Fribble Raising a Fool

By (Charles J. Murphy)
September 6, 2000

We can't be sure we're doing the right things while raising children. Too many things can go wrong. And as Murphy's law goes: "Anything than can go wrong, will, in the worst possible way and at the worst possible time." Still, sometimes things go right in ways that amaze us and to a degree that can boggle the mind.

Our son went off to Army National Guard Basic Training a week ago. He finished high school near the top of his class and never missed a day of school in either high school or middle school. His SAT scores won him enough Merit Aid to cover most of his college tuition. He won a box full of awards without kissing up and without marching to anyone else's drumbeat. He was one of those kids who kept his nose clean and who managed not to find his way into trouble. When he was asked why he joined the Army National Guard his answer was "Freedom isn't free." He will start college in January and will pay for his own college costs via a combination of merit aid and Army National Guard benefits.

In my (admittedly biased) opinion, this young man is decades ahead of himself in his thinking. He showed he was a Fool while still in high school when he told us he would use his National Guard recruitment bonus to fund a Roth IRA. Then he proved he was more than Foolish enough for college when he said he didn't want or need the new car we had promised him for finding a way to pay for college on his own. Go, Fool!!!

The real proof of his Foolishness came when he said he wanted the price of that new Chevy S-10 he had originally asked for invested instead. Something tells me this is a Fool we will enjoy watching for years to come. It is plain he is turning college into a money-making experience. He is making money in the Guard while going to school, and while serving his community and country, and he is getting two separate sources to pay him for the privilege of getting an education.

Can America's young people succeed? You can bet on it! The best are in training now and they're already Foolin' around.

Go Army! Go Guard!