This is the time of the year when new and different seem to be in order. Preschoolers crying on their momma’s legs; grade schoolers, high schoolers and college “schoolers” wanting to, but just happen to be too grown up.
I have been talking to many parents and reading many Facebook posts about the new adjustments… on both sides.
When my first went to preschool, I can remember like it was yesterday, how he was holding up a piece of bacon smiling for the camera while wearing a purple backpack equipped with florescent stripes so the cars would see him.
Out into the world he was going …to be judged, corrected, and compared to others. I wanted to wrap him completely in florescent stripes to protect him so they could “see” him.
Even when your kids are older and they are trying to find their way… judged, corrected and compared still happen to be the greatest fears for both child and parent. In grade school it is who gets asked to play at recess, …in junior high it is who sits with whom at lunch, …in high school it is who’s dating whom and who is wearing you know who’s football jersey on Friday, … and in college it is how you will be accepted by your new roommate or “floor” and the turmoil of which Greek house might want you. And on top of that, along the way, teachers and coaches let you know how you compare.
As a parent it is a tough thing to watch and is out of our hands. There is not enough florescent stripe in the world to protect your children from what is in store each day. Nor would you want it. Nor should they have it. The chips will fall where they may and it is how the child sails through it and comes out in the end that is the most important thing. Some will need a life raft, some will need a flare, some will be tossed in the storm, and some will appear lucky enough to have the wind at their sails…but remember, it is never as easy as it appears.
And no matter what age they are, our job is to be the safe harbor in which to land when the day’s cruise is done.