Sunday, August 17, 2014

College Life

Six months after the birth of our son, Darth Spoilboy, my wife and I were playing with him on the floor of our den. It was early morning with various toys scattered about along with a couple of sippy cups that somehow could appear out of no where and then disappear again. What I remember most though was a casual but off the wall comment my wife made at the time.

Well,” she said, “it's been six months and we haven't killed him yet.” Nuance being the key here what she meant was that as brand new and totally inexperienced parents neither of us had done anything stupid yet that could have harmed our son. I, of course, agreed especially since a couple of weeks before that I had seen a new dad actually drop his baby. I just happened to be looking in the right direction when this person placed his child into one of those baby carriers without properly securing him. When the father picked up the carrier the child slipped out and plopped on the grass an overly large and floppy doll.

Luckily, that baby was fine, although I think the dad probably came close to having a heart attack once he realized what happened. The incident scared me as well to the point I spent years making sure neither of my children ever had to suffer through a similar event because of some careless action on my part. It's has been eighteen years since then but I have now reached a point where I can't look after my oldest child.

Yesterday we loaded up his car and mine and along with Dragonwife and Darth Wiggles we followed him up to Clemson University to help him set up his new residence in one of the dorms. It was a simple chore compared to some of the other parents I saw there. They seemed to have brought along everything from home including the kitchen sink for their kids.

As we drove away leaving Spoilboy to begin his own life I couldn't help but remember that father who didn't have the baby carrier secured correctly for his child. All I can hope is that my wife and I have prepared him fully for this new phase in his life.


Pixel Peeper said...

It was a simple chore compared to some of the other parents there... <-- This sentence tells me that you did a good job. I don't think those "helicopter" parents that do everything for their kids, always make sure they have it easy and have everything, and shield them from all frustrations of everyday life do their kids (or society) any favors.

Clemson is far enough away for your son to get his feet wet in this new stage of independent life, yet close enough for you to come and visit if you get too uncomfortable with the idea. But I have a feeling you all will adjust just fine.

Except, maybe, Darth Wiggles. :-)

Cirze said...

Wonderful news!

My Dad graduated from Clemson in chemistry, and my best friend's father - a first-rate intellectual whom I had the pleasure of meeting and conversing with several times while we were in undergrad school - taught there for 30 years.

I went there in the 80's just to see where my Dad had hung out and take pictures of where he nestled in the arms of its founder (a statue I believe is now missing).

What a lucky son you have.

And, of course, he has you two as parents.

Congratulations to him!

Rose L said...

As parents it is a full time job keeping the children safe. I can remember one time when my son was about 3 and my husband took him out to the park to play with him on the swings. He put our son into the baby swing, then pulled him back and let go. Our son giggled with delight as he swung. Then my husband decided to give him a big push. Our son flew right out of the safety swing!! Luckily the doctor declared he was uninjured, just a couple of scrapes.
My husband learned to push GENTLY after that experience.

Akelamalu said...

Oh God I remember that feeling so well, I cried all the way home after leaving our youngest son at his accommodation for Uni. Then the following day we received a letter from him, he must have written it as soon as we left and posted it straight away, it said
"It's been half an hour since you left me here and I miss you so much"! We cried for a week!

lime said...

congrats on getting him safely to this point. it's a weird transition for sure. wishing you and the mrs. the best and your son too of course.

Marja said...

A great benchmark You've done well to come to this stage and let him fly out into the world. All the best for him and good luck

Life As I Know It Now said...

Wow, the time went by really fast didn't it? I'm sure you both have been fine parents and he's off to a fine start. Congrats.