Hello, Happy Saturday! Well Scott had his big night at the Prom. He wound up going stag because a couple of girls he wanted to take had boyfriends already, but Scott is an optimist and makes the best out of any situation, plus I guess things are different today, it's no big deal if you don't have a date for the prom. He went and had a great time, danced up a storm with all his classmates and made some good memories. As I helped Scott get ready for the Prom yesterday it really hit me, my babes have grown and all of our lives are transitioning. When Christa graduated it didn't hit me as hard because I still had Scott to focus on. I feel both anxious and excitement. I'm looking forward to my role lightening up, but a little anxious about letting go as he enters adulthood. So when I came across this article yesterday it was just what I needed to read. I wanted to share it with any of you out there who may be going through this transition as well. It is a shorten version of the article, for the full version you can click the link below. The reason I only feel a "little" anxious is that I do have confidence in my children, as Christa has already done well on her own. I'm sure Scott will do fine as he begins this part of his journey through life. And at the end of the day, the one thing I feel the most when I think of my children and the changes we go through, is how truly blessed I have been to have such great, healthy and happy ones!
Thanks for visiting,
The college acceptances are arriving. Kids are elated and parents are panicked. Your son cries, "I got in!" You smile and your heart sinks at the same time. "Is he ready?" "Am I ready?"
First, pat yourself on the back for getting them this far. If they have been accepted to college, you have already been successful. As a parent, you have invested nearly two decades of your time, money and love in this young person. It is natural to wonder if they'll be OK, if they'll make it in the world
To me, I think of young adults as baby foals with wobbly legs. They are just learning to walk and they will fall down. Only by falling down and picking themselves up, can they learn. As Roy says, "Life is a stern teacher. You get the test first and the lesson later."
Going off to college is a rite of passage. According to Joseph Campbell, mythology and rite supply the symbols that carry the human spirit forward (Campbell, 1949). Every college student is a hero. "The standard path of the mythological adventure of the hero is presented by separation-initiation- return." The hero leaves the familiar (separation), ventures into the unknown (initiation), and returns victorious (return). This myth crosses culture and time. It is the hero myth. It is initiation into adulthood.
If our child is on a hero journey, so are we. But ours is slightly different. While they are being initiated into society, we are being freed. Campbell compares the lifespan to loading the camel. During the first half of life, we load the camel. We pile on the baggage of society: rules, expectations, obligations. But during the second half of our lives, we unload the camel and society's baggage. We unload ourselves of society's rules and obligations. We lighten our loads. Our children are piling on the baggage and we are taking it off. We are getting lighter.
But if our old selves are dying, new ones are being born. According to Campbell, this theme of death and resurrection is universal. It is your turn now. Turn your energy to yourself. Have fun. Remember all those things you always wanted to do but didn't have time for? Now you have time for neglected hobbies, old friends, and new adventures. You've paid the price of parenthood, you did your best, and now you are free. You owe it to your kids to stay alive- healthy and vital.
Letting go is the most benevolent thing you can do. And, it is not easy. It takes self-discipline. Roy told me about a cartoon he remembered. There was a young man dressed in a cap and gown at graduation. He was staring down at the world from outer space. He said to the world, "I have my A.B." And the world replied, "Stay with me and I'll teach the rest of the alphabet." The point is: they still have a lot to learn. But, you have taught them as much as you can. Let them go.
Campbell, J. (1949). The Hero with a Thousand Faces. New York: MJF Books.