This past Monday, I started back to school at the University of Northern Colorado to wrap up a *little* project I started in the Fall of 2000. Back in 2003, after marrying Caiti, we found out shortly after we were going to be parents and our studies took a back seat while we started working full time to prepare for our new little bundle of joy.
That little bundle of joy started 5th grade just a couple weeks ago, along with another little bundle of joy that followed her two years later started 3rd grade. Not only did it make me start to feel old and nostalgic, but it really got me thinking about the whole “process” of education.
We send our kids off and trust that they’ll receive an education from other people who have trained specifically and been educated to do so. Our kids start every Fall and finish every Spring, a process I used to relish the end of. However, it really became apparent to me how fast it truly does pass us by. As I watched my kiddos walk off to another year of school…a new teacher, classroom, maybe even new friends…it really hit me. As I prepare to start another semester of college to finish up that “thing” I started nearly 15 years ago (yes, I’m that old), I am encouraged to enjoy the process and teach my kids the same.
You see, working full-time, taking 15 college credits, and still being a husband and father can definitely take some discipline and be time-consuming. But it’s the process that is special. The process of bettering oneself is a long one. It doesn’t happen overnight and it takes time, but the purpose is to learn and simply be better than you were when you first walked through the door. This is something I’ve tried to share with my kids. They understand that I’ll be gone a lot during the evenings on the weeknights because I’m hunkered down at the library studying and reading and they respect when I have to do this. They understand the process. They also really understand that when we do have time together that it is special and we all see it as such.
So for all you parents out there, remember to take a moment to tell your kids to simply enjoy this year of school. They’ll never have another 5th grade or 3rd grade again and that the chance they have to be better happens every day until next Summer starts! Encourage them to seek out the chance every day to learn something new and challenge them to explain it to you. No matter if it’s high school, middle school, or even college, the process of being simply better is what happens. Help them to see that!