A couple of weeks ago I had a guest speaker come into my classroom, and talk to them about his life. He was a really good speaker that basically came from nothing over in England. His mom was a drop out had him as a teenager, and he lived in a half-way home for most of his youth. He ended up coming to the United States joined the military and became a citizen. He now has a highly successful non-profit program that sends letters to troops overseas and is living the American dream. While it was an excellent thing for my inner-city students to hear it, I also picked up on something he was hammering into my students. One of his main themes was to not have children until you have finished school and are married. He talked about when he and his wife were newly married they could just pack up and go at a moment’s notice now when he and his wife want to go someplace it is the entire process and just a big hassle getting everything ready. It was a loss of freedom having a kid. He went on and said having children has been the greatest experience in his life, but he was sure happy that he got to see the world before he had them. His story and the principles about having children got me thinking about my own baby and what changes I have seen in these last 13 months that she has been here. The four months that she has been with us and the 9 months when she was exclusively with her mother.
Karen and I have got to travel a lot and got to see and experience many wonderful things, but since little M has been around anytime we go out, even if it is to our local park, it is a whole process. When we took a long weekend trip to Tulsa, Oklahoma our car looked like we were going for two weeks it was so packed with things that we thought we would need. It was a great trip and M did a fabulous job handling it but we are worried about the next one. Now that we are planning another longer vacation in the next month or two, Karen and I keep giving each other the look like we must be crazy or something.
At times I think that it would be nice to have that freedom again, but that thought goes by in the blink of an eye because what Karen and I now have is so much more precious than that. We have the responsibility to teach, shape through our actions, and mold our own little girl into someone that will have to face the world someday. How we treat each other, friends, family and strangers will impact the way that she thinks is the right way to live. It is amazing to see her learn new things every day and see things for the first time and watching her learn and grow has freed us up in ways that before her when we could do basically whatever we wanted to do never could. It is a new kind of freedom that we are getting to enjoy now the freedom that the choices Karen and I make now are shaping her future.
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