Family / Life / Parenting

Continuing Education

Later this week, I’ll be taking my first class in *mumble* years. (I suppose we did have our Maybe Baby class in there, but as it was basically showing up and shmoozing once a week, I’m not entirely certain that counts. Bonus points for a class where there were often discussions about shoe shopping, though.)

This class isn’t through a college or university, and it’s being taken entirely of my own volition, for my own personal enrichment. But don’t let that fool you – I’m scared out of my mind.

I’ve never been very good at traditional school and, enjoyable as this class looks to be, there are reading and writing assignments for each week. (And I don’t think it’ll be like high school, where I was able to get everything I needed for the papers from class discussion, hurriedly writing papers during the breakfast break before school.)

I think about my own school experience a lot when I look at our daughter. My own troubles were basically overlooked for the entirety of my school career. Not through the intentional fault of anybody; I wasn’t the stereotypical kid having trouble in school, and I didn’t act out, and I was smart enough to get by, even with the troubles I had. Aside from the constant refrain of not living up to expectation, though, school was decent until I went to college and had to fend for myself in the wilds of the lecture hall.

Our daughter, on the other hand, is very much a stereotypical crazed kid. Now, she’s only nearly four, and I’m well aware that much of this crazed is normal at that age. So I’m certainly not concerned. And even if I was, I wouldn’t ever want to change who she is. Just help provide her with coping mechanisms. (And perhaps provide ourselves with some liquor.) However, given my own history, I’d be remiss to not have these issues be on my radar. I’d be remiss to not keep an eye out, and try and make sure that if she does have trouble, she has all the help and support she needs.

But that’s hard in and of itself. It’s hard trying to walk the fine line of being aware and not chasing the rabbit down the hole. Not to mention trying not to feel guilt for having passed on my particular brand of wonky genetics. And all this before it’s even said if there is a problem.

Parenting, I find, is tricky like that. Being entrusted with preparing somebody for their future is a heady responsibility, and by definition requires having to think about that future and the road to get there. But on the flip side, we are not responsible for all of it, and there’s no way for us to actually foresee the stumbling blocks which may greet them along the way.

In the end, I suppose all we can do is be there to patch them up when they stumble.

In the meantime, can I copy off your notes?

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