Disentangling what, when, and how
The life of a child is full of milestones. As a parent you are always aware of the progress, or lack thereof, with regard to any of them. One of the most important lessons I've learned as a parent is that what, how, and when are not something to which you should give equal attention. What is learning to walk, learning to talk, learning to read, learning to skip, learning to play an instrument, learning to do math. How is a way one gets to what. When, as with time in general, is relative: when is how long it takes to walk the path set before you by how; when is also the memory of arrival. As such, when is both an unknown and a known, and its availability depends on your position on the path called how. When is a source of stress for parents (and children), and that stress manifests itself in the decision to choose paths that would seem to get at what more quickly. What is a way point that exists ahead or behind us--it recedes as fast as it arrives, since what marks a point on the way, and is never an end. When is mostly experienced as memory. You spend more time in your life on the far side of what than you do getting to it. The only thing that stays with us as a constant is how. How is the way that leads to, through, and past what. How is where we spend our time. Not some of it. All of it. We focus on what, we stress about when, and in doing so we learn to dismiss how as simply an in-order-to. How is where we should focus. Shifting our focus toward how allows us to take more elaborate routes, to get lost, to visit people along the way, to get delayed, to try different paths, to enjoy our time. How is how we should live. How is how we should parent.