This week we are sending another child off to college.
I used to guffaw when my oldest children were little and SO many people would feel compelled to tell me just how fast the time was going to fly by. My inner dialogue at the time was something like, “I know that was your experience, but this seems to be dragging on rather nicely thank-you-very-much.”
This is our fourth of nine children heading off to college and yes, I have to say it boggles the mind to see the man that he has become, and have no clue where the time went that has aged him.
I’ll miss him a lot.
He was one of those babies and toddlers that was freaky-perfect. He was always happy and I remember saying to him when he was around 3 years, “Luke, I just can’t believe how well behaved you are, you’ve never even been in time out.” His precocious response was, “I know, I watched what Rachel (older sister) did and learned what not to do.”
Yes, he was always precocious.
When he was just toddling around, I locked myself out of the house while he was inside; he was too young to manipulate the lock. He grinned a big grin at me, pushed the chair over to the counter, stood on it, got the sugar bowl, went to the silverware drawer and got a spoon and promptly went to the table and began eating sugar straight out of the bowl. This from the child that, literally, had never misbehaved. I knew then he had gifts.
When he had an early childhood screening to make sure he was on track with speech because of some articulation issues he was around 2 and a half, the lady screening him called for her colleagues to come listen to him. “When I asked him what color the sun was (while pointing at a picture) he said golden. Golden! Can you imagine? I’ve never heard golden before.” I am literally thinking what, exactly, is the big deal? He was scored socially at an age equivalent of 7 years and I knew it was, in part, related to her describing how the first thing out of his mouth when he sat down was, “I really like your rings. They’re beautiful.” Again, my thought was, uhm, and what’s so amazing?
That happens when you live with an amazing kid.
You don’t really understand just how amazing they are until people point it out to you . . . or until they are leaving you to start their own life.
This college bound guy hasn’t always been perfect throughout his teen years and thankfully, my professional background kept me sane realizing it wouldn’t be “normal” if his relative perfection continued. He has a mind of his own. He’s taken risks that I’d rather he not take and he’s made some choices that have garnished him some pretty stark consequences.
Tomorrow we take that long drive.
My wish for him is that he uses his talent for the greater good — for himself and society as a whole. The world really is his oyster as long as he understands and respects the commitment and responsibility involved in being giver and not a taker from the world at large.
In the meantime, my peacemaker and most wonderfully supportive man-son is on his way to make his way.
I wish him luck and love and health and safety and success in every step he takes.
I love you, Luke.