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Perspective: A parent reflects as the kids head back to school

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My son has returned to college in the southwest and my daughter has begun her final year in high school. As millions of young people participate in this annual fall pilgrimage, we parents are reflecting.

After all, we make thousands of decisions for and with our kids throughout their lives before they leave the nest, and even after, always cloaked in insecurity. Always questioning ourselves. “Am I doing it right?” “Should I have done it this way instead?” It’s overwhelming.

This annual fall ritual also begins a time of firsts and lasts for parents. The last first day of high school. The first or last season of sports or music or theater. The last homecoming dance. The first day of college. It’s easy not to realize that growing up doesn’t have to mean a “last” but rather another step on what we hope will be an exciting and rewarding life journey for our children.

Don’t have kids? You might be well read on the challenges and wonders of parenting. You might be that amazing uncle or dedicated aunt. You might think you’ve figured out why your parents were the way they were with YOU. However, if you’ve never been a parent, you just don’t get what it’s like. I mean that with no disrespect or condescension toward those who are not parents. None at all.

However, parenting changes you, in ways you never anticipated. Things hit differently. Mentally. Emotionally. Physically. Financially!

For me, with two decades of parenting under my belt, what was most shocking was looking at my children and thinking “I wouldn’t hesitate to end my life to save yours. Not for a second.”

That’s not hyperbole. It’s not taught. It’s not what you read about. As a parents, you can’t explain it. It’s reality.

And once you’re a parent, you live it. Every single day.

I’m Wester Wuori and that’s my parental Perspective.