Great Moments from a Younger Life

I really did think for a long time that I had run out of things to say about our personal loosening of apron strings.  As some of you know, I started this blog in 2012 when I had a one year count down to sending my son off to college.  We got him off to a university about 80 miles away from home in the Fall of 2013 and things seemed good.

Now it is Fall 2014 and it is necessary to look at these apron strings again as they continue to be stretched to their limit.

Today is the first road trip for my son and a friend.  They have decided to take a 300 mile round trip from Fayetteville AR to Springfield MO for a gaming event.  Now, Fayetteville is full of gamers and events, but this one, the one in Springfield, is the national pro-qualifier and the winner gets a paid entry and airfare to Washington DC for “The Big Game”.  So, they HAVE to go, right?

I will say that my son called on Thursday to tell me that he really wanted to go, but wanted my blessing.  That led to about 24 hours of my stressing over all sorts of bad things that could happen, but I knew down deep inside that: 1) he is ready to make a trip like this and 2) these kinds of trips are often completed successfully and turn into stories from “great moments from my younger life”.  I thought about the time when my college friends and I attended a Hall and Oats concert (a 300 mile round trip) the night before a physics test. The concert and trip were great moments, but unfortunately, the scores on the test were not “great moments from a younger life” for some of my friends. All of us have “great moments” that we look back upon and I’ve come to realize that we need to continue to have great moments in our lives no matter what age we are.

In about 4 days, I will be flying to Los Angeles by myself to conduct a training.  I’m not a great flyer, I’m going by myself, and Los Angeles……well, do I need to say anything else?  I’ve been secretly dreading this trip, but yesterday, one of my young (under 30) coworkers told me how much she wished she was going.  She rightfully saw it as an opportunity to have a great moment instead of the travel hassle that I saw.  So, that made me rethink the trip to Springfield for two college guys, some cards, snacks and a phone with a GPS.

So, in the immortal words of Elwood Blues and the original road trip,

” It’s 106 miles to Chicago, we got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it’s dark… and we’re wearing sunglasses.”

blues bros

Have a safe road trip to add to  your great moments, Calvin.  And call me when you get back!

Advertisements

A Grand Adventure and Parenting

A Grand Adventure and Parenting

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.

Sunrise in Copenhagen – by A. Greenvoss