It’s just another day in paradise. Even in the rain, there is no place I’d rather be… at the moment. That feeling has a habit of changing, all in a glimpse, in my experience. I’m pretty sure that I’ve felt that way just about every place we’ve lived. Today is the first day of school for many in my part of the country. Even though I’m beyond the days of new clothes, new pencils, and new pictures of faces caught between the excitement of a new year and the mortal embarrassment of having parents with cameras. Actually, as I think of it, after 20 some years, this is actually the first that we haven’t dealt with a child and the start of a new year. Now that my youngest is married, we no longer have to drop her off at college. It’s her husbands deal now to make sure she’s up and away on her first day.
In a perverted twist of fate though, I find myself still a perpetual state of learning. Yesterday was the first day of my final year of grad school journey number 1. I am now terming this as journey number 1 because as I enter the home stretch, I am now seeing glimpses of the remote possibility that I may continue on. I am still using the terms remote and glimpses so it’s far from a sure bet, however I never want to be known as the Bret Favre of higher education, so I need to always leave the door open.
As a parent having survived all of the “first days” and being witness to the results, let me send this off as encouragement to you. Here are a couple of things
that I’ve learned…. Some of them successfully and others …. not so much. Some came easy and others… not so much. Enjoy these years and breathe them in every chance you get. They are in no particular order except for number 1.
• Pray every chance you get. Pray as often as you breathe.
• Hold on loosely.
• Laugh at everything that someone else would find laughable. You might not find it laughable at the time, but if someone else can, why let them have all the enjoyment.
• Lead don’t drive.
• This is their life, don’t live yours through them.
• Don’t imagine what they might become… they are capable of so much more that your imagination can conceive.
• If it is the worst time for it to happen, it will… just breathe and go with it.
• Memorize this part of the book of books … “And it came to pass” . In other words, whatever it is, it didn’t come to stay. The two’s will pass. Puberty will pass. Junior High will pass.
• Pay your medical premiums.
• It’s only hair.
• Games and school events are more important than meetings and any employer that doesn’t understand this is not worth working for.
• You can always get another job.
• “It’s only money, they make more everyday.”
• A family is like a body… all parts contribute…no one is allowed to be an appendix.
• Don’t give an allowance for jobs that are contributing to the operation of the family. They won’t get paid to make their beds or do their dishes when they move out.
• Make them move out … when it’s time of course.
• Don’t let them move back.
• Always hold on to this wisdom; “Grandchildren are God’s reward for not killing your children.”
Enjoy every minute that you have and every new school year that comes. You’ll never regret having spent too much time with them. For some it’s the first, for some it’s the last…for everyone, it can be the nest.