At one time, almost 25 years ago, I enjoyed the freedom of being on my own. The freedom to not have anyone directly looking over my shoulder. The freedom to make choices and deal with the consequences. The freedom to figure out how to get things done and to devise my own plan of what will work for me within my time, boundaries, and limitations. I was a small fish in a big pond but I had the freedom to explore the world around me.
Looking back, I must say that this period of my life was when I felt the most vulnerable, unsure, and weary about my future. But, the difference is I was protected from the stresses of the 'real' world. Within my tight community of friends and the college campus there was a comfort to explore my insecurities, my hesitancy, and my undiscovered future. The freedom of being on my own and away from my family, accelerated the friendships and confidantes that I made while at school. As different as we all were, from different parts of the country, from different countries, and from different cultures, we reveled in the similarities we shared. We were a cornucopia of blessed goodness and a melting pot of humanity.
I've been worried these last few months. As a mother who has 'been there, done that' I know what goes on at college campuses. Even though it has been over 20 years, the fundamentals of being human rarely change. Oh sure, technology is light years away from when I hit the college books. For instance, I called my parents once a week on a pay phone. There was no texting or immediate answer given from my folks. If I had a concern I waited for the line to use the phone to dissipate on a Sunday afternoon. And, for the most part, my parents weren't really 'in my business'. They were a two-day drive away from where I was and pretty much trusted that I was doing what I was supposed to do. They always seem to trust me to do the right thing.
So, how is it that I sit and worry that my son, a sophomore at college, is doing all that he is capable of doing to stay on track, bring up his grade point average, and formulate plans for his future career? To be truthful, I fear that he has succumbed to the power of female distraction. Why, oh why, did this day have to arrive? At a time when he should be concentrating on himself and what he wants out of life a female had to snatch him up. My precious little boy is bogged down with the power of the once unknown. No matter how much my husband or I have screamed out the warnings I fear he has lost himself.
I don't know what to do. It's like watching a ship sinking in the distance. You want so badly to swim out in the ocean and rescue the occupants but you're just not equipped with the right stuff. The most you can do is place a call to the authorities and hope for the best.
As a parent, you realize that there are many times your effectiveness as a parent is put on trial. You watch as your children grow up and eventually become adults. They reach milestones and you pat yourself on the back for a job well done. At some point they are old enough to make their own choices and face the consequences. Let's hope that they can swim confidently among the fishes and enjoy the freedom of their world.