Fall’s Observations and Changes


Fall’s abundance is evident everywhere I look here in Central New York. The trees abound in warm-hued colorful foliage. My zinnias are rife with multiple colors, and the fall vegetables are ready for harvest. Pumpkins adorn front steps in preparation for Halloween. I remember my father raking the fall leaves into piles in Sturbridge for us to jump in.
As a writer, I am a keen observer of people, of nature and of my surroundings. So as I viewed the various shapes and sizes come through the diner’s entrance where we enjoyed breakfast, I noticed the young, the old, the short, the tall, those that are overweight and the slightly-built young female employee who probably spent her day’s wages on those gaudy black nails with silver high lights. What an assemblage. The nearby farmer’s market was teeming with activity this Saturday morning in September.
Changing pace on the weekend is a ritual for me: sleep in a bit longer, catch up on laundry, read and prepare for the week ahead. As I reflect on this past week in school, I am reminded of some lessons taught me as I was growing up in Colorado. Our parents wanted us to be independent females , capable of supporting ourselves with meaningful work. My father announced to me as I began high school that I was to determine my own bedtime and how much time I needed to study for classes. What a novel idea! What my parents taught me was to make my own decisions and choices. If I made mistakes, I was to learn from them and avoid making them in the future. When it came to school matters, I completed all my homework and on time. It was expected of me by both my parents and my teachers.
Times have changed, and some parents are emboldened today to be over focused on their children’s lives. Helicopter parents feel the need to keep their children happy at all costs but are doing them a disservice instead. Students and parents need to realize that mistakes are made, and it is ok. Children need to be allowed to struggle, to be disappointed and when they fail, they need to be able to work through the failure. As difficult as it may be for parents, they need to avoid the urge to contact the teacher whenever the child feels disappointed since overcompensating for children does not encourage them to think for themselves or to deal with their stresses and problems. Parents inadvertently set their children up for future failures in life. As a parent and an educator, I always had to walk that fine line and avoid interfering with the affairs of my children too much. I trusted them and know that young people today long to have their parents afford them more trust.

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