I know you visit this blog to hear about thoughts & strategies re: Social Media Marketing and Public Relations. And that’s what you get 99% of the time. So I hope you’ll forgive me when, 1% of the time, I make this blog personal.
A few years ago I told you about my wife, on the eve of her graduation from nursing school (by the way, if you know anyone hiring nurses in the Bay Area, please let me know). Today I’d like to take a moment to tell you about our son Luke, who leaves for college this week.
Luke is not perfect. His room is in a constant state of disrepair. He couldn’t find a household chore we didn’t point him toward. He’s been known to take out his teenage angst on the occassional closet door. His dedication to scholarship has been spotty. That’s how he is typical.
This post is about how he is not typical.
Last year Luke traveled to Thailand during his summer vacation to serve the poor. Yes, we pushed him to do some community service, but to his credit he dove in — and upon his return spoke poignantly of the poverty he witnessed. He was impressed by the guileless joy of the Thai schoolchildren and described living conditions so impovershed that it made us gasp. And because he was 17–years-old, and apparently bulletproof, Luke also found a way to break away from his group and party pretty hard in Bangkok. Bangkok! One night in Bangkok will make a grown man crumble (or so they say). Our boy emerged grinning from the adventure.
This past Summer, he traveled alone to an orientation program at his college. We arranged for a ride to the airport, etc., but he was largely on his own. Despite umpteen reminders, Luke forgot his wallet with his I.D. and money. That’s another example of how he is typical.
How he is not typical? He cadged his way past the gate agent and the TSA agents in the Security line — without a scrap of I.D. Luke didn’t call to let us know about this misadventure until he was boarding the plane. “I talked ‘em out of charging me that new baggage fee, too, Dad,” he gloated. (We fedexed his I.D. and $$.)
Upon his return from that same orientation program, his connection was delayed and Luke was going to be stranded overnight at JFK. I started to panick; I was googling, “best terminal to sleep in when stranded at JFK.” But our atypical son never lost his cool: he called me up from a nearby flea-bitten hotel; he “would have called sooner, sorry,” but he’d been arranging for some Chinese take-out to arrive at the hotel. The man had his priorities straight: shelter, food, and “reassure Mom & Dad,” in that order.
They say that a parent’s job is to give their children “roots & wings.” A stable home life that instills decent values, and a sense of confidence that will allow them to handle Fate’s slings & arrows. As our boy joins the ranks of the Class of 2014 this week, it will be with tears of pride that we watch him take wing. Something tells me he’s going to be just fine.
Good luck, son. Make good choices. We love you!
Posted on: August 25, 2010 at 12:04 pm By Todd Defren