Our College Debate & The “H” Family

There is an ongoing debate, discussion, topic of conversation, that has occurred between Chad and I over the last year or so.  It’s not a ‘serious’ debate by any means. In reality, we know our kids will make their own decisions. Over time, though, Chad and I have found ourselves sitting on the center line of an often hotly debated topic. In short, the discussion we are having is surrounding the merits of a college education. Is it necessary? Are there other options?

It’s important to note that both Chad and I went to college. In fact, we met in college. We graduated. We got those nice papers that our buried somewhere in the basement. I went on to get even more education with a graduate degree. We have passed the tests, paid those bills, worn the gowns, tossed the caps.

Still, both Chad and I have gone on to do things that have nothing to do with those little pieces of papers that were passed to us with a handshake and a walk across a stage. This leaves us (okay, Chad mostly) questioning the necessity of the dollars, debt, and dilemmas that come with finding your path in college. I see the logic behind Chad’s questions and I could even debate his side, if push came to shove. Still, I hold on to college as one of the most important seasons of my life but not for the reason that most would consider college important.

The learning? It was fine.
The challenge of living ‘out there’. That was good.
The degree? (Well, my food and nutrition degree is doing me little now).

The reason I hold those college years so close is the friendships. The people. (Chad, of course, meeting him goes without saying.) But it’s the girlfriends. The women I met. The women who formed a big piece of the foundation I stand on today. The women with whom I walked to breakfast, shared a floor,  a dorm room, passed Twizzlers between us as we played the “Circle Game”. The women who show up for each other, the women who accept differences–even celebrate them, the women who l still refer to as “The Girls”.

Sarah is one of “The Girls”. Earlier this week, we traveled to meet up with Sarah and Demetri and their crew to capture some moments with their family. The last time I saw this family, there were only two tiny babies and (I think?) the littlest was waiting to make her appearance. (Though I might be wrong about that.) The years pass so quickly and despite the years gone by, it was as if no time had gone by. Sarah and Demetri are living a full, beautiful life with their three lovely ladies. I was struck by the connectedness of this family. The sister bond between their girls was as undeniable as each of their distinct personalities. I loved seeing the easy way Sarah and Demetri have with each other. And I loved seeing the intentional parenting and they obvious investment of time and energy they are making in their sweet family.

As Chad and I drove away from Sarah and Demetri and their fabulous girls I looked at Chad and said, this is why I keep holding on to the importance of college. These women who I get to call my friends–they are like treasures located all over the world. He simply nodded his head in silent understanding.

I can’t put a price on the gift of Sarah. On the Girls. On these girls who met on a small college campus and spread their wings and flew out to different places all over the world. Women who impact little lives in their homes, who impact lives all over the world, women who, still after all these years, impact me every single day.

Demetri and Sarah, thank you for the way you are raising your lovely ladies. Thank you for the way you greeted us so openly. Thank you for letting us spend an afternoon with you. I only wish our time was longer. . .

This was totally candid and had nothing to do with my kids throwing leaves in front of the camera. Yes, spontaneous leaves falling. . . totally.

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