The Eve of Back to School

Occasionally I will post something on my Facebook page that lends itself to becoming a column. This is one of those times; here is the original post.

“I noticed some of my friends are parting with their children as the kids go to school or college. Everyone is happy that their children are making progress in life and getting the education that will help them enjoy their life.

There is, however, an underlying tone of sadness- especially from parents. These children or young adults are not only emotionally part of you-they share the same construction, chemistry, morality and history that makes either of you who you are. It must be very difficult to separate from that person.

I have no answers to this sadness, I only want to say I recognize it and hope it fades in the sunlight of the growth of your child as a person

I want to take this little statement and break it down a bit, also if you are happy to have the kids out of the house and do not get little pangs of sadness as the kids leave the house- I would like to congratulate you but there are others who have mixed feelings.

First off, it seems to me that education is a lot like saving money- the earlier you start, the greater your reward will be in the future. Elementary school education gives little kids not only facts and dates to remember but teaches them how to learn; a skill that makes a great future possible. Having some education makes life better and just the skill of being able to read is like a crossroads that can set your life on one course or the other,

Ok, education is important, but most parents have to separate from their kids to accomplish this-not a huge separation but separation of some hours. I don’t like being separated from my coffee cup, much less a little being who shares DNA, a common history and carries the gifts which I could present him or her with-namely morality and love. I feel for parents as they see their little kids getting on the bus in those back-to-school-new clothes and monster backpacks.

Except for a long line of cattle, cats, dogs, guinea pigs, etc-I have never been a parent. I do understand separation however and back to school was a difficult time for me as a young person. Not seeing the cows, cats and our dog on a regular basis was difficult and I missed my familiar work clothes, work boots and ball cap. That first kiss of a cold summer morning always let me know time was short and that I soon would only see these portions of my heart on a measured basis.

Finally, I have no solution to those who get the blues when they see yellow buses. I’ve learned from years of marriage that sometimes I don’t need to solve problems; I just need to listen and try to understand. That is what I am doing here. I understand that you take great joy in seeing your children go to school-to learn and grow. I also understand how these same emotions can exist with some sad emotions because your child will not be with you all the time and might even make you feel kind of vulnerable. I don’t know or care if this is normal, there are others who feel that same and please know that it will be okay.

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