Tuesday, June 03, 2008

New Beginnings

My youngest son finished high school today. It was touch and go there for a little while, but he managed to do all that was required of him. True, he did it the hard way, but he comes by that trait honestly enough. What he might have missed in academic respects he has more than made up for in qualities that can only really be learned through experience: Perseverance, courage, patience and perhaps the hardest quality for a teenager to grasp, acceptance. He has had to walk through many obstacles - most of his own creation, but he never gave up.

When my children pass big milestones such as this, I get reflective. I will often feel my age and wonder where the time has gone. And although there is that element to be sure, there is also a sense of completion. All three of my boys have now truly entered adulthood. Moreover, they are just beginning their journey… the world is at their feet; the future is at their command. My job is not finished, however. It never will be, but my role has absolutely changed - almost overnight.

They are not yet self-sufficient; my support is still a necessity. But support goes well beyond financial. Guidance and encouragement, although not actively sought after, are still among those essentials that I will provide to my kids. For the most part, the heavy hand of fatherhood will be replaced with a more diplomatic version. Although I am still king of my castle, I now preside over subjects who are capable of thinking for themselves. Persuasion, not dictation, is the order of the day.

That is not to say that I am abdicating anything. It is, however, recognition of a never-changing fact of life… it is ever-changing. It is time to begin a new chapter as the last has come to a happy ending. A new adventure is around the corner and I think we are all relieved for that.


~Easy said...

In addition, your subjects will be leaving the castle--hopefully--at some point to build their own.

My oldest just finished 7th grade, so I have a ways to go yet.

flleenie said...

My youngest just 'graduated' from elementary school. Time to let her grow up...(ouch)

(I don't want her to go to Middle School, that's where all the trouble starts, right?')

Biker Betty said...

My eldest son graduated from high school two years ago. I had so many feelings as he crossed the stage to get his diploma. My youngest son will cross that same stage in 5 years, which will go by too fast (sigh).

Congratulations to your son.

awareness said...

Father and son graduating in less than a year. Bravo. Though I'm sure there were difficult times juggling all that needed to be done and needed to be supervised while you both were full time students, the very fact that you were plugging away with your studies was the best modelling your son could've had.

yes, this is an ever changing world we live in and it's good to stop for reflections, especially when a milestone has been reached.....because if we don't do that we will fly through this life without celebration.

sorry I havent been by in a while. a flap of a butterfly wing sent me today.


Ellen said...

Congrats to your son, and may he never be squashed by the reality of life that comes with getting out in the real world. If he has all the traits you speak of, he will have a hard road, but will be able to weather it better than most kids his age.

What's truly sad is to see these kids get out in the world with no real training under their belts. I still think they missed the boat in my sons high school when they didn't require their students to take a life skills class (although they did offer a baskit-weaving class.... ????). A week before my son graduated from high school, I brought him over to my computer and opened up my quicken account so he could see where the "money" went. Needless to say, it was a shocker, and he now understands how the moneytree stands bare most of the time.

As far as your job being over.... not gonna happen ever. They could be 60 and you 80, and they will always be your baby. You have the best attitude about it though, as they require more guidance than they thought, and you will truly be there for them.

Anonymous said...

I've moved to anther kingdom as the four subjects I helped raise have successfully moved on to their own, albeit, smaller castles. May the kingdoms reign!