It’s so hard for me to believe that I’m sitting here listening to some guy talk to my son’s class about “Making Your College Search Count.” Really? How can this be? It was just a few years ago when the wife woke me up to say her labor pains were getting to the point we needed to leave for the hospital. I seriously have never been more excited, scared, nervous . . . you name it, than I was at that moment. Then after 25 hours of labor, finally getting the pumpkin-headed kid out via C-section and just sitting in the chair next to her bed holding him while she slept, I never wanted to let him go.
A little over seventeen years and three more kids later, here I am thinking that this kid has absolutely no clue as to what he wants to do with his life and where he wants to go to college. If I didn’t work with high school students every day, I would be worried, but I know that my son is pretty typical. It’s the ones who think they have their lives all mapped out and who believe they know exactly what they want to do that worry me more. The reality is often those kids are as clueless as the others; they just don’t know it.
Last night on our way home from my son’s cello lesson, we were listening to a guy from Stanford talk about entrepreneurship. He said life is too short to spend it doing things you aren’t passionate about and that it is really important to surround yourself with smart, quality people of integrity. It was then I turned to my son and said, “You know, that will be your saving grace . . . that you pretty much hang around quality kids and have very little patience for dealing with idiots.”
His response: “Yep.”
And I’m fine with that. I don’t really care where he decides to go to college or what he ends up doing for a career as long as he’s a smart, quality person of integrity. I’ve even come to the place where I’m willing to let him go. That part, anticipating him moving out, gets easier as he gets older. I’m wondering if I’ll be as excited, scared, nervous, etc. when he moves out as I was on the day he was born.
Darren Sombke, father of four, lives with his wife Jungah and their family in northern Illinois. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org