Wednesday, November 23, 2011
How is a puppy similar to a 17-year-old boy?
It was actually my idea for him to check out colleges solo. There is much more to campus life than what one sees on a tour. My son stayed with a friend who had gone to his high school. They had kept in touch via Facebook. I wanted him to not only see this college, but also to see that college is fun. He got to attend lectures and stayed in a dorm overnight. There were no parents.
Back when I was in high school, I had stayed with friends when checking out colleges. It was an invaluable education. I learned first hand that a coed dorm might be okay but not a coed bathroom. Frat parties were not my idea of fun. I applied early to the school where students had heated debates over philosophical ideas in their dorm rooms. I would not be the only geek on campus. There isn’t one right school for everyone; it’s more of an idiosyncratic match.
From NYC it was easy to visit colleges, but the journey is longer from Maine. I was okay with my son flying alone, but driving into Logan Airport, parking and making a flight would be stressful even for a seasoned traveler. When my husband drove down to Boston with our son, a smoking truck blinded them. Its engine was on fire. They took a wrong turn, but still made the flight on time. My son took the bus back to Maine on his return. I’m sure if you asked him, he’d say he could have done it all on his own.
If I left the front door open, Scout would run out into the street. I would be responsible. My puppy doesn’t know any better, but my son is a cautious, thoughtful boy. Part of me identifies with his desire to be free, even to make his own mistakes. I’ve let the leash extend 700 miles, but I’m not ready to let the boy go. That will happen only too soon, in less than two years. I think parents need to grow even faster than teens do at this stage.
Have a Happy Thanksgiving!