A fledgling soon to fly | VailDaily.com

A fledgling soon to fly

Don Rogers

School’s headed into that last sprint and don’t I feel it? The oldest child will turn 18 in a few days and graduate from high school in about a month.

It feels like an end. I know it kicks off the beginning to the most exciting stretch of life ” college and young adult adventures.

Time for the fledglings to fly, to make their own mistakes, fling themselves out there. Well, to a point. His parents, us, remain on the hook to pay for college, and we’re up for that as long as the kid keeps at it. And he will.

So interesting from this side of the age divide. At my turn I couldn’t waiit to get out there. Now part of me wants to hold on, even as I’m excited for him.

Our influence wanes from here. Well, it’s been on the wane for awhile now, as it should. We can still order, but that’s less and less effective. Suggestions must be gently kneaded, advice must be sold rather than issued as commands.

Soon we’ll be reduced to gentle questions, and our guidance will only come as it is sought.

We’ll remain the kid’s biggest cheerleaders. But we’ll no longer be his toughest critics. There’s a role that will shift to bosses, maybe a spouse and himself.

His sister will have us mostly to herself for the next three years. Not that she’ll necessarily appreciate that so much, as a teenager. Brother had the parents to himself at an age when parents mean everything. She’ll have ’em, without her brother to absorb some of that daily attention, when she least wants them around for other than, say, $20 bills and rides before she drives herself. Then it will be the family car.

And for us the countdown will begin in earnest toward the empty nest. We’d long forgotten how we got through our days before children.

I suspect that beginning with graduation day, we’ll begin to remember again.

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