He had transferred from a junior college in our hometown, to an out of state University for his junior and senior year – therefore he did not go thru the freshman orientation. I remember helping him pack up his car and watching him pull out of the driveway and go down the road driving out of the life we had known with him for 20 years….. He was thrilled with all that was before him, I cried for three days…..
He graduated 2 ½ years later, mid semester at Christmas time with his Petroleum Engineering degree. They had no mid term graduation ceremony, and because he was already working, he chose not to return for the Spring graduation ceremony…. We had a small celebration at home the day he received his diploma in the mail, and then it was back to work.
The only thing I could think to say to him last night was that all of the disappointments you go through in raising your own children, is why God gives us grandchildren. He laughed and informed me that the weekend before, 3 of my perfect little grandchildren had accidently met up at “cactus canyon” a favorite hangout for college kids in a neighboring town, and they had not gotten home until 3:00 a.m. and he had been up half the night worrying. I just had to laugh…. My son, you never appreciated the nights we did the same for you, only to finally understand 20 years later…..
My response to him?......... “Ah, the freedom of youth”. Get used to watching it, as they’re experiencing just a taste of being almost on their own, and are willing to pay the price in wrath from their parents as they sample the good and the bad of growing up. Give it another 25 years or so and Dad will also get to enjoy the story of his grandchildren leaving the nest…… I reminded him last night that he’s already given her “flight training” now all he can do is hope she takes the lessons with her…….