I am truly blessed. And in spite of all the health issues I deal with, I have gotten to enjoy so many things with my daughters throughout their childhood.
From reading to both of them, learning to walk and ride bicycles, and helping with homework, I have so many memories us, and how they have grown. Both enjoyed sitting on my lap, while I read to them. Once they realized the world that awaited them, by standing on their feet, they quickly learned the importance of putting one foot in front of the other. They learned balance from learning to ride a bicycle. I am proud to say that both have now reached a part of their education, where it is not so easy anymore for me to help with their homework not only because of what they are learning, but how. Both enjoy the challenge of their education and do not look for the easy A’s.
We are coming around the homestretch of their childhood now. And there are two things that are coming to the front where my input as their father is going to play a vital role, boyfriends and continuing their education after college.
As much as I cringe when the thoughts of dating come up, I believe I have given them not only a good example of how they should be respected by someone interested in them, but I believe that they both have the firmness to stand up for how they want to be treated. They have had a few other good role models in baby sitters when they were younger who demonstrated the importance of focusing on their education and their values. I have heard the “boyfriend” word mentioned a couple times so far already, and I have taken it in stride.
But an even bigger decision is coming right at them, very quickly. And that is what to do after high school. Sure I am biased and will say that both have a bright future ahead of them. It is one thing to say that I will support whatever they want to do after high school. It is another to make sure that they have the opportunity and guidance to do that.
Making those decisions is not something that can be done last minute either. But once an idea is thought of as far as future, then I have figure how to get there. Both have pretty good ideas of what they want to do, and each will have their distinct way of getting there. One’s talent may take her as far as she wants to go depending on the balance between natural ability and what is expected. She is an artist after all, and does not like being told what to do with her talent.
But my other daughter is expected to take a different route. And I remember as a teen myself, when it came to figuring what I wanted to do when I grew up, we either had the idea, or maybe our guidance counselor at school might get involved.
The other day, she showed me just how much thought is going to go into, to prepare her for what she wants to do, even as far as specializing. And to help her with that, something we did not have way back, besides the internet, is a web site for the Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov). This by far is one of the best tools to help a parent and child figure out what is going to be required to achieve their future occupational goals.
The web page not only lists the type of job, but the average salary, the entry level of education, and as you go further into it, descriptions of the work environment, how to get hired, state and area requirements (some vary from state to state), education required, as well as other resources of who to contact for more information. Also just as important, the job outlook for the particular field.
My daughters do not use me much for homework anymore, except when it comes to the occasional need for proof reading things. And as I have stressed to them, paperwork completed from now on, needs to be the best they can submit. They see the difference that their decisions and actions will make.
I wish I could keep them young, but that would only satisfy my selfish happiness. I enjoy being their father. I am proud to be their father. And I cannot wait to see what lies ahead for them as I am counting on being there when it happens.