Good Luck. I know you can do it.

Most people send their kids off to college after they finish their senior year of high school and after they’ve turned 18. It comes at a time when it’s expected and planned for.

And then there’s us.

A few days ago, my 17 year old asked if he could change his mind about going with us to Ecuador. He’s decided that moving around with the military is no longer a part of his game plan. We had hoped he would come with us, finish his senior year as a homeschooler and take the time to explore a new corner of South America. After all, what young adult wouldn’t want to take advantage of a trip to Ecuador and all that a new and exciting place has to offer?

The answer to that is a young man who has already explored a large part of the world. He was born in Germany and when we returned to Germany a couple of years later, he spent nearly three years in a German kindergarten. He left near fluent in the language. He traveled to several foreign countries and has great memories of France, Spain, Austria, England, just to name a few. He’s lived in Utah, Nevada, California, Alabama, and Texas, all places where we decided to homeschool and give his life a single source of stability, the same teacher everywhere he lived. He has spent a semester in an American school for 9th grade and a full year in an Argentine school for 10th grade. He speaks fluent Spanish. He’s hiked the Alps and the Andes.

I imagine that parents of all young teens dread the time when their young adult is ready to leave the house. For me, this is all the harder because he doesn’t even have a house to leave. We’re in limbo, on vacation in between assignments. We’ll be leaving him behind, waving from the car windows as we say goodbye.

I always cry when we climb aboard the plane to leave the US. I’m always sad about the possible life we leave behind – the one where I live close to family and friends. This next plane trip will be even harder because I won’t have one of my children by my side. It’s the first time since he’s been born that he won’t have moved with us and I find that I’m incredibly sad, incredibly proud, and incredibly torn about the whole decision.

And that’s it, isn’t it? We’ve raised an independent and self sufficient young man who is ready to make his own decisions even though he hasn’t reached the legal age of consent. His Dad and I aren’t ready to give him up to the world but who are we to stop him?

Kudos to all those parents who have gone before us and have bravely watched their children leave the roost, who offered support where needed but were bold enough to know when to stop holding hands, when to warmly kiss their cheeks goodbye and say “Good luck. I know you can do it.”

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6 thoughts on “Good Luck. I know you can do it.

  1. He is wise beyond his years because of his experiences and his unorthodox but completely fulfilling education. His wise parents have nurtured an independent, self-reliant young man who despite his physical distance will always be close to them. I know you are very proud of him and you should be proud of yourselves, as well. As you say, we who have yet to face this reality do not look forward to the difficult day that we cease to have the ability to tuck them in at night…if they would let us. So I say, “Good luck, Angie. I know you can do it.”

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    • Thanks Drue. I will do it because it’s the right thing to do at this moment in time. It’s been our entire approach to life and I don’t believe in making wrong decisions. Mistakes are just a part of the adventure. Wish you were here to share a drink and a hug.

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    • I was thinking about that just this morning and wish I had included the words We Love You. Your comment makes me feel much better and I’m glad the love shone through.

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  2. Yes, the love shined in every word. As a parent who has been through this, I am reminded of the idea that no good deed goes unpunished. It’s heartbreaking! (I cried while moving Dylan into his dorm room at college.) And I can also report that a new depth was added to my relationship with my son as he began to navigate his own way through the world.

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    • It is definitely a new stage of parenting that I didn’t quite expect… I really sort of thought when he went of to college I would feel like I had finished a job and it is nothing like that. I really appreciate hearing from parents that have successfully navigated this stage because it tells me that we will survive this as well. I can say that the tears aren’t finished but they aren’t flowing as fast as they were. And that’s something. I look forward to that new depth in our own relationship! Thank you for letting me know about your own experience. It makes it easier.

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