Submitted by Bruce Lundeby
My mother is a teacher. She’s from a family of teachers. A family of teachers in spite of her father completing only the 4th grade. My mother expected to go to the one-year normal college teacher program and teach at a rural one-room schoolhouse. Instead, her high school counselor suggested she might attend the standard two-year program so she could be certified to teach in city schools. Mom was apprehensive about telling her father of the idea. But, when she did, he said “that sounds like a good idea”.
I’ve heard that story a more than a few times. In fact, it was told again just yesterday, as I’m visiting my mom at her retirement home.
When I was about 12, my mom’s two-year teaching degree was limiting some of her opportunities at work. So, she went back to college and completed a four-year degree. It was pretty cool to help dad with the preparations to celebrate her graduation. To help my father who never went to college.
Years later, I married a teacher myself. She reached a point in the path of her career where she was not really filling her potential. So, she went back to college to get a graduate degree enabling her to take a more specialized teaching role.
What was the cost to our children? We watched some cooking shows together as father and daughters and learned how to make reasonably good egg noodles, and pretty poor stir fry. We learned to make terrible doll clothes on the sewing machine, but pretty good ones from a circular knitting machine. Best of all, our daughters learned they can build a playhouse. A real playhouse / garden shed. I guess the cost was not too great.
If there was something missing from my childhood due to mom's time focused on work and university, I'm not aware of what it could be. Maybe my attitude of expecting to find my own food, and if someone else decides to cook what a blessing that is, rather than having an expectation of a hot meal ready for you.
My older daughter went back to college for a graduate degree after getting married so as to advance her career. My younger daughter is thinking about doing the same. Of course, they don’t have kids.
How much came out of a father encouraging a daughter to take on a more challenging career, and a husband and father encouraging a wife and mother to even further advance that career.
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