The Pyrenees---Southern France

The Pyrenees---Southern France

Friday, July 30, 2010

Out of the Ditches and Between the Lines...

            My ex-brother-in-law said something very eloquent once.  He stated that the key to raising kids (boys especially) was keeping them "out of the ditches and between the lines."  That simple idea embraces so much...the acknowledgment that kids will waver and drift and weave a bit, but if your offspring keep between the lines, and out of the ditches (avoiding major problems), you can consider yourself successful as a parent.

         Yesterday, I cried when my son left.  There have been a few tear-filled good-byes while he's been in college, but it has been a while since the last blubbering session. I mean, of course, I cried when we left him in his dorm room, a freshman.  We cried earlier that summer when he left to play his horn across Europe; there have been a couple more times over the past three years, but my memory is foggy.

        Yesterday was different...

        Yesterday, he was heading to work a six-month internship in Kansas City as a music therapist.  Every other time, when our son has left, we knew roughly when he would be coming back---Thanksgiving break, Christmas, Spring Break, summertime, and so on.  This time he was doing something real.  Something "grownup." This time, he might find a job (hopefully) after the internship is over, and he might never really come back home. 

          As a teacher, I worry about my students after they leave me in the spring and go upstairs to another teacher and another grade level in the fall.  Will Neimayah's teacher see the fear and fierce loyalty behind her (sometimes) flip facade?  Will Christian's teacher set the expectations high enough for him to flourish?  Will Arielle's teacher see her as a budding writer?

         I worry about them because they're no longer mine, but I also worry about them when they enter the real world a few years down the road.  State test scores aside, are they learning to be persistent when it comes to solving problems?  Are they learning to think outside of the box?  Are they learning to be passionate about knowledge?

         I worry that as a parent, and as a teacher, I could be doing more...

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