Krista Nelson's Blog
I am the parent of a college student. After the break, I return her to campus; laundry washed and lectures given, one more time, about work before play and the value of rest. With so many other parents, I park and unload the car. Out of trunks and back seats spill the private collections, the things students take with them to brand their dorm rooms, define who they are, and remind them of where they come from. I watch the students strut their youthful energy across the campus and marvel at how fortunate they are. Their main job is to learn.
The tug-and-push dance of letting go and getting stronger between parent and child was just as rich in elementary school. So many orange-school-bus-under-blue-gray-sky mornings set the scene. Deep inside the backpacks and lunch bags, nestled in the creases of the shoes and the socks, slipped between the strands of freshly combed hair were the whispered hopes and the tender longings of parents for their children to do well, make friends, and have fun. The big job for these students was to grow.
These scenes don’t exist during the high school years because teenagers forbid public displays of parental affection and sometimes forbid the mere presence of a parent in public. You can drive them around, but you have to keep out of sight. And there from our hideouts we send them off with invisible prayerful kisses and we silently remind them to make good choices, be safe, and get to class on time. Sometimes it seems the mission for high school students is to survive, but happily, it is to experience.
If you have a child in school, are in school yourself, or even if you know nothing of the scenes I have described, the next time you see one of those orange school buses, especially on blue-gray-sky mornings, tap into the youthful energy and sweetness they are connected to. Feel a sense of wonder. Be willing to grow, experience, and learn. It’s a delicious existence.
Be a Leader in Your Own Life
Krista Nelson's Blog
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