Watching children grow through their teen-age years to young adulthood is an emotional dichotomy: on the one hand we revel in their new-found independence and look with pride upon their maturing personalities. On the other we do our best to suppress thoughts of homicide. Somewhere in-between we exist, toggling between “insightful discussions” and rip-roaring battles, hoping against hope that any character flaws will be outgrown, or at worst quickly cured in therapy.
The age-old question is whether our influence will be a help or hindrance as they hack away feverishly at the umbilical cord we have protected and maintained since their birth. Did I yell too much? Was I too judgmental? Did I build confidence or injure self-esteem? Were my punishments and discipline of any value? Did I tell him how proud I am? Did I share my love for him? Was it enough?
My eldest son is graduating from high school. What a different experience from his two older sisters; for the girls, it was all tears and memories, private jokes and best-friends-forever…for boys, not so much. Brotherhood and friendship, indeed, but none of the giggling and hugs; just a bunch of guys ready to take the next step, grateful for where they came from. A refreshing change.
My sincere thanks to the Christian Brothers for a fine education. Now he’s on to Jesuit college in the fall, Canisius to be precise, “Where Leaders are Made”. Perhaps. I would be quite satisfied with a self-sufficient, hard-working man, leader or not. A man of faith. A man of respect and honor.
If we can get through freshman year without a visit to the ER I will count that as success. One step at a time. For now, I’m proud.
St. John Baptiste de la Salle, Pray for us.
Live Jesus in our hearts forever.
St. Peter Canisius, pray for us.