Are your kids growing up too fast? It feels like someone hit the gas pedal on my life and nothing slows down. I LOVE being a parent, I mean I LOVE IT! Time spent with my kids learning about their hopes, dreams and struggles are priceless moments to treasure.
We are celebrating my daughter Kate’s birthday this week and l get emotional when I think about how fast my kids are approaching adulthood. My hope is that we are raising them the right way. I am not giving parent advice here, but my knowledge with raising a daughter comes from the experiences as a school administrator. From what I have learned, girls that struggle are those that morph themselves into whatever friend they are associated or relationship with a boy they are interested in dating.
From this experience, Cristy and I raised Kate to be strong and independent; to think for herself, be respectful, responsible, faithful, a good friend and have a focus on her future. In short, we have raised a firecracker. Kate rarely loses a fight. I tease by saying that she may leave, but will return with a weapon.
Kate is a tennis playing, pole-vaulting, power-lifting, basketball playing, San Antonio Spurs loving, future engineer, self-proclaimed princess that I love to pieces.
I was reminded just how fast she is growing up and independent she is becoming on a recent hiking trip. She was leaving me behind.
The hike reminded me of a different hike when she was small. Kate never wanted to be the “slowest” during a hike so Team Vinson manufactured a little victory she could enjoy. Her brother Cal would walk beside her and provide encouragement, my wife Cristy and I would follow a few steps behind.
Comparing these hikes are a reminder that she is growing up. I am happy we get a few more years of walking behind her. Before I know it, she will be walking across the stage to receive a diploma, or walking on a college campus, then her first job. Our hope is that she stays independent and strong with the values we raised her with and pray for daily. Someday, she will walk alone and then behind her own kids. I want to cherish every moment.
As educators, we get the blessing of doing our part to walk behind or beside your kids too. We consider it an honor and cherish every single moment. From experience, I know they can be a challenge. Perhaps a little strong willed or moody, but they are amazing and wonderful too! They may not act like it, but they need us to walk behind them, beside them and sometimes even carry them. Giving our kids hope, well-being and happiness is the Wylie Way! Happy Birthday Kate, mom and I love you so much. It is an honor to be your dad!