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Natural Awakenings Twin Cities

Natural Awakenings Twin Cities August 2023

Featuring: Navigating Food Restrictions at School, Lifelong Learning, Raising Stepchildren, Letting Nature Heal Itself, and more. 

Candi Broeffle

It’s back to school time once again, along with bringing back wonderful memories of the days my son was young. The final weeks of summer brought thoughts of whether we did enough to make lasting memories for him as well as the stress of trying to fit in the final vacation, annual dentist and doctor appointments, the required haircut, and shopping for new clothes and school supplies. It also was a time to plan quick meals and establish routines for the impending after-school activities.

Inevitably, this was the busiest time at work as well. The community college where I worked would welcome new students and move quickly on new projects and academic programs. Nearly everyone with whom I worked faced the same struggles at balancing work responsibilities and family obligations. Looking back, I wish I would have relaxed, prioritized differently, and enjoyed the time with my son more.

I used to get confused when my grandparents would tell my parents to enjoy the time they had with their children when they could, because they would be gone too soon. Here I am today, thinking the same way. You see, as parents of young children that are working to build a career, it can seem daunting to complete all the responsibilities we have in front of us. It seems incredibly important to build the career of our dreams, reach our goals, and build a comfortable life for our family.

Like so many friends that are my age, I look back now on the career that seemed to be so important as a diminishing memory. Since leaving the college, there have been new opportunities, different goals, and expanding dreams, and I now realize this will continue throughout my life. This is one lesson we learn as we age—there is always more ahead.

We now have the opportunity to do things differently with our grandchild, and I will make myself available the same way my parents made themselves available to my son. This is the gift of grandchildren: We get to implement the lessons we learned as a parent and support our children as they learn their own lessons. Thankfully, there is no need for regret—just gratitude for the opportunity to share in the lives of those we love.

Here’s to the education!



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