As a parent, your children reach certain benchmarks and milestones for which you take great pride.
Obviously, there's birth, for which parents hope and pray comes without complications.
Usually, around the 12-month mark, kids take their first steps and we're all so happy until we realize it means that they can get into EVERYTHING, now.
It's usually a few more months after that, if you're lucky, that the little kiddos no longer need diapers -- meaning one less expense for the little rugrats.
Right around the same time, your little one usually starts to speak and we're all filled with joy as they begin to babble mama and dada.
Of course, within a few years, they never shut up, no one can tell them anything and they know everything.
All of that comes as they start barreling through more milestones, like finishing elementary school, middle school and high school.
Looking back -- which is something I can do because all of my kids are out of school -- it all goes by really fast ... probably too fast.
But, I can tell you this right now -- ain't no way in "H" "E" double hockey sticks would I want to be navigating this pandemic while trying to get my kids through virtual learning, ie, school at home.
There are just so many obstacles.
If you've got young kids and you have to work, how do you make arrangements for your children to learn virtually? How can you arrange for supervision?
If you can stay home, and say you have a few kids who need to learn virtually, do you have access or have adequate bandwidth for your kids to use the Internet at the same time?
What if you are home because you're out of work and unemployment is either running out or just not enough?
What if you are a parent of a student-athlete and your family would greatly benefit from receiving an athletic scholarship to pay for college?
Certainly, there are plenty of kids who have been on the radar of college coaches for a long time and would probably still be offered a scholarship based on past performances.
But, there are a great number of late bloomers who NEEDED this fall sports semester to showcase their skills -- hoping to snag a last-minute scholarship that would be the difference between attending and graduating college with no worries, or being saddled with debt for years to come?
Or, in some cases, there would be students who couldn't dream of attending college without the benefit of an athletic scholarship.
What happens to them?
The same is true for students working to earn an academic scholarship.
Virtual learning opportunities are a fine option in the face of a viral pandemic that's killing people.
However, there are students who thrive and benefit immensely from a more hands-on learning experience.
Their grades could suffer, meaning the difference in a few numbers on a grade point average, which could mean the difference between earning a scholarship or not.
What happens to those kids?
Don't take this column as me being critical of the decision to go to virtual learning.
People have varying opinions on the subject but, if I had kids in the school system -- in fact, I have grandkids in the school system -- I am in favor of virtual learning.
So far, we have proven unable or unwilling to take care of ourselves or others on our own -- as evidenced by skyrocketing COVID-19 cases -- so shutting down schools for in-person learning appears to be the right call.
Still, that doesn't make navigating the process any easier.
It sort of makes me long for the days when the biggest problem with your kids was changing a diaper.