Thursday, August 27, 2015

My Kid... in College?

John Paul's college: Deja vu all over again?
John Paul started college this past weekend.

Yes, my son. A freshman in college.

This has always been a difficult time of year for me, for a number of reasons. I have to negotiate every alteration of seasons and/or routines. Change is always hard in my condition.

I have gotten better at handling these kinds of changes since my health has been pretty stable for several years now. But they can still be hard.

This time of year has also been particularly difficult since my illness because-- as the school year begins-- I am reminded once again of my unnaturally young retirement from teaching. I have always felt strange having nothing "special" to prepare for at the beginning of September. Each year, however, I find that I am letting go a little bit more. It's not such a big deal that I'm no longer a player in the drama of higher education. I've seen enough to know that I could not have survived that way.

In fact, I'm "letting go" just in time.

Just in time to take up the new task of being a parent of a college student. A Christendom College student. It's a new approach for me to an institution that I have seen from almost every other perspective.

John Paul is living on campus at least this semester, which will give him a chance to immerse himself in the atmosphere of things. He will probably have to live at home after that. In any case, our house is only a few miles from the school. It was convenient when I was teaching and it should still be convenient for him too.

The college has grown in many positive ways in recent years. I'm confident that John Paul is going to have a great time. I can't predict what it will mean for me, but it's the beginning of a new chapter in a long story. It is also the beginning of the third generation of the Janaros at Christendom.

It's a wonder that we got mixed up in this whole crazy story in the first place. It's certainly not the story that I would have written for my own life.

Instead, it's a wonderful story. I thank God that we have been blessed to be part of it.