I just received a text from my college son. He is not yet 19 years old, but he has made a very difficult "adult" decision. What pride I am feeling...along with a little bit of trepidation.
The family joke is that J-Man was born a toddler; he weighed over nine pounds at birth. Milestones followed quickly: creeping at six months, crawling at seven months, walking at nine months. He was a pleasant little fellow. People smiled at him wherever we went; he would smile and entertain in return.
His imagination was the master of each day. He created plays to act out with his Beanie Babies, built machines with his Legos, and told stories with art work. As he entered school, he met each task with ease and developed his own challenges. I remember him teaching himself chess in third grade. Year after year, he received a trophy for the many hundreds of points earned through our school reading program.
In middle school he branched beyond academia to join the football team. I encouraged him even though he was not really athletic. I knew he needed the male-bonding. In high school, he became a starting lineman his Freshman year. (At 6'3 and 250 lbs. he was a coach's dream!) In his sophomore year, he played one JV game and then moved to a starting position on the varsity team. His senior year: captain.
So with all of this history, why am I so surprised that today he accepted a coop job with a major company? He will continue as an engineering student at Purdue, but his schooling will be extended a year to complete this coop experience. It will require him to either be a student or be a worker for the next four years. I am so proud of his visionary approach to his future.
But he will never really live under my roof again. He has cut the strings; he has flown from the nest; he has stepped from the fold. It is hard to let go. Even though he will return for periods of time, he will come back as an adult. I will miss this child of mine. Sigh....