Thursday, June 2, 2011
Joy of parenthood
I heard many references to “time flies” in May.
Early in the month, I was at college, helping Emma move out of her dormitory for the summer.
It was a good trip to Hattiesburg and back in one day (about nine hours round trip) – largely because my mother felt like accompanying me. She had not gotten to visit her granddaughter at the University of Southern Mississippi this year. We had planned it, but conflicts always arose.
Mother, Emma and I had lunch at one of my favorite places, Firehouse Subs, and then I started the lifting and loading. Thank goodness, this dorm has an elevator.
It’s hard to believe Emma is now a junior in college, about to turn 20. We are glad to have her home for a few weeks before she leaves for Arlington, Texas, for two months of mission work.
In August, I’m sure I will get to help move her back to USM, this time into the same dorm she lived in during her freshman year. And this one does not have an elevator.
A little later in May, my son Andy put something on Facebook about “officially becoming a senior.”
He had just completed his exams, wrapping up his 11th grade year in high school.
That, too, is hard to comprehend.
Like I told one of Andy’s classmates, it seems like yesterday I was coaching the two of them and many of their friends in 9- and 10-year-old basketball.
It seems like I’ve blinked a couple of times, and they’re outstanding young men looking forward to their senior year in high school.
The end-of-the-year school activities were hectic – as usual. After high school academic and athletic banquets, Pam and I also attended the elementary awards.
I asked her - “Reckon how many parents get to go to college, high school and elementary, all in a month, in support of their children?”
Maybe it’s like one friend told me, “It’s going to keep you young.”
I countered with, “Or perhaps I will never be able to retire.”
Erin, our 9-year-old, wrapped up third grade. She loves school - even math, which she obviously got from her mom.
Pam and I have talked a lot about how in another year, we will suddenly go to one child at home – full-time.
Bringing that to the forefront of my mind even more was a trip a couple of weeks ago to Itawamba Community College with Andy. It’s one of the colleges he is considering.
It was a good visit - touring a beautiful campus in downtown Fulton adjacent to the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway and seeing many good friends from my days there (1986-1991).
Andy loved it, but also smiled and said there might be too many people there who know his dad.
More college visits for the 17-year-old await. I hope I’m able to tag along on those, too.
In the midst of a hectic May, I had to take a look in the boxes of old photos, particularly early childhood pictures of Emma, Andy and Erin. They brought smiles. They brought pride.
“Time is flying” but the the times, past and present, have been good ones. It doesn’t get any better than the joy of parenthood, whether the children are in elementary school, high school or college.
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