Parenthood

Freshman year in college, I had a meltdown.

Having never taken a foreign language in high school, I was thrust into Spanish my first semester.

I was lost. The teacher spoke as fast as Dale Earnhardt Jr. drives. I couldn’t understand a word.

Desperate, I dialed up the parents, crying.

It was decades before I knew how that phone call affected them.

They were crushed. About 260 miles away, they could offer nothing other than encouragement. Not a reassuring smile or touch. Not a hug.

In life, we celebrate milestones and deal with disappointment.

When we are young, the watershed moments may be capturing a spelling bee or beating an arch rival in basketball. As we age and enter the workplace, we get promoted, demoted, even laid off and fired.

The personal feelings, however, cannot compete with those of a parent.

When your kids are involved, the highs are intoxicating, the lows tortuous. All you want is for them to be happy.

Now I know how Mom and Dad felt.

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