What I Learned….

I just returned from my daughter Noa’s graduation from Tufts University. An emotional and beautiful weekend with 1300 other graduates’ families celebrating our children accomplishments over 4 exceptional years in Medford MA. Both the campus and I were bursting with pride and excitement. I had just read TIME Magazines cover The ME ME ME Generation – Millennials are lazy, entitled narcissists who still live with their parents. The graduates I listened to and met were quite the opposite – they were young people, not afraid of hard work, and eager to make their mark in the real world. While this weekend was about my daughter Noa, I could not help but to reflect on the things I too learned while she was at college.
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A very expensive hand shake.

Dorms are usually not as nice as our kids rooms at home and sharing a room with another freshman who is not their ‘cup of tea’ can be a very valuable experiences. I learned that developing these ‘coping skills’ were all worthwhile dimensions of my child’s college experience; it was not my role as parents to FIX these things.

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The village crossed the country to honor my daughter.

Going to college is an expensive endeavor. I learned that a budget was a good thing; a credit card was like a parental IV Drip. I also learned that there were no downsides to my child getting a job while she was at college.

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Look who I found in the bathroom.

I supported her right to eat, drink, and be merry. I bought her a meal card for the cafeteria her freshman year, but did not believe it was my duty to pay for Thursday Pub Nights. I learned that by her senior year, she was shopping, cooking dinners for her friends and washing dishes.

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The millennials lined up and ready to march.

On a regular basis there were extra-curricular happenings like ski trips, sorority auctions, NY weekends, and LF sales in Boston. I continued to learn that it was okay to say NO  and her world would not come to an end.

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Running to the finish line.

The Bible says, ”It is more blessed to give than to receive” When it comes to texting and calling, I learned that it was better to receive. I was a valuable resource when Noa was walking to and from classes and needed to look busy; I was always blessed when she texted me with updates or a simple i luv u.

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Noa’s artistic expression.

Terrible news inevitably arrives. I learned that when Noa called with distressful announcements, I had to listen, not overreact and refrain from attempting to solve her problems for her.

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The Girls!

There were times when Noa wanted to quit things like Arabic class or her sorority. I learned, even when I felt the pain in her voice, to encourage her to pursue what she set out to do. In the short run, it would have been much easier to enable her temporary impulses, but in the long run better to support her struggle.

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Three generations together to celebrate.

There is a huge difference between being honest and constructive. I learned that ‘Honesty is (not always) the best policy’.

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A father’s job is never done.

My daughter has great aspirations for a challenging career in foreign lands. I learned that the greatest gift I can give my daughter is to support her dreams; even the ones that are statistically not in her favor.

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The climax!

There were times when I disagreed with Noa’s choices. I learned to pick my battles; I had to decide what issues were worth fighting for and which ones were not.

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Sisters?

Watching my daughter receive honors as she accepted her diploma was a once-in-a-life-time, most remarkable happening and I learned that TIME FLIES very QUICKLY!

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 NInja Mom

9 thoughts on “What I Learned….

  1. Congratulations to Noa. A big day and so lucky to have all the family around. I know what it means, have been there with Eric, same place but some time ago.

  2. Congratulations! Sounds like an amazing weekend with an amazing young woman, raised by an amazingly mature mother! xoxo

  3. for the record, i still do all of noa’s dishes…. but other than that she is a lovely and responsible young woman
    p.s. so glad i could make an appearance in this week’s blog post, hope this will be the first of many

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