She is only five and a half years old and experienced her first day at college...No she is not a genius, though if you asked me I would say yes. (Remember I am the Mommy) We brought little Margo to the college graduation of her cousin, Elyse, my very first niece brought into the family by my younger sister 23 years ago. Yesterday, we were getting ready to turn into Cal Polly San Luis Obispo when Margo spoke up. "Daddy, I will go to college for 4 years and then graduate and then I am done with school." We were both thrilled, imagine she would be done in 4 years as opposed to my 5 or was it 6 years to complete my BA in Chemistry? "So daddy," she continued, "how many years will that be?" Silence....it was silent because we needed to count. Let's see, 12 years plus Kindergarten, plus the 4 for college and that is 17. "Margo you will be done with college in 17 years...you only have 17 years of school to go through," was daddy's response.
That is not long to watch over a child, and watch her grow into an adult. 17 more years is what we have left, actually it really is only 13 or so more years. That is not very many, when we look at the length of a life. She will have started making most of, if not all, of her decisions about life; that is well before those 17 years is up. Perhaps, we really only have 10 more years at most to put some big ideas of living into her little head and always expanding heart. Really, in a lifetime, being a parent of influence does not last as long as we think or even hope. Yes it is forever, but really only a short time when they live with us at home and hopefully see us walk the talk. So with that said, we try to enjoy her perspective, even when delivered with tears. It does not mean she gets everything she wants all the time...but we do throw in some treats along the way.
I really believe a big chunk of life is about making choices, sometimes good, and sometimes worse. Little Margo expressed the key to success in making choices when she said, "Mommy it's not hard to make good choices..." We had just given her compliments about her attentive behavior at the graduation. Hmmm perhaps she is a genius....I better remember that response when I work on parenting over the next 10 years or so....or was it forever?