One week from today our son is off to college. 18 Years of raising him. Would we have changed a thing? No. We were blessed. Son, you made good choices and found good friends. We send you off with this advice. Continue to believe in yourself, trust in the Lord, always remember your family is here for you, but continue to hold on to your close friends and make some new ones along the way.
You should feel so fortunate for the friends in your life that you spent time with these past 18. You have your School Newspaper (“Frat”) friends, your Church (“Church Bro”) friends, various Sports team friends, your Life Guard friends, and of course the regular High School friends. (and not all from your own H.S.) And we now look forward to the new ones yet to meet. They are all welcome in our home anytime.
A past soccer coach recently did his “send off” to his team on a blog. He reminded them of the privilege it is to be able to go to college. We remind you that the goal is to work hard and play hard and come out of there set to fulfill your dreams. Anything is possible.
We are confident you will execute on the above. You have proven it already and know that will not change. We are proud of what you have accomplished thus far, son. You more than over achieved what we felt was possible but somehow you found a way to handle it all. Sure we all have had our challenges and let downs these past years. But it is all meant to make you/us stronger. Keep the faith.
The “foundation” has been built while you were in our home. These next 4 years we look forward to seeing what you will “construct”. We are most optimistic that it will be something “spectacular”!
I am in my 50’s now- and still to this day lean on my parents for advice. They have always been there for us and for that I am most thankful. We can only hope to do the same for you as you continue your journey.
Update July 27 2014
Year 1 is behind you at St. Olaf and I reflect back to my writings just 11 months back. I must admit. I wept a bit the day we drove home from Day 1 Drop off. It felt as though my heart went blank and breathing became harder. It may have partly been the build up of the separation of not having you home. After all, on that day I will never forget, parents walked off one way and the students another. I recall your confession just prior to our hug good bye as though we would never talk again. I was so pleased it was such a minor issue and one that would not be too hard to forgive. (The high water on Minnetonka and your Grandpa’s new boat that summer had ‘Tonka patrol in full force.
Charlie, as I re-read my original Blog- I find it so true and so on track. Paragraph 1 (You did hold on to your close friends and did find new ones along the way). Paragraph 3 ( You did and are working hard and are playing hard). Wow think about what you have already accomplished at college. Stay involved and continue to work hard and play hard. You are on your way to fulfilling your dreams. We could not be more proud of you. This summer has been fun to see you Intern and Life Guard and balance your close friends and stay in solid touch with your new College friends. Quite impressive you have found a way to balance all of this over the short summer. You have made great choices this past (and 1st) year at College. As before, and once again, job well done. (Par. 4) We are confident you will continue to execute! And you have become stronger. We see the change.
Update November 19 2016
You are now on the home stretch of college. Just a few months to go. You are to put behind what your sister has yet to experience. Few can say they have a job as neat as yours awaiting them the day you all walk across the graduation stage (and for you) just 50 miles to the north. Olaf and what you have worked hard for there… is justified. Congratulations.
You are smack in the middle of a new page, in a new chapter, of your book of life. I am guessing a page that will far exceed the past couple chapters. You accomplished “a plenty” and had awesome days on The Hill. No one can take those memories away from you. But never look back…just continue to be humble and smile and grab what you have learned and “turn it to gold”! We are so proud (as you should be) of who you have become. You recently shared with me your goals before you finish up college. All 3 are higher bars than most could accomplish. Whether you achieve 1…2… or all 3, it is impressive you set them and I know you are working hard to fulfill them.