Nurture vs Nature

This is a slight departure but for good reason. Both my kids graduated from high school today with a flourish.

Oddly enough, this is the first high school convocation that I’ve ever been to. I didn’t graduate in the allotted time and had to do an extra semester to finish. I also didn’t think much mattered back then. School and the trappings were not for me.

Sitting in the audience today, watching my kids (twins) walking across the stage, each with a boatload of academic and community building awards, made me question a few things. Before I dive into the questions tho, I realized that I never gave my parents the chance to do this (thankfully they had 3 other kids who did) and that really sucks.

Both of my sons were easy students. They entered the high school system at the height of the pandemic — grade 9 was at home in our basement. The school they went to wasn’t the greatest school academically but they embraced it and completely made their experience there remarkable. They both crafted their 4 years in the way they wanted it to be. They set up clubs, volunteered everywhere, ran tech for the auditorium, sat on student council, joined the band and one sang and acted in 2 musicals.

They did all of this while landing on the honour role and making an impact on their circle of friends and the school. They also allowed their parents to be witness to this and really enjoy brand new first experiences because of them.

I’m not at all sure how they ended up the way they are today — great grades, incredible work ethic, fearless in front of crowds, respected by their peers AND teachers — but, as a parent, to not have to worry about their schooling was a blessing. I can’t imagine what I put my own parents through…

I always figured that my kids would follow in the footsteps of their dad – lazy and low grades throughout public school — but they (thankfully) did not. I joke that I don’t think I actually had a 90 average if you added up every mark from every class I took in high school and they did it with ease.

Work ethic came later for me but we encouraged it every day with our guys and it showed. The discipline and drive they have is something I discovered well into my 20s. We (well, my wife) nurtured the Woodbridge nature right out of them and boy, am I thankful.