Saturday, August 05, 2006

My Son, a Senior

All In The Family... And What I Think About It...

Ike starts kindergardenIsaac's first day
of kindergarten, 1994

Isaac will be starting school again on August 9 (Wednesday of next week), and he'll be a senior this year. It's a milestone for him and for our entire family. Life is progressing, even though some of us wish we could linger a little longer before moving on.

When I was just out of college and teaching school, I had a boy in my classroom whose mother was a teacher in the same school. One day his mother remarked to me that no one should be allowed to teach school until they had children of their own.

Looking back, I think I must have hurt her son's feelings and she was angry. If she had told me what was wrong, perhaps I could have done something about it.

Her statement has stuck with me through the years, and I've often thought of it. I have come to understand what she meant. She meant that since becoming a mother, she understood better what tender hearts children have. She meant that children are not always as tough as they look and as teachers think they are.

Isaac is looking forward to the first day of his senior year with the usual mix of anticipation and anxiety. He is hoping that some things will go better this year and that nothing will be worse. He is looking forward to seeing his friends regularly, and he's hoping his classes won't be hard but he knows they probably will be. He doesn't want to feel stupid and he doesn't want anyone to try to humiliate him. He hopes his clothes are OK. He's both glad and sad that this is his last year of high school, and he wonders what he's going to do with the rest of his life.

I know all this and much more about my son, but it's not within my power to make this year easy for him. Isaac is a young man now, not a little boy. He is learning to be tough and to make his own way. I can't coddle him, but I'll try to encourage him. Hopefully his teachers will do the same. His wings have to grow strong so one of these days he can fly away from the nest. I don't want him to go, but life moves on and I can't stand in his way.

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Wrkinprogress said...

I am impressed with what you do know about your son. So many parents, I think, couldn't make a list like yours. Not for lack of trying in many cases, I'm sure, but for difficulty communicating with their teenager. I know I had a hard time talking with my parents when I was his age. I'm very certain my Mom thought I was tougher by far than I really was (am), and my Dad and I just butted heads all the time, until he died just before I turned 17. I am envious of your Isaac. He's a very lucky young man, whether he knows it or not. :)

RunAwayImagination said...

Enjoy these years, because they'll be over before you know it. My son graduated from high school in 1990 and is now 34 and the father of two school-age children himself.

Fathers and sons often have a hard time communicating, especially when the son reaches puberty. My son and I were at odds for about ten years beginning sometime in Junior High School. But we managed to reconnect, through deliberate effort on both our parts. Now I can confidently say that we are each other's best friend.

Unfortunately it didn't turn out that way for my father and me. We were just starting to forge a man-to-man bond when he died of a heart attack when I was 25. This is one reason why I treasure what my son and I have achieved.

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CONTENTMENT: Keep your heart free from hate, your mind from worry, live simply, expect little, give much, sing often, pray always, forget self, think of others and their feelings, fill your heart with love, scatter sunshine. These are the tried links in the golden chain of contentment.
(Author unknown)

IT IS STILL BEST to be honest and truthful; to make the most of what we have; to be happy with simple pleasure; and to be cheerful and have courage when things go wrong.
(Laura Ingalls Wilder, 1867-1957)

Thanks for reading.