Heading Off to College

Will at Thanksgiving 1997If you have a high school senior in your house, chances are you know what your kid is going to be doing when August rolls around. And with only a month or two left before graduation, your senior is probably having the time of his or her life.

Second semester senior year is when they can kind of take their foot off the accelerator and coast a little. Prom, Grad Bash, parties, grades that don’t matter as much. I remember all of that from back in 1983. (Well, kind of.)

My son is one of these seniors. He graduates in a month and has a fun summer planned before he buckles back down in to his studies when he starts college in August. He’s feeling really relaxed. After three and half years of an intense magnet program, he has the chance to slow down. He’s working out with his friends after school, playing basketball and going over college life in his head.

And this is how I feel about it right now: I can’t wait for him to leave. Not because I don’t love him. And not because I don’t really, really enjoy his company. And sure I’ll miss him.

But it’s time for him to go. He’s ready. We’ve done our jobs. And by we, I mean me, his father, his stepfather and his grandparents. And we’ve done our jobs well.

The kid can take care of himself. Sure he’ll fumble a little with his laundry. And it might take him a few times to get his ramen noodles right. But he is responsible, mature enough and assertive when he needs to be. And I’m excited for him to have this amazing collegiate experience. He’s going to a big school with an awesome engineering program, big sports and a ton of school spirit.

So, while I’ll be bawling at his graduation and trying to hold back tears when I move him in to the dorms in August, I know that this is what has to come next. This is what we’ve all worked for in raising him. Setting him free.

Plus, I’ll have a lot less laundry to do.
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