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Koch: Parents should applaud themselves as children go through passages

| Wednesday, June 18, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

It has been a huge couple of weeks in the Koch homestead.

Prom, graduation, family gathering — all big events —and as big events do, they got me to thinking and reflecting on such things as goals, parenting, life's passages.

As our daughter walked out the door with her date for the prom, then took her stroll up to shake the hand of the man handing her a high school diploma, there were a few tears, sure, but more than that, there was thought poured into the significance of those moments.

Wondering if I'd done all I could do as a mom to prepare her to step out into the real big world. Thinking back on all she has accomplished despite sometimes seemingly insurmountable odds.

Mentally preparing myself for the new passages to come — the ones we, as parents, look forward to but can't face without choking a lump back in our throats — turning them loose, letting them fly.

But each and every one of you who have gone through these same gargantuan moments in the last few weeks should not just reflect and wonder. You should take the time to pat yourselves on the back — to applaud, heartily, your own efforts.

The thing is, in the world we live in today — full of wondrous yet scary technology, new political and social threats and intense competition to survive beyond high school — if you have sat in those stands and watched your son or daughter walk up to accept his or her diploma, you have achieved something great.

That's right. You have given the support, guidance and love necessary to make your child understand how to make it.

You've taught them that, yes, reality is harsh but that they can make their own destiny with hard work, dedication, kindness and the best attitude possible.

I know you're out there, wanting to tell someone what Johnny or Sue has accomplished and what goals are, for a little while, just out of his or her reach but not unattainable.

The Sewickley Valley is chock full of talent, skill and smarts, and yes, passages — stepping out of Quaker Valley or Sewickley Academy and on to greater things.

Tell me about what's going on. Pick up the phone, or go to the keyboard, and let me know about those achievements.

When possible, I'll let others who read this newspaper know about them, too.

Put it this way, sometimes the best hometown stories come from you — the achievers who live in your newspaper's hometown.

Mya Koch is news editor of the Sewickley Herald. She can be reached at 412-324-1403 or

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