I haven’t written much about the last few weeks, preferring to keep all those thoughts and emotions to myself for a while. As many of you know, we’ve spent that last year getting our son ready to go to college. We’ve experienced college visits, college letters, orientation, buying and packing and finally, move-in day.
It is extremely exciting to get to see a loved one off on a grand new adventure in their life and probably the only thing more exciting would be starting your own adventure. There is a curious mixture of pride, excitement and sadness, and each emotion is ready to overwhelm you at any time. You want your son or daughter to live life and go forward with their plans, even if it means not being in your house or town, but then again, you will miss seeing them as much as you want.
I wonder, if prior to having a baby, if we were provided with a list of job duties and responsibilities of a parent, that culminates in working one’s self into an advisory role, would we take the job? Would I have taken on this role if I had known that I would have a decade of pukiness and I’d have to learn how to get over the urge to sympathetic vomit? Or that after the years of early teen disdainment, we’d have a wonderful and loving young man in our house and that would be the time that he would need to leave? If parenting was logical, then – no, who would do it? But, parenting is not logical and aren’t we glad our parents did it and that many of us get to do it?
I’ve been thinking about Jack London’s “Credo” and I think it is applicable to our young people going off on their adventures and to those of us parents who have got them there.
“I would rather be ashes than dust! I would rather that my spark should burn out in a brilliant blaze than it should be stifled by dry-rot. I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet. The function of man is to live, not to exist. I shall not waste my days trying to prolong them. I shall use my time.”
So, cheers to all of you parents who are seeing kids off on college/new job/new country/etc. adventures.
As for the kids starting their new chapters – Call your Mom.