For it is by grace you have been saved...

Monday, August 23, 2010

First Day of School

OK, a break from hot button politics and deep theological thoughts. I’m busy dealing with a mid-life crisis. Or at least, I guess that’s what you’d call it. Our oldest daughter left a couple months back to start the summer work program at College of the Ozarks. I struggled with her leaving then, obviously, (you can read about that here) but today marks her first day of actual classes. It’s now official. It’s not summer camp. It’s not a summer job. I’m officially the parent of a college student.

Here’s my problem. I’m trying to remember back to my first days of college. Since it was such a long time ago, I may not be remembering accurately, but I’m trying. And I’m thinking about: the age of my professors (some of whom were younger than I am now), all those “old” parents I saw dropping off other freshmen, etc. And I’m trying to reconcile that with the reality that now exists.

Perspective is an amazing thing, isn’t it? I can remember sitting down with my mom and looking through old pictures of her and having her say something like “in my mind I’m still that little girl.” And I remember thinking how corny my mom was. What a goofy thing to say. But now….

My biggest problem is trying to figure out how I got from there to here. I really do still feel in many ways like the same geeky kid who got dropped off at college. Hopefully I’ve matured at least a little bit since then, but to have aged to the point where I feel like my child, now virtually an adult, is about to head off into those same college adventures? Meeting new friends that will become friends for life, facing new academic challenges, butting heads with professors who have such a different worldview, and (dare I say it) potentially meeting the person God has designed to be her husband.

Sorry, took me a minute to recover from that last thought. Anyway…

When we were young and starting our first day of college, I looked out and saw the world in front of me, the possibilities, the adventure, etc. Now, I’m the parent of someone seeing all that, and I’m starting to spend time looking back instead of forward: Did we prepare her well enough, will she make the adjustments, will her professors be able to stand against her highly opinionated self (don’t know where she got that?)

No point here really. (The header on this blog does remind you that these are just “random thoughts” after all) Just feeling all nostalgic. Wondering where life went so quickly; thinking of all the things I thought I would have accomplished by now, dealing with being that “old” parent now.

Of course, we have a ways to go. One high school sophomore, one freshman, and one first grader still have to be taught, discipled, and prepared for their own “first day of school” in this regard. Though much has past, there is much yet to come; much to be done.

So, I think I’ll make today a serious day of prayer. LoriAnn, I’m proud of you and praying that God will use you mightily in the days ahead. You have much to learn, but you also have much to offer. May this day mark the beginning of a truly grand adventure for you. And for all of us, let’s pray together that God gives us the grace to meet each new day with eagerness and a reliance upon Him.

Maybe this is mid-life. Maybe it’s closer to the end than any of us realize. We’re never promised another breath in this world. But I pray God gives me the grace to use each of those breaths for His honor and glory as long as He sees fit to give them to me.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go start checking on the cost of living at the local nursing home…


Gregg said...

Dude, it doesn't get easier. We had four wonderful girls leave the nest. They have not always made great decisions but they stay close to the next and what they learned at home. The youngest is now 30 and making some bad choices that is not consistent with what she learned growing up at home, it is hard when you realize they are adults making their own decisions.

I have a grandaughter that will start high school this September. Where did yesterday go? I took her mother to school on her first day, and now her daughter is staring high school? Yikes. Maybe I should have some of those figues you find on the cost of living at some nursing homes. I just felt old age arrive.

Scott said...

Gregg, thanks for the encouragement. We can join you in prayer for those questionable decisions. And nothing personal, brother, but from the sound of it you might want to ask for a guest writer spot at The Old Geezer Blog! :)

Just kidding, I'm right on your heels!

Applied Christianity said...

I had a "am I really that old" moment recently. I am teaching High School World Geography at the homeschool co-op this year. I was looking at the roster and noticed that these people were born when I was IN COLLEGE. It just doesn't seem possible that I am old enough to be the parent of a high school student. My own kids are only in 3rd and 1st grades. In my mind, it wasn't that long ago that I was in college. Thanks for the nostalgic post.