“I’ve made a decision: I am not going to steal my son and daughter’s childhoods so they may wind up at Yale instead of Westchester Community College. I am not going to force them to be who I say they should be by signing them up for every class and making them stick with it. Instead, I am going to sit back and watch them find their own path. I am going to expose them to life and do it as a family.”
Let me re-phrase this. I am not going to spend the entirety of my children’s childhood obsessing over getting into college, whether the right or the wrong one. I am not going to steal from them the carefree days I had wandering the woods and creating whole world in my mind, playing until after dark with my friends, reading some of the most amazing books ever.
I am not going to put my children on the treadmill in the vain hope that they will stand out among everyone else scrambling to claw their ways to the top so they can attend some top school and end up at some top job. Because really is that any different than hoping your kid will be a star in the NBA, NFL, or MLB?
Our politicians pander to this by pledging to put our toddlers into Headstart so that they can start stressing over developing their reading skills before they’re ready. Our schools do this by emphasizing college prep in elementary grades. There’s a whole industry of college preppers peddling advice more suited to creating drones than to creating spiritually whole human beings.
My children may go to college and get a degree. They may take up a trade and earn a good living. The girls may become stay-at-home moms or religious sisters. The boys may become priests. Whatever they choose–whatever they’re called to–will not come at expense of who they are now. Because right now they are not adults-in-training. They are children.
- The kids at World’s End: Own photo