In my job I spend just as much time working with potential students as I do with their parents and through this I have gotten many glimpses of what I do want to be like and what I most definitely do not want to be like.
For instance, the whole micro-managing of my child's life cannot happen. The kid then has a rebellious side and the parent is annoying as all get out. Of course the parent needs to be in charge but I much prefer my mom's take on it all. She trusted us until she had a reason not to trust us. (And please note that my brothers and I are all with outstanding significant others, never partied, have good jobs and are well respected.)
But then, folks, there's the other parents who I love working with. Usually their children are first generation college students. They want the absolute best for their kid and are willing to make sacrifices to help pay for their child's education. They do not complain about not having money and then drive the Lexus to the country club. They are kind, appreciative and fun.
For example, yesterday was our first days of enrollment for incoming freshmen. One girl, P, came with her mom. They were slightly overwhelmed but everything was taken care of and at the end of the day, while P was taking care of some other things, her mom came up to my office to say good-bye. She thanked me over and over and kept giving me hugs of appreciation. She told me repeatedly that I needed to stay in touch with her daughter after I left because I had meant so much to both of them. She said that when she comes to visit she will have P email me so I can bring the baby to campus and she can meet up with us.
I sincerely hope that I can be that grateful for and appreciative of the people who come into my life.