My son is starting high school in the fall and his church group moves up to a new time beginning this summer. In order to keep parents apprised about the new church service for young adults, the leaders held a meeting for parents to let us in on the details. Eager parents like my husband and I were ushered into an auditorium where we heard what we all knew but didn’t want to acknowledge: in four years, our kids would be gone.
Now, I’m no fool. I know my son will be leaving the nest at the end of high school. His comfortable nest here at home will become what I like to call the safety net of college—a time when he’ll be responsible for making adult decisions with the benefit of his parents (the safety net) for backup. I believe without question that kids learn more about personal and social responsibility during college than they do in the eighteen years they lived at home with their parents. I know I did. I wouldn’t feel settled about sending him into the big, bad world without having experienced those four years with the safety net.
Even knowing that in four years he’s gone, I got tears in my eyes when some hip, young stranger spoke the words out loud. My exclusive time with him is narrowing to a time in the future I can actually visualize. I remember when he was born and woke up every two to three hours and I thought I’d never have another second to myself—ever! These days I can barely get his attention
I’m a writer and I embarked on this career when my daughter, my youngest, went off to kindergarten. I’ve loved every second of the time I’ve spent weaving tales for my enjoyment and now for the enjoyment of others. This writing thing takes time, lots and lots of time. I keep looking into the future and seeing nothing but time in front of me when my kids will be grown and out on their own. I’m trying to find a nice balance between this career that I love and spending as much time with the children I love more than anything. Balance isn’t easy.
I know everyone who reads this isn’t a writer, but everyone has things that pull them away from their families, things they do for themselves that make them feel good, but also feel guilty. If you’ve been able to find a nice balance with the things you have in your life, I’d love to hear how you did it. If you’re like me, struggling to find that balance, let me know I’m not alone—like I will be in six years when my daughter graduates and it’s just me and my husband and these stories bouncing around my head.
Well, I never thought I’d see the day on the near horizon. My son is graduating high school and my daughter is leaving middle school behind. Just as Dylan walks out the educational door after thirteen years, Allessandra enters four years of high school in preparation for college.
I think they’re both happy they’ll never be in the same school at the same time, but I’ll miss dropping one off and then the other, every morning, no matter how boring it seems sometimes. I think what makes this so hard is that you know your kids have to go to grammar school, middle school, then high school. But after that? There’s no telling.
So, I’m going through the fear for my son’s future coupled with the excitement for my daughter’s new school life. Both are scary. I want him to discover what he wants to do with his life and I don’t want her to grow up too fast during those four years of high school.
She’ll be stepping into her teen years and preparing for college. He’s not so sure about college and his chances of landing a decent job without college are slim. What to do? All we can do is guide them but there comes a time when they have to make the decision. He’s on the fence about college. Does he want to study for four long years, coming out the other side without the promise of a job either?
Times are so different. I know, my age is showing. But when I went to college there was no doubt I would claim the prize of a job on the other side. For both of them, who knows?
And the worrying continues. It never ends.