24 August 2010

23 years young

One year to go.  Stephen starts his 5th & final year of college tomorrow.  He's already completed most hours to earn a bachelor's degree, but he was given an opportunity to earn a Master's degree with just an additional year of classes.  I have mixed emotions about the whole deal.  On one hand, my checkbook would love to see that little expense over & done with.  On the other hand, I am elated to see that he has done so well and will graduate with tremendous potential.  As parents, we tend to worry about our children as they grow up.  Will they do well in life?  Will they be successes?  Will they find love?  Will they ever move out?  I've always been a closet worrier about him and how he will do out in the real world.  Did we teach him enough?  Did we shelter him too much?  Momma is constantly worried about her baby and how he is doing.  

It was during Stephen's first stint as an intern in Seattle three years ago that I stopped worrying about him.  Oh sure, he was only 2440 miles from home living in an apartment with four other college students for the entire summer.  No car.  Half a country away.  No direct parental support.  Not sure who grew up more back then.  At one point during this gig, his girlfriend flew up to visit with him for a week (her parents really like him).  Boat tours, duck rides, climbed Mt Rainer.  The trip went very well for the both of them and they got to see a lot of the Pacific Northwest region.  It was during the departure to the airport that chaos ensued.  Seems that girlfriend left her purse on the bus which contained such minor items like her driver's license, plane tickets, credit cards, etc. on the bus to the airport.  She had no ID, no money, no way to get on the plane to Houston.  Normally, this could have been a minor inconvenience, but Stephen was also due to fly out of town to Minneapolis for a company trip.  This is a situation that with my experience all sorts of back up plans would have kicked in, but I was in Milwaukee on an audit and totally out of the loop and they were on their own.  Between the two of them, they came up with a plan.  He gave her his apartment keys and his credit card and put her back on the bus to the apartment and got on his flight to Minnesota.  She was able to regroup, call the bus company and discovered they had found her purse with nothing missing.  She was able to catch another flight home the following day safe & sound.  Of course, just to give me more gray hair, the same time I was flying out of Milwaukee, Stephen was heading to the airport to fly back to Seattle on the same day of the I35 Bridge collapse.  After all that drama, I figured that those two had a pretty darned good bead on life and didn't need my help. 

Tomorrow marks his 23rd year on this rock.  We were planning a road trip to Austin next week to visit with him, but some issues have arisen to keep us close to home.  In the meantime, we have mailed him a gift and called in a decadent delivery of cookies/brownies from Tiff's Treats.  My suggestion was a basket of beer but that idea got voted down. 

Happy birthday, son.  Make the most out of life.   


terri said...

Sounds like you gave him everything he needs to manage life independently. Good job, Dad. And Happy Birthday to your boy!

Abby said...

Wow, a masters degree in 5 years. It takes some that long to get a bachelor's if not longer (or never!)

Looks like you've done good,a Happy birthday to him!

meleah rebeccah said...

Aw! Happy 23rd Birthday to your son! It is an amazing opportunity to get his masters within 5 years of college! And after reading this post, I can say you DID GOOD Dad! He seems to posses the necessary life skills!