fledge capable of flying, from Middle English flegge, from Old English -flycge; akin to Old High German flucki capable of flying,
Old English flEogan to fly -- more at FLY
intransitive verb, of a young bird : to acquire the feathers necessary for flight or independent activity

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Respect for what he may become

Okay...that was two days ago...

But we're still mothers, no? Everyday is Mother's Day for most of us, amiright?

There is a quote I was thinking of. I need to look it up real quick...hmmm...

"When I approach a child, he inspires in me two sentiments: tenderness for what he is, and respect for what he may become."

- Louis Pasteur

(If any one person can be credited with saving the greatest number of children's lives, I would suppose Pasteur would be number one.)

My kids are 12 and 15 now. When I read blogs of mothers with much younger children, or see a mom buckle a little one into a car seat or grab a curious monkey teetering precariously from a shopping cart or a mom humming quietly to the tiny one resting in the baby carrier on her chest, for me, it's like driving past my old high school: I was part of that, I think. I did the best I could. I graduated. I went on to what came next.

I am rather anxious about what comes next. College is around the corner for my son. He's a good kid. His grades are okay. Used to be, that these grades would be good grades. Or good enough. Not anymore. Not when 88% of UCLA freshmen has high school GPAs above 4.0. Sure, he's clever, has a lightning-fast intellect and his wits about him, and I am proud of him in every way. But will he soar? I know I subconsciously raised my eyebrows a decade ago at the moms who were paying for $100 private tennis lessons for their five-year-olds. Today, those raised eyebrows have wilted as I learn that those same kids are choosing among competing full-ride tennis scholarships. Was my best good enough? Apparently not.

Everything I read and see and know tells me that my kids will have to work harder and longer to achieve less. My son says he'd be happy if he could live as he does now: In a small, simple house near the beach, where he can bike or walk to wherever he needs to go. Dude, do you know what a tiny, crumbling 60-year old house near the beach will put you back? On the other hand, statistics tell me that my son will likely live in a small house near the beach: namely, this house, as he boomerangs back after facing dismal job prospects and crippling student loan debt.

Now, my parents were born during the Great Depression and my dad fought in World War II, so, really, I certainly have had a stroll down Easy Street. And these kids have never seen a day of truly hard work. I'm not afraid or entirely opposed to a few years of living lean and working harder than they ever imagined they would. Perseverance. If I could just gift my children one thing, it would be perseverance.

"I have found that the best way to give advice to your children is to find out what they want and advise them to do it."

- Harry S. Truman

I have no good idea what the next few years will hold. My anxiousness is making me forget to enjoy the moment. It will be over all too soon.


katherine h said...

This is when I chant to myself, "it will be okay. He will be okay". One step at a time. Good luck out there. From this side of the world, it sounds like you are doing great things as a parent.

*Sweet*Caroline* said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts. As you know my children are about the same age and I worry a lot, waking up at 4 or 5 every morning just with worry on my mind.
This world has grown into something that only worships efficiency, always being better than others, competing all the time.
I think it's truly important to show our children that you have to be relaxed with who and what you are. That it's not all about money and succeeding in your job.
They will go their own way eventually and I'm sure they will succeed. Don't you? :-)

xo Sabine

Chris said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chris said...

A few years ago you told me not to worry. Some children have to make a detour to find their way. You were right! It took some time - it felt like forever! and some things he had to learn the hard way- and he still has to go a long way to reach his aim, but now my son knows what he wants and how he can make his dreams come true.

So, let me give this piece of good advice back to you ... Don't worry !! He will find his way. It might take a while and maybe he too will make a detour (or two), but eventually, everything will be okay.



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