My father in law visited a coupple of weeks ago. He’s a great person to talk to. He’s a great listener and always has something useful to add. Anyway, I was talking to him about my oldest son having a fire lit under his behind to do something when he came up with the solution- have my son go to the Air Force Reserves. My father-in-law is himself a product of the Air Force, so he is the perfect person to tell my son all about it.
I am forever grateful that he cares enough about our concerns that he would take them seriously enough to intervene and talk to my son. So, after we talked about my son, the conversation turned to me and my plans. He wanted to know if I planned to get my Ph.D. sometime down the road. I told him that I’d think about it, but at any rate, that it would not happen anytime soon; maybe when Phillise graduates from high school in 11 years. It’s a lot of work trying to finish up school while raising a family and teaching full-time. Teaching is enough work in itself.
“I’ll be a little older than I am now,” I told him, “but if I decide to do it, I’ll just do it because it’s never too late to do what you want to do”. It’s only too late if you’re taking your last breath.
“Okay,” he said.
We continued talking about how I was a little worried about my son, but not too much since I graduated late myself. I did not receive my B.A. until I was 36 years old. Furthermore, I will receive my M.A. two months before my 39th birthday. Not as late as some people, but still later than I wanted to do it.
No matter what, I want to impress upon my son that it’s never too late; that there’s always someone older than you. I’ve always gone into a class thinking that I was going to be the oldest one in there. It only happened once. At APU, I had two classmates, Archie and Claire, who were 62 and 69, respectively.
I said all that to say that it’s never too late to do what you want to do. I knew that I wanted to teach over 11 years ago, but did not do what I needed to do until May ’07.
My son is taking a little long to get his act together, but I can’t be too worried. I talked to him and told him that I didn’t want him to follow in my footsteps and have children early; that I want him to do more than what I’ve done; be more than what I am. I think that is every parent’s wish for their child. That’s definitely mine for my children.
So, for anyone reading this who doesn’t think that they can do it; who think that they’re too old. I’m here to let you know that you are not. I did it. So many others before me have done it, and so can you.