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Thursday, May 20, 2010

Pomp & Circumstance


He did it.  He ran the ball down the field....he fumbled it a few times....he tried to lateral it unsuccessfully to another teammate or two.....he encountered a formidable array of defensive lineman...he busted through them....he had some bad calls called against him and some uncooperative injuries that made things painful but he has crossed into the end zone folks.  He is.....a graduate!

We're kind of like a military family when it came to schooling for our oldest son. We've travelled to many countries but are citizens of none.  Well, sort of.  Here's a brief tour. 

First try was at a Greek Orthodox Preschool in Farmington Hills, Michigan.  He lasted 20 minutes.

Next try: St. Joan of Arc Preschool. The doors are solid steel.  They are this way for a reason. Karsten tried to kick it down on his first day in 'lock down' with Mrs. Marino and classmates. You would have thought that he was sentenced to a maximum security prison with no option for parole. I finally shed the guilt of that experience last week. We stayed until Kindergarten when we ventured to..

Most Piously Named Academy:  GREAT school.  GREAT formation.  GREAT values.  Location....no so much. Mom worried about lack of water and too much of an open campus with other business access.  Actually it was the imagined very hairy man just 'hangin' out by the drinking fountain that caused me pause. I was neurotic. Sorry GREATsville. Off to 1st grade somewhere else.

Where we stayed for a year until they built...

High Expectations Elementary.  Started off GREAT but by the 6th grade, our youngest son's teacher decides to join My Big Fat Obnoxious Fiancee Reality show which proves to be tip of iceberg of other more glaring difficulties and we make a quick exit to...

HomeSchool:  OMG.  Are you kidding?  I think we read Of Mice and Men.  I think. Nice try Mom.  Next year new alternative for Grade 7 is...

Not For Anyone Under 140 IQ Academy:  Most excellent for children who are studying to be nuclear physicists.  They only provide one physical education component:  Tae Kwon Do. My child is so stir crazy he's hallucinating. Somebody got suspended for having hiccups. Get me outta here....

Upper Crust Elementary: Kids are being suspended here for using colorful F-bomb expletives and throwing baseball helmets at coaches because they've been benched.  We put up and shut up because it's only a year before he starts...

For Students With Loser Parents Who Didn't Send Them to Primo HS.  I spend first year explaining why this was a good decision and making up for more accumulated guilt. Teenager expands his horizons whilst jettisoning most of the logic and reason that we will soon understand as a normal part of adolescence. I start hearing voices which I believe is my first foray into schizophrenia. I realize this voice belongs to my deceased father and he is saying..."I don't get mad, I get even."

So dear Karsten, you have closed a chapter.  Your high school years are now behind you.  I hope it is possible for you at some point to know just how proud I am to be your mom and how happy I am to see you take this big step forward. Dennis Prager once quipped that he hoped he only passed on half as much dysfunction to his children as was bestowed on him.  Growing up isn't easy as it should seem.  Those pesky mistakes and lapses in judgment can be our undoing if we allow them to be.  Don't allow them to be. Just let them be the rungs on your ladder. Trust yourself enough to know that it'll get figured out and trust God enough to know that He always has your back.

With your new chapter at ASU straight ahead of you, I have every confidence that you will be able to be more decisive about your academic pursuits than we were about your school location choices!  You've weathered some storms and you're ship's been rocked a few times.  Allow these to be the waves that carry you to better awareness...of you...of human nature...of God.  And never underestimate the Deity. The greatest knowledge-seekers the world over understand this.

Congrats, son.
Love you,
mom

"The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed."  Albert Einstein.

1 comment:

  1. Dear Mom of Grad,

    Yes, I can sympathize with the guilt, the "where did this come from" voice, the embarassment of seeing your dysfunctions played out in your offspring. I see it in mine as well. Like when my youngest decided to go "gothic" in a Catholic high school; when my oldest decided to "embellish" the truth at her high school and college; when divorce had its terrible effect on their stabilty.
    Hang in there, Mom - you've done a good job. You won't see the effects until he's in his thirties and the good things he's seen and heard start surfacing above the wild and crazy. He's still a card-carrying member of the teen-aged rebels. Expect some more when he gets to ASU. Never fear, the Holt Spirit is near!
    RedCat's Mom

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