Something wonderful is happening around here.
(Indulge me while I brag for a moment. Thank you.)
Although it seems like yesterday that we were in the midst of his college search, D is finishing his coursework a semester early. He’ll be done with classes in less than a month! It’s a pretty spectacular accomplishment: he achieved it via a combination of some AP testing for college credit, testing into (and then passing) an advanced German course which earned him the credit for that class plus the year he skipped, and mostly due to his staying the course with his major and getting awesome grades (Dean’s List all the way!). Did I mention that for the past two and a half years he’s held a leadership position in his fraternity while being active in the graphic design club AND working two jobs?
In spite of all that, the something wonderful has gotten a little lost in the past couple of months. There’s been some panic both here at home and on campus regarding D’s leap into the real world and how that’s all going to unfold. The two jobs that he has are both campus jobs which will end when his enrollment does. At the same time, he lives with three roommates in an off-campus house, and their lease isn’t up until June. Jim and I aren’t paying his rent after he’s done with school because he can find someone to sublet his room and then he can live at home for free.
Obviously he wants to stay in that house, and we want him to as well, but not so badly that we’ll pay for it.
He hasn’t had a lot of time to look for a new job (or two) because SEE ABOVE.
It’s been aggravating for all of us, even though we all want exactly the same thing. While making it clear to him that he always has a place here at home (truth!), I came up with a gem right on the spot when I said, “Dad and I don’t want you to move back; we want you to keep moving forward if at all possible.”
This lead-up to the transition has been particularly hard for me because D and I are so much alike. He’s a procrastinator (check!), sometimes he pays too much attention to details that really don’t require it (yep), he doesn’t accept help easily (uh-huh), and he has a one track mind once he gets going (Bingo). Guess what, though? He’s also an overachiever when he sets his mind to it (yay!), extremely responsible (woot!), and just about always comes through in a pinch (YES!).
Gradually Jim and I realized the obvious, that our son has a lot to figure out and he’s doing what he can at the moment to try and do so. He’s getting ready to jump feet first into the Real World and that’s scary. Beyond scary, actually.
It’s hard to remember, as parents who have lived more than twice as long, what it’s like to be twenty-one and trying to figure out the details of starting a new life from scratch, but now that we’ve had some quiet moments of reflection about his process it’s getting easier.
He arrived home yesterday for Thanksgiving week and spending time with him has been easy. He’s got some plans in motion that he talks about freely, and we’re having fun so far. In fact, I’d go so far as to say I’m having a blast. Making a conscious decision to just be there if he needs us and knowing that he’s going to be just fine feels so much better than constantly interrogating him, and it allows us to just relax and enjoy our week together.
And THAT’S something wonderful.