There are 2 year olds who are fluent in multiple languages and who can play the violin as though they were

born with the knowledge.

There are 2 year olds who have yet to utter a single word and would rather suck on their thumbs than pay any mind to plucking the strings of a guitar.

There are 10 year olds who are straight A students, reading any book they can get their hands on.

There are 10 year olds who can hardly spell carburetor but can build their very own motor for a miniature aircraft, hardly looking at the instructions.

There are 10 year olds who can write a symphony or paint a masterpiece and make it look as easy as drinking a glass of water.

There are 18 year olds who graduate with honors and go on to pursue an education in the medical field, achieving a doctorate and practicing life-saving medicine by the time they are 30.

There are 18 year olds who can barely spell their own name, working on farms and perfecting techniques to impregnate cattle and mastering skills in crop yielding, revolutionizing the farming industry by the time they are 30.

There are 70 year olds who have enjoyed a long life climbing the corporate ladder, dining in fancy gentleman’s clubs and donning three piece suits with diamond cuff-links who wouldn’t have traded it for anything.

There are 70 year olds who have labored with their hands from dawn to dusk until they developed arthritis and a bum knee who wouldn’t have traded it for anything.

Next time you think about the words “ahead” and “behind,” consider each of these people.  Who gets to draw the line?

Is it the 30 year old farmer hugging his children again after making it through the life-saving surgery performed by the 30 year old doctor?  Or is it that same doctor enjoying a life-bringing meal of steak and vegetables provided on the knowledge of the 30 year old farmer who can hardly spell his own name?

When we look at our youth, fitting them into neat boxes of education and labeling them “ahead” or “behind” based on only one set of criteria, who draws that line?  Ahead of what line?  Behind what line?

My children draw their own line.  If they feel behind, they work hard to be where they want to be.  If they feel ahead, then they can rest easy in the comfort of their knowledge.  Their line depends on them and only on them. 

When it comes to your children, who draws the line?