August was big for us as our only child left the house to begin a new life in college. This event had loomed for a long time and to be honest I was not really sure of what would be my reaction.
Excitement? Depression? Fear?
The possibilities were broad and fortunately the realities turned out to be mostly positive for us. His excitement was completely contagious and I could not help but smile on my way home thinking of him back in the dorm room with this great next big step into adulthood. He said he could not wait to ask friends over to see his “place.”
The reality is that moving on and growing up is a good thing and being human there is nothing wrong with parents experiencing all the stages of separation that is expected. You name an emotion and I have most likely felt it over these last several weeks as we prepared for the big day.
I have tried my best all these years to be the father to my son that I never experienced as a child. I tried to be there for him when he needed me. I tried to be a loving example as a husband so that he would have a model to follow in his own marriage. I tried to love God and show how to have a foundation of faith. I tried to spend time serving others to show life is not all about me. I tried to encourage him to be independent as a thinker and a person so that he could make choices establish his own beliefs. I tried to teach him about money by avoiding extravagances and keeping out of debt.
Most of all---I tried
Looking back I know there were many things in my list of perfect parenting where I failed. There are things I wish I had done more and things I has wish I had done less.
Now is not the time to look in the past or dwell on the should haves. Instead now is the time to look forward to the future and have confidence that we set a solid foundation that will serve him through his future failures and success.
I know his mother and I will miss him but the future of seeing the ongoing result of all these years as he discovers his own way is even more exciting to ponder.
He just better not forget that the door is always open for a return to the Copeland house and I am sure I will still slip him a twenty when mom is not looking.
Good luck son!