The Summer Before…

…your child begins his/her freshman year in college is supposed to be the worst, I had heard from other parents recently.  But we are well into summer, and I am having a wonderful time with my “baby” Aaron, who starts college this fall.

Yesterday, Aaron and I had lunch together.  Just him and me.  He chose the restaurant, a noisy upscale hamburger place with lots of TVs only showing sports.  Looking across the table at him was almost surreal for me.  My last child would be leaving home in September.  Without me.  I sat and prayed that I taught him to survive in the world, my lessons in life timed very consciously with consideration to his age and maturity.  Some people believe that it is the job of the parent to create their child’s curriculum.  I don’t. I happen to believe that life itself is a lesson and it is my responsibility to help my child deal with whatever curveballs might come his way.  For Aaron,  his last two years of high school were brutal in the upper socio-economic level. My point being that it was not exactly like attending school in the inner city and walking home on a gang infested street.  But within the context of Aaron’s world, it might as well have been.  I got all sorts of advice on how to handle this situation.  None of it particularly helpful.  So I decided that I would be the person helping him over the “wall” (high school) and I was going to help him get over to the “other side” (college).  It was tough, but we did it.

And when it was all over, (over defined NOT as his graduation, but the receipt of his official transcript), then I was happy.  Actually, probably a bit more relieved.  Not only that, Aaron got HIS mojo back. That made me even happier.

He leaves next weekend for his two-day orientation.  And yesterday, at lunch, he shared with me, for the first time, that he was nervous about starting college.  “Good sign,” I thought, that means HE cares.” My wish was granted it was not ME wanting him to go; it was him who finally wanted to go to college.

“And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make,” Sir Paul McCartney.


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