Friday, August 22, 2008

Parents, Life Educators

A special thank you to all who wrote or commented about last week’s column. Your name was entered into the August drawing to be held on Sunday, the 31st.

It’s August, enter your name for a drawing of The Stained Glass Pickup by sending me an email at Or leave a comment at the end of this post.

Check out the new Christmas blog inspired by the co-authors of A Scrapbook of Christmas Firsts ~ Stories to Warm Your Heart and Tips to Simplify Your Holiday by Cathy Messecar, co-author here.

Upcoming contests next month at this new site. Enter to win free books and a gift basket.

Granddaughter Natalie begins Kindergarten on Monday. While thinking about this new path for her, I recalled my son and daughter’s first trek into public school.

My son walked into his classroom, settled in, and charmed his way into his teacher’s heart. Three year’s later I ripped my dress hem from my daughter’s grasp as she held on tight, tears streaming down her face which caused a torrent of sad tears on mine.

If your tear ducts need exercise, peer into a Kindergarten hallway on opening day. Empathy will kick in when you see little ones, clinging to knees, reluctant to venture into new worlds.

By the time children start to school, they have received instruction for five years in their homes. Some homes get high marks and others get failing grades. A home-trained child who respects his neighbor is a delight in the public system. A psalmist encouraged a familial education based on love. “We will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the LORD” (Psalm 78:4).

These intentional stories about God are handed down so the “next generations would know them, even the children yet to be born, and they in turn would tell their children” (verse 6).

I overheard a rancher dad tell about driving his high school age daughter to school each day and praying aloud for her. My mind conceived a picture of a stained glass pickup puttering down the road and the gift that dad gave his daughter on school mornings.

I scurried kids off to school for over 25 years, counting the college years, and I recollect both frazzled and smooth mornings. Spilled milk, sticky pancake syrup, dawdling children, misplaced books, sick stomachs, a rattled mom or dad, and lots more can edge into morning routines.

Mishaps are reality, but a purposeful parent can be reality, too. On ill fated mornings, steering family around the chaos presents a loving precedent.

I recall a Kindergarten program, complete with foot lights, brightening only the stage. As children settled onto risers, many shaded their eyes and looked beyond the staged affair for their anchors in life.

Good teachers are better than best blessings, but parents are the ones honored with the task of equipping children with answers that will outlive school tests and diplomas.

The next time you stop behind an afternoon school bus and little kids get off, look at those eager faces. They are looking for their parents—the educators of their lives.


  1. i'd like to be entered in the drawing :)

  2. Well, this just made me cry. School starts tomorrow. And my babies are way too old, and it's going way too fast...

  3. Reeva and Sarah, your names are entered into the book contest for August.

    Those wee ones don't stay little long. And, Sarah, I have a feeling that some of your nostalgia comes from not being in the classroom this fall. Or are you jubilant?