Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Back to School

Ahh, it's that time of the year again. Stores hawk their "back-to-school" wares in bold print; children are drug into fitting rooms to get sized for clothes they can grow into; bus drivers learn new routes and consider the challenges ahead; teachers staple colorful rules and pictures to bulletin boards, and parent's everywhere are preoccupied with their own back-to-school rituals.

For some parents the first day of school is the first day of significant separation from their child. Mothers will anxiously part from their precious little angels and stifle a tear as their child bounds forward into the wonderful world of education. These women will encourage, uplift, and sustain each other until school dismisses, and their child is safely back in the fold. Veteran school moms will view their sisters with a twinge of envy as they remember their own first-partings, but they will smile the smile of the insider, knowing their child will be cared for, loved, entertained and, with a little luck, will even learn a thing or two along the way.

For some moms, the first day of school will hit them hard as their "baby" will be leaving the house. She will come face to face with her own mortality as she sees a foreshadowing of a later empty nest. She will return to a quieter house, fewer demands on her time and, maybe, be able to watch the TV shows of her own choosing. The emptier house will remind her that her job as mom has now moved to a different level. Her child is growing up, and she must now let her young one flex the wings she tried so hard to fashion over the years.

Guys, we need to know about this. The annual back-to-school thing is a big deal for the women in our lives. Men, we have a tendency to see the rites of passage for our children in a different way. We may get stoked about the first fish our child caught, or the first basket made, or the first touchdown scored, or the first trophy awarded and -- dare we say it -- we might even get emotional at the first speeding ticket. But let's face it guys, we are not all that in tune with the whole school process.

Guys, we really do need to be involved in our child's education. We need to be there at Parent's Day, PTA meetings, field trips, and homework. Men, we need to spend as much time with our kid's academics as we do with their sports; the benefits last a lifetime.
Guys, not only do we need to get involved in our child's education, we need to be active learners ourselves. We need to read, go to seminars, read, attend lectures, read, and even attend some classes. Our world is constantly changing, and nothing prepares us for the future like being a lifelong learner.

Welcome back to school!

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