The first day of school this year (August 23 for us) marked the first day of summer, ironically. As cold and dreary a vacation as ever there was, shorts weather coincided with the demand for being mostly indoors in a classroom. Sorry kids.
For our household, emotions were running higher than ever- senior year, the last year of being-a-kid, do-or-die… kinda. Add to the mix the pressure and expectations for my son’s passion- football. Coast Union is a small school, maybe 245 students total. Pictured above is four shy of our entire Varsity team. My kid didn’t think he wanted to stay here but go to a bigger school for his “last shot at glory.” I said something to the effect of “over my dead body.”
Now, I am usually of the mindset to let the kids make their own decisions (within my boundaries) to appreciate the fruits or failures of their choices. But, and this was a mighty big “but” this year, some times a parent has to step up and guide them. Forcefully. Such was the case here. In my heart of hearts, after considerable “discussions” with the boy and his father, staff and anyone else who would listen and offer their two cents, I felt it truly would be in his best interest to stay with the people he’s grown up with.
This is when I understand why some parents just throw up their hands and let kids get into trouble. You get worn down, worn out at arguing, defending, convincing, etc.
It was a difficult situation- here is something your child is passionate about. You want him to be happy. You want him to follow his dreams, to think for himself. You want him to learn. You want him to grow. You know what? That learning part? There are different ways to do it and with it, all the other stuff will come including feeding his passion. When he learns- learns patience, learns to be open to positive suggestions and new ideas, learns to value friendship, learns to value education, learns respect, learns perseverance, learns loyalty and trust. All these I felt he’d better acquire at little ol’ Coast Union where he’ll be appreciated more fully.
I may not be his friend right now because I am his parent. But, I know in the long run, we will be friends because he will develop strong character traits from his family, his friends, his teachers and community members here who’ve known, loved and supported him all his life. He may not fully realize any of this right now or certainly not thank me for making this decision.
But, I hope one day he will. I love him dearly and am so proud of him. I know he will be a fine young man. He already is.