My view of the world through words & photos
[For those of you who are new to this blog, please make sure you read the entry about my son’s graduation (Later Comes Sooner) to understand a little about my journey to this post.]
The morning’s first session took place in the university’s arena. They had curtained off half of the court to make it more intimate…as intimate are you can be with 300 incoming freshmen and their parents. I’ve been looking forward to this day for months. We had talked about all the different, fun things he would be experiencing this year on the trip up to the campus the night before. It was all good.
Then the welcome sounded over the sound system: “Welcome to the Class of 2016!” And my eyes started to well up.
I was shocked at this reaction. I was happy about what was about to happen. I had teased my friends last year when their kids went off to college and they were saying how much they missed them. “This is what we have been working toward for the last 18 years, isn’t it? Shouldn’t we be happy that they are independent and strong enough to go off to college?” And here I was with tears in my eyes. What’s with that?
As the day wore on, I heard parents asking:
“What time is curfew?”
“When do you do bed checks?”
“How will you send me information on my son’s grades?”
Since I knew there was no curfew or bed checks, and that a federal law prevented the university from releasing my son’s grades to me (even if I was signing the tuition check), I started reflecting on what had led up to this point…and why I had tears in my eyes that morning.
My words to my friends last year came flooding back to me. “Isn’t this what we have been raising them for?” “Well, isn’t it?” that little voice in my head queried. “If not, why have you been keeping on top of him to schedule out big projects so he didn’t try to write a 10-page paper in one night? Why did you set a curfew and keep on him to call if plans changed after he left the house? Why have you been having those late night, philosophical and ethical discussions with him for the past four or five years?”
Yes, why had I done all that if it hadn’t been to send him off…on his own…to continue to grow and discover the wonderful man is going to be?
There was no other reason. This is why his dad and I, his grandparents, and his aunts and uncles have been guiding, correcting, teaching, advising and coaching for 18 years. We’ve done our job to get him to this point, and we’ll always be here for him whenever he needs us, but now it’s time for him to branch off onto the first leg of his own path.
So why were there tears in my eyes this morning when he and 300 other members of the Class of 2016 were welcomed to the university?
Because I know he’s ready.