This I Believe

Rhonda - Sioux Center, Iowa
Entered on August 28, 2007
Age Group: 30 - 50

I believe that children, who are seniors in high school, will behave in a way that will change your mind about them leaving home. I thought that I would be sad, depressed, and deflated when my son was ready to go out into the world, and leave our loving home.

No. I believe that God, or some divine being, despite all of the parents’ best intentions, makes children, the summer after graduation, behave in ways that make parents want to drive at 90mph to the nearest college or university, and drop them off . After spending their formative years with their parents, the child, who has been a relatively good-natured and respectful son, has a change of heart. Upon getting a glimpse of freedom AKA “Graduation Day”, they decide to become the end-all, be-all of existence, proving they know everything, and you know nothing. Nada. Zip. The parents respond, insisting that the child remain an upstanding citizen, respectful of rules and limits, and continues to provide a loving, guiding presence, although through gritted teeth.

The summer builds, a blinding frenzy of preparations, arguing, and more arguing, until THE day comes to deposit the child on the steps of the dorm/frat/apt and fake your way through tears–they are real tears of joy that you made it through the summer without committing a heinous crime, or pulling a Thelma and Louise-style getaway.

As a parent of four children (all boys), I do love and adore them much of the time (not at the grocery store, in church, or any other potential place of public embarrassment) and I dearly love most of the time we spend together. They make me laugh hysterically, cry hysterically, and even yell hysterically, especially when they are hanging one brother (always the littlest) out of the upstairs window “because he wanted to.” I believe they have made me a better person, someone on the brink of disaster and uncertainty, until that doctor’s visit confirmed I was going to be a parent. I also believe that despite our differences, my oldest son will be a wonderful adult, because he was always a wonderful kid. It’s those little road bumps along the way that make you forget that sometimes. I will miss my oldest this year, but I can only say that now that he’s out of earshot–he’d just try to prove that I am wrong anyway.