11Special Counsel to Parents, Teachers, and CoachesExtraordinary Influence for Those Entrusted to Our Care

For many years in January, I taught a graduate course at a school in Orlando. One of my students proposed we take a break from class early one afternoon to watch the launch of the Space Shuttle some miles away at Cape Canaveral. Even from that distance we could see the huge plumes of fire and smoke from the solid fuel rocket boosters during the liftoff. The students spontaneously broke into cheers and applause seeing this amazing sight. Although we could not physically see this stage, as the Space Shuttle neared the edge of space and weightlessness, the two solid booster engines broke away from the shuttle body and parachuted into the ocean. At that point, the on-board engines took over and propelled the Space Shuttle to its mission.

When our sons were growing up, we talked about how the Space Shuttle was a metaphor for what Anne and I believed to be our primary mission in their lives. We wanted most of all to provide them with a loving and safe home, but then also to do everything within our power to get our sons into the highest orbit possible. We did everything we knew to do to help our sons develop and grow academically, socially, athletically, spiritually, and personally. We tried to set high expectations from their earliest years. Before they were even aware of what a space shuttle was, they knew intuitively we expected them to pursue a high calling. Anne and I laugh ...

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