September 10, 2012

higher learning and a happy birthday

Wishing Kody a happy birthday on the phone this morning, in the middle of home school, got me thinking about what it means to be educated.

My big brother did not graduate top of his class.  My parents were proud that he graduated.  Very proud.  Homework was h-e-double hockey sticks for him.  True, he didn't get a scholarship to college, and he will never get his PhD in physics. 

Big whoop.

Is he educated?  You might look at his job, driving truck across the country and back again week after week, and you might say, "Not extremely."  I beg to differ.

My big brother, in his 35 years, has gotten himself educated alright, just not in the conventional ways.  He has learned contentment through watching the horses in his care.  He has learned forgiveness through being a son, and understanding through being a step-son.  He has learned loyalty through being a friend, strength through a broken heart and gratefulness through falling in love for real at long-last.  He has learned the beauty of beginnings through being an uncle, and the beauty of endings through burying a dear friend and a beloved grandfather.  He has learned self-awareness through finding his niche, self-expression through writing, and joy through country music.  He has learned satisfaction through using his hands, tolerance through having a little brother who is very different from himself, and happiness through never letting go of his dreams.

Now I ask you, can he spell "nuisance" without using spell check?  No.  But then neither could I just now.  There are things that cannot be taught with flashcards or pop-quizes.  I hope I never lose sight of that as I teach my kids at home over the years come.

Happy Birthday, Kody!