Last school year marked my son’s introduction to the academia world as he started kindergarten.  As most parents on their child’s first day of school, I had a variety of emotions.  Elation because my child care expenses decreased almost $4000 annually.  Pride because by the grace of God I survived 6 years as a single parent and my child has never went without and he was well prepared for school academically.  Conversely, I felt concern because who was going to protect him when his feelings got hurt for the first time by a class mate?  I felt fearful that he would forget what bus to ride home on or get off at the wrong bus stop.  I was a Bi-Polar mom for weeks before his first “big” day. 

However, my son conceptualized his crossing over into the big boy world as a day that he earned.  With two and half years of Tai Kwon Do Training and being the only student in his Pre-K class that could read a full book, he had the confidence of a second grader and the reasoning of a future millionaire.  “Why should I be scared to walk through doors that were meant for me to walk through” is what his body language said to me as he strutted to begin a new chapter in his life.

At that moment, I made the decision to turn the pages of complacency and fear and begin a new chapter of my own.  I always want my son and I to be on similar pages.  Not because I’d like to digress to a child like status nor because I want him to mature well before his time.  It’s because I want to be able to show him through action and communication that the lessons of life will never cease.  Both he and I will always be forced to learn more in order to graduate to the next level. I want him to see that I’m capable of understanding the mess ups, uncertainty, struggles in remaining humble, not giving 100% – 100% of the time as well as celebrate small and giant victories.  That very same night, I walked into Charlotte’s legendary poetry venue, The Wine-Up, and began my career as a spoken word artist.  Months following, I added freelance writer to my resume.

I’ve never looked back and each month since I’ve made substantial progress in my future full-time career path. “Why should I be scared to walk through doors that were meant for me to walk through” is what my faith has taught me.  Unlike my son, my spirit is void of innocence and I hold on to the fear of failure. Fear leaves smaller soul scars than defeat.  The words fearless and faithful can be interchanged and still have the same grammatical meaning.  Think about it, the first week of my son’s school year, I was fearful of the unknown.  The confidence he displayed and his actions of doing the right things gave me the faith my baby was going to be all right even in the unknown. 

Last week, when First Grade began for my son, I started reflecting on our growth over the past year.  I’m astonished, yet not surprised.  We are both purposed filled vessels, floating until we arrive at our ordained locations-together.

Parents, are we asking our children to elevate themselves yet remaining stagnate ourselves?  Each day we prepare our children to be the best they can be by ensuring they have a good breakfast, they are well-groomed and fulfilling their teachers’ requirements.  But are we preparing ourselves to reach God’s requirements of us?  Are we taking time to study our history, to calculate what’s missing from the equation of our success, taking any physical ed classes to maintain our health or meditating to increase or brain and emotional power? 

Each school year starts with a list of goals that the student needs to accomplish to move on to the next level.  A written barometer is given quarterly to separate strengths and weaknesses to help the student gauge if they’re on the right track or if the initial bar was set too low.  Priorities of  where to place the most emphasis must be shifted all the time from math to science to reading.  The beauty of children is they don’t know what they don’t know, which gives them flexibility minus the attitude of fearful resistance. 

The beauty of adults is we don’t know what we don’t know – but what makes life ugly to most of us is we think we know.  Resisting our destiny.  If you’ve never tried to make substantial changes in your life, you don’t what you’re capable of and you’ve probably never experienced true success.  I challenge you to do your own homework tonight while sitting next to your child(ren) as they do theirs.  List out what you want to acquire and/or accomplish for yourself this school year.  Make a list of 100 things even including items and experiences you feel you are inexperienced for or don’t deserve.  Each night afterwards, evaluate why you currently don’t have the items or life that you desire and what first steps you need to take to start walking your destined path.  Faith without action is fear.  Encouraging faithfulness in our children with fear in our eyes and lives, makes us hypocrites and liars.

It takes 9 months (10 technically but roll with me here) to birth a child, a unique creation from our universal father.  Let’s birth a dream in 9 months and make an effort every day to nurture it’s growth.  I started my own list last week and I would love to hear if my readers are accepting this challenge and some of the items on their list.  Why should we be scared to walk through doors that were meant for us to walk through?

“It takes wisdom to solve a problem
and precise calculations are impossible with a lot of unknowns
many of life’s obstacles can’t be guessed through
instead of continual fuck up tumblings
that has scarred your knees, hands, face and faith
become familiar with the surroundings you now stand in
and calculate who you are in the present”
©2011 Tenisha M Jones