A View From the Ridge, Part 4

Tonight was an evening that provided the periodic view from the ridge, an instance at which you move beyond the forest of everyday life and get a sense of where you’ve been, are and are going.

Eldest is home for Spring Break but leaving with her mother to interview in a distant city with someone about a field for which she’s preparing while in college.  The evening was spent however, at the local high school where Middle – a junior – sang the role of Zosar in Elton John’s Aida.  While Eldest’s intentions and plans are crystallizing, Middle’s are clarifying and he’s gaining a greater sense of what he’ll pursue both in and after college as he takes the lesson to heart: there’s very much a role for college but you’d better have a plan lest we needlessly waste funds.  Middle was present the other evening when we ran into one of Eldest’s high school classmates, a young man who is pursuing his Gen Ed credits at a local community college before enrolling in the local state university for a criminal justice degree.  This guy understands that his preferred career as a state trooper, while helped by a college degree, isn’t influenced one way or another by the choice or name of a particular institution.  And in about two months, Middle and I will travel to distant state university for his first interviews and the first of multiple overnight stays.

Time marches on.

And while still in elementary school, Youngest is himself changing.  He’s not yet a teen but has become concerned about his appearance and is, according to several teachers, already in the middle school mindset.  In some ways, he’s also older than his siblings were at his age and that’s partially due to the exposure to older siblings who’ve helped bring him along and partially due to his own personality, upon which one teacher gently noted that he already doesn’t take kindly to fools.  It ought to be interesting moving forward since there’s probably nothing more foolish on God’s green earth than a boy in his early teens.  Youngest still messes with his Legos but only when he and a buddy use them to make stop-motion animation during sleepovers, and the rest of the toys are increasingly consigned to the closet.  Even his choice of sports is changing as he’s planning to spend one more spring with baseball before shifting to another sport for middle school and beyond; while we haven’t talked, I suspect that he’s thinking ahead to college himself.

And as for me, things are also going to change.  While the elementary days are waning, my wife and I still believe that a parental presence and active involvement is crucial so long as the kids are at home and that’s especially in the summer months.  So we’ll see…

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