University of Life

All stories have a beginning and an end. Some stories are even long enough to have chapters, or volumes for that matter. It is interesting when you consider the impact a great story has on your life. It opens your soul to great possibilities and can play out in countless ways. It can make us laugh or pull at our heart strings. It can raise the little hairs on the back of our necks or make us want to change the world. Some stories are fiction and some are not. One thing for sure, is that they move us in ways we never thought were possible.

The beginning of this story is a scream and a cry, I felt helpless. Believe me if I had a uterus I would have given birth to my daughter. Not really, but it is the thought that counts, or does that just apply to gift giving. There she was my first born child, with tears streaming down my face, chapter one begins. Her cute little hands and feet, I remember them as if I was starring at a 3D pop up picture book. Her hands and feet connected to her limbs as if they were Lego pieces. Actually it was more like the Pillsbury Dough guy, soft pudgy and perfect.

There were many chapters to follow. Crawling, walking, talking and growing up. There were tears and accomplishments. Proud days memorable moments and a never ending astonishment of how my baby girl grew up so fast into the astonishing young women she is today.

It’s was her birthday recently, 18 years young and the whole world ahead of her. I am excited for her and maybe a little jealous. I remember when I too began my school journey. I loved learning and meeting new people, their opinions and stories. Each one writing their own personal chapters one day at a time. Like myself, the journey to who you will become will be shaped consciously or sub consciously by the experiences of your journey through University.

Looking back on one of the chapters, she was only in elementary school. I remember the day as if it were yesterday. She was asked to do a xylophone solo for a christmas concert. She practised daily. Her dedication to the task at hand and her hard work will serve her well in future chapters of her life. The day had finally arrived. She was flying solo up on stage by herself. No parents to protect her or guide her if she begins to falter. As she took to centre stage I was astound to notice no sheet music. No crutch, nothing to fall back on. No help, she was all alone up there on stage. I worried for her, ‘what if, what if….’. The ‘what if’s’ are a book on their own. I wanted to say something, do something, anything to shield her if she falters. Why would I feel this way? Why did I not trust my daughters ability or my parenting skills?
She was amazing. Not a stumble. To the roar of the audience – it has more affect – she was amazing.

It is amazing how chapters in your life prepare you for future chapters. The University of Life can be similar to Xylophone life. It looks complicated, make the wrong choice and it’s dreadful. The great thing about the chapter of growing up, is simply that it is just a chapter. As she begins her journey of searching what she wants to do with her life, she will gain experiences and events that will shape who she will ultimately become. She will work hard and practice what it takes to succeed in life. Just like her xylophone.

Similar to any next milestone in your child’s life, it marks a definative end to a chapter in your own life. Her begininings is almost like an end to ours. Or is it? Sharing in the celebration of who she is and what she will become is a more upbeat chapter. It marks less of an end in mine and more of a begining. It’s reflective but not sad. It is uncertain but exciting. It is unknown but not fearful. It is life.

There is no doubt in my certainty, this story will have a happy ending. The University of life teaches us some fundemental laws. You are allowed to write a short story or a novel. A chapter book or a trilogy. One thing for certain, enjoy the chapter you are currently writing, your parents can not wait to see it unfold.

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