Milestones…

first-day-of-college-cartoon1

Years ago, I played in a band and we composed a song called “Milestone”.

I sort of had a “Wipeout” by the Surfaris feel to it.

That title came to mind recently when we had a family day in Bloomington, IN.

More on that later.

I constantly marvel at how this thing called “parenting” plays out.

It seems to me that this most important task in life, being a parent, is largely entrusted to a bunch of amateurs.

I’ve become a believer with the idea that you and I “parent” pretty much the same was our parents’ “parented”.

That’s all fine and good if the good outweighed the bad.

Reality dictates that we don’t really know how it’s going to play out until most of the cards have been dealt and the game is well underway.

The societal challenge to change those bad parenting processes is often affected by generations of bad practices.

If you don’t know any better, you just keep plugging along, ignorant in your bliss until, one day, you find yourself wondering aloud, “What in the hell happened?”

But, on the other hand, you have some landmark, high water moments when you can say, “Hey! Maybe we did okay!”

Things like graduation.

Coming from a family where neither my wife nor I had any college experience (save for my broadcast tech school training),  we had two daughters who both graduated from college and now we’ve had a grandson, Logan, graduate from Ball State.

Last weekend, we took our oldest granddaughter Delaney to move her into her I-U dorm.

She’s in the prestigious Jacobs School of Music will also be playing snare drum in the I-U Marching Hundred band this season.

(Their version of “Sing!, Sing! Sing” has long been a favorite of mind long before I was genetically connected to it.)

My wife and I are both proud of our granddaughter but probably just as proud of our daughter and her husband because they taught a young lady how to get ready for the “big school”…life.

While I don’t buy into the “it takes a village to raise a child” mantra, I will offer that Mom and Dad, backed by other caring family members makes a pretty strong case to good environments making for good results.

Still, there are no guarantees.

After all, it is life.

Delaney did well in school, spurred on, no doubt by her older brother.

She is quite competitive and has a way of preparing herself if things don’t go as planned.

But, more often that not, the results are great.

She sits at a higher vantage point today because of hard work and a whole lot of attitude how to use them properly.

But “Laney-Bug”,  nothing is guaranteed.

Just because you want it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to achieve it.

This education process you are embarking on will do nothing more than provide the tools you need to be successful.

But…

You have to do more that put those “tools” in your “tool box” and then say, “Okay? Who wants me?”

You have to know which tools to use and how to use them properly.

Take it from a “do it yourself” guy who will try to use a screwdriver or a wrench to pound something because he forgot to bring the hammer.

Duh-oh!

Right now, the world is your oyster, Laney-Bug.

But don’t forget what brought you to this station in life.

And, don’t forget there’s an annoying younger brother who has his eyes on you much like you have on your older brother.

He’ll watch how you react and handle things and the higher you raise that bar, the harder he’s going to try to stay even, if not top you.

And, that’s all good.

Even when you stumble.

And, you will.

Jess Jackson said, “You may not be responsible for for being down, but you must be responsible for getting up.”

Winston Churchill said, “Success is walking from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.”

My favorite speaker (unknown) is credited with, “Success isn’t just about what you accomplish in life, it’s about what you inspire others to do.”

People will be watching.

Some will be pulling for you.

Others may be thinking, “I hope she gets her ‘comeuppance’ this time.”

I’ll keep baking cookies and sharing puns with you and I hope you’ll never get tired of “Peas!”

The tough part with parenting (and grand-parenting) is seeing those familiar faces move away.

It also means several of us now have to figure out what to do with our breakfast hash browns when we dine out.

My guess is there’ll be way too many rolls left over at the first big family dinner you can’t attend.

Laney-Bug, we are so very proud of you.

We’re on your team…win, lose or draw.

I forecast more wins than losses.

Don’t forget who gave you some peanut butter chip chocolate cookies with “Marching Hundred” printed on the bag.

Just remember that Japanese proverb as you move on.

“Fall seven times and stand up eight.”

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