The oldest turned 18 today and he’s home from school on break right now. I think he’s enjoying being home (except for the working full-time part), but he’ll be ready to head back for his Spring semester when it starts.
Its hard to tell an eighteen year old that you’re proud of them. It usually comes out sounding like the ending of a bad episode of the Waltons. You have to pick and choose those times carefully, because until they hit their mid-twenties or have kids of their own – you’re just going to sound old. But … I am proud.
I think school is [already] rapidly becoming home and this is becoming “his parents house.” As I think back, it was about this time during my freshman year that I hit that same exit ramp and never looked back. Good for him.
This is why his mom and I have put the long hours in. We wanted to raise someone who could survive in the world more or less independently. I never felt like we were in the business of raising “children.” If he gets to be 21 or 25 and he’s still a “child,” then we failed. Parents are in the business of raising “adults.”
We’ve wanted him to be someone who was ready to take on the role of “adult” when his time came. His time is coming pretty quickly and its looking like he’s doing just fine. He’s not perfect (how could he be? – look who his Dad is!) and he’ll make his share of mistakes, but he’s in good shape for the shape he’s in.
18 years ago this morning I walked out of Greater Baltimore Medical Center with the sense that I was the same, but that the whole world had changed. I was right. And it hasn’t stopped changing for a single day.
This week’s After-school Special is now over.