Sunday, August 2, 2015

It Won't Be Easy, But It Will Be Worth It

It's been an extremely busy few weeks for my family.  My recent high school graduate made some very important decisions and we have been working hard to start him moving in his chosen direction. He's a very bright kid and had numerous college acceptances and scholarships, but he has zero idea what he wants to do with his life.  Over the years, we've tried to present different sides of the decision.  We told him neither my husband and I were really ready for college and postponing would be an acceptable decision - although we've been very clear that this is a tougher road given we would not allow him to simply sit in our home and work part-time. On the other hand, we also told him that even if he doesn't know what he wants to do, college is a safe place to move away from your parents and begin to grow up.

He announced his decision a month ago - he's deferring for a year.  He double-checked with his college choices and all allow deferrals and even let him keep his scholarships.  So it seems there's no harm in delaying.  However, in making his decision, he sort of missed the part that he couldn't continue just to sit in our home, eat our food, get laundry done, etc.  The compromise is that he could move to our condo in the mountains and get a job, then besides his living expenses, he would have to pay us enough to cover our costs.  Mountain living isn't cheap so fingers crossed this works for him, but seriously, is this a lucky kid? The town is nestled over to the right at the base of the mountain.



The town of Frisco is absolutely charming (although maybe not so much for a teenage boy).


There are so many activities - hiking, fishing, skiing, biking - and then tons of community activities. All of these towns have to cater not only to tourists, but also to a large number of young people who come in to work at the mountain resorts.  He's been a musician his whole life and there are multiple community bands.  He loves to play the card game, Magic, and there are multiple groups of young people who gather to do that.  It's going to be a good year - after he gets over the tough transition of living on his own.

He moved this weekend.

Last week, when we made a last trip up to haul out our personal stuff to make room for his life, I left a card behind for him to find that first day on his own.  I got the WPlus9 set Encouraging Words when I was planning on sending regular cards to him in college.  I wanted to create mountains scenes for him to feel closer to his home in Colorado.  But it turns out that this set is absolutely perfect to encourage him in his new life in the mountains.

Won't Be Easy

I know he'll make it, but it's hard for this mother to realize that he'll probably be hungry at times (as he's not great at managing his money), that he'll be walking around in smelly, wrinkled clothes (because what teen boy wants to go to the laundromat) and he'll have to weather his first illness without his parents to get him chicken noodle soup from Costco!  On the other hand, that child routinely wakes me in the middle of the night because he plays video games, gets excited and yells. I'm looking forward to full nights of sleep!

We would all appreciate a prayer during this time of transition.

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10 comments:

Hannelie said...

Oh Kim I can so relate to every word you have written here. It's not easy to see your kids leave the house. Our daughter started working last month( 6000km away from us), she's on her own now and I so want to be there with her to face and handle her problems for her. But I guess, they have to do it for themselves at some stage. Not easy though!
You made a beautiful card for your son. Hugs to you from a mom who knows.

Rachel Tolbert said...

I also can relate to your real-life family decisions. They must come to realize that with every decision they make come the highs and lows of life. I will say some prayers for your son to be wise, safe and strong. He is fortunate in deed to have such a supportive family. Wishing you all peace, blessings and lots of smiles! Also enjoy your sleep! Love the card!

Marisa said...

Got a taste of this when my daughter travelled to Europe for two weeks a few weeks ago and called the first day she was there saying she was sick and wanted to come home...hardest conversation ever! Ended up in a walk in clinic and had another health issue along the way and a horrible roommate so lots of life lessons on both sides of the water LOL!

SO glad to hear you are making him responsible and providing opportunities for him to grow and learn on his own. My parents made me pay the going rental rate while I lived at home a year after I got back from University and it taught me tons re: savings, budgeting etc. You are great parents and I know he will learn tons this year as he lives on his own.

Great card too!! Such a beautiful location!! I managed to ski Snowmass once and just loved the gorgeous mountains of Colorado!

Geri said...

Oh, Kim...thanks for sharing here...I can so relate. My son sounds so much like yours!!!;) He's only a Junior in HS this year, but this next two years are going to fly and I cannot imagine that he will be ready to crack down and commit to college, but he also will not be allowed to "veg" here. I know it will be hard to watch him make his own way and his own mistakes, but I also know it will be necessary for him to do just that! Hope your son knows how fortunate he is that he has access to your condo...sounds like a wonderful home away from home! He can do it...and so can you, mom!!!;) Your card for him is just perfect!!!

KayM said...

Kim , you card is amazing, as they all are :), but I SO enjoyed reading your post today about your son, his decision and your expectations too. I have a 15 year old who I know will be faced with the same type decisions very soon. It's nice to hear how others handle these things. I think your son is one lucky guy!!

Karren said...

Wow, big changes in your home! I hope it all works out well for everyone. The card you made for your son is perfect for the situation.

cm said...

Kim, I think your son made a wise decision; if he doesn't know what he wants to do in the realms of post-secondary education, then taking a gap year makes complete sense. Wish I would have done that years ago; chances are I would have chosen a completely different career path. The opportunity to live in a mountain town, in your family's condo, truly is a blessing for him. We live in a small town and judging by the number of young people who travel here to work - primarily in service jobs - the opportunities offered are welcomed. I truly think he'll learn and grow from this part of his journey. Something will 'reveal' itself to him and his next steps will feel more sturdy. As for those 'domestic duties'...he'll figure them out! My brother, *because* he left home, became more clean and tidy that we ever could have imagined! Your card: excellent! Please keep us posted on how he - and you - are doing. He's a smart young man!
~c

Jen Mitchell said...

Good luck to your son. Sometimes I think kids should be required to take some time off from school to try and figure out what direction they want to go into for the rest of their life. Asking an 18 year old to make life decisions is asking a lot! And since I can look back in time through the prism of maturity I can honestly say that, in my own case, taking some time off after high school was the best decision I ever made. I started working full time as a bank teller and through the years I learned a lot, worked my way up the ladder, went back to college part time, got my bachelors and now I am an officer at the very bank that I started at as a teller. I truly believe that life lessons are just as important as the lessons we learn in a classroom. This will be an exciting time for your son, probably a nervous time for you, but in the end beneficial for everyone. Hugs to you!!

Shona Chambers said...

I'm a bit behind with my commenting but kept this post aside as I wanted to say what wonderful parents you are!! I can imagine there would be a lot of Mum's and Dad's out there that wouldn't listen to their child and make them go straight back to school, no matter what. Your patience and understanding is something he will always remember. I think you are both amazing!!

P.S. Hope he hasn't turned up on your doorstep with piles of laundry and a grocery shopping list.....

Linda Callahan said...

Frisco is like a post card - such a beautiful setting - a perfect spot to figure out what to do next in life! Wishing your son all the best - and you too Mom - so not easy to have them leave the nest!