In software engineering there are different phases to a product life cycle. The first is information or data gathering phase. This is when the team collects as much data as possible about the product about to be built. Then they do a feasibility study on whether the product should be built or not based on the data gathered.
I am a software engineer and decided to apply this approach to raising kiddo as well. Just to clarify, I wanted to collect data for use as she progressed through various life stages. My ears were always perked up so as to catch any useful bit of information on classes or camps or extracurriculars. Whether I was in the restroom or a theater my ears never turned off.
I was in the library once and was sitting with kiddo in the study room since it was much quieter here. We saw a dad walk in with 3 of his young daughters followed by an elderly woman who seemed warm and friendly. They settled comfortably and the lady seemingly the teacher started quizzing them in a language I did not follow. They read stories together, did puzzles and oh my lord did a lot of fun stuff together! While my eyes read the book, my ears were tuned in trying to understand what was being spoken.
I wanted all of that for my daughter. Whatever they were learning we wanted to learn. At the end of the session they all got up to leave and I quickly walked up to the dad and asked him what that session was about. He had a funny look on his face that I will never forget. He said the girls were learning Hebrew from the Rabbi’s wife. Oh, I said mesmerized and asked for her contact info. He willingly gave it to me and went back to his daughters.
I got distracted by other things and came home much later. I was clearing out my purse when the slip of paper with the Rabbi’s contact info fell out. I picked it up and thought about it a bit. Did I want my daughter to learn Hebrew because others were learning it? Come on you, I said , there is a limit to data collection. You cannot randomly pick up anything that shines. You should pick up things that matter to you and kiddo. Let her lead the way.. That was the last day I did any kind of data collection.