Another Milestone

As you know, if you are reading this, I blog once per week. When I hit “publish” I sometimes wonder if anyone will read what I write. I decided that it didn’t matter, because I have come to like writing once per week. But the truth is, if someone writes or comments, I love the connection. And it motivates me.

Last week I wrote about a milestone in my house – I went from being an okay parent to an embarrassment. I heard from Jim Nelles, Board member of Rothesay Netherwood School, former Board member of CESI and CAIS, former Board Chair of The Country Day School, and, most importantly, father of kids older than mine.

He wrote:

Thought of you today when I read this article. Naturally more to do with college/​university but still interesting content:

EDUCATION   | April 08, 2012

Trying to Find a Measure for How Well Colleges Do

By RICHARD P’EREZ-PE~NA

I should also add that I suspect your recent blog on “embarrassing” your children had great resonance with a great many parents. I remember so well how somewhere around the middle school years our children followed a similar path…from big hugs at drop-off to just please don’t embarrass me and “please just let me out of the car and depart as quickly as possible.” I’m sure we could have refined the process to have embodied all the efficiency of a clandestine “special opp’s” unit and they would have been even more pleased. For my part, my wife Louise and I never really said anything to them but instead just let them swim a little “further from the dock” even as we internalized the emotion. That’s why it was such great fun when one day at pick-up my daughter, then in her senior year and final term at The Country Day School, indicated to me that she had forgotten something in her locker. She unconsciously locked her elbow around mine and the two of us proceeded arm in arm down the senior school hallway amongst all her friends to find the forgotten item.  Her own self-confidence had developed to the point where she had come back for hugs even on school grounds. I still never said anything. I didn’t need to.

I wrote:

Jim,

I love this email – can I cheat on this week’s blog, which I still haven’t done and it is Sunday evening, and tell your story? Including your name???

I just read this to my husband and got a bit teary at the image of you and your daughter arm and arm in a full hallway – it gives me such hope!

And he replied:

Thank you so much for your response Anne-Marie…So neat to have a personal experience connect with people…must be something to this social network stuff! Sure, please feel free to use it as part of this week’s blog in any way you wish if you think its useful content…It’s a real story. If you wish to use my name that’s okay too…As a parent if it offers legitimate hope during some of those trying times then we’re all helping each other.

One final note…Megan has had a great first year at Queens and she too has found a special place in the library 🙂

Best,

Jim

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