congrats, S, on the arrival of your sweet little person. Welcome to the School. I have no doubt you will be a wonderful teacher.


  • Do you agree that parenthood is the toughest school in the world?
  • Do you agree that parenting is a continuous exercise in "making people"?
  • Does it freak you out at all that it is principally up to us to teach our kids?
  • Looking back, were your parents your most involved and interested teachers?
  • Do your words flow freely every day or are there days when you get stuck?

**The lucky winner of Emily Giffin's latest novel Heart of the Matter is... Heather of the EO!**

Life After Yes Is a TARGET Breakout Book!

The Things We Can't Say