Sunday, June 21, 2009

A Beautiful Son

It may be Father's Day but this is a post about my younger son.

A year ago exactly, I wrote a post about his moving back to our family home. I read it to my husband this morning and he remarked how much our son has grown and changed this past year. And he has. His life has taken turns he did not expect and is not necessarily happy with but he's learning from his mistakes. He had bombed out of his Freshman semester the year before, finding it difficult to live away from home and unable to concentrate on his studies. He left after one semester and moved to Utah to live with his brother who attends college at the "U". He stayed six months then moved back to be near his friends.

Last Fall he tried college again. This time he was accepted to UNH, New Hampshire's most prestigious state school. He got in by writing an eloquent letter to Admissions about his first attempt, his lack of readiness and his willingness to return to academia because he knew what was important in life. He lasted one semester. He was evicted from his apartment for non-compliance, among other things. He partied a lot. He studied very little. Still and all, his grades were not bad but he couldn't stay focused.

He came home again and went to work in a restaurant full time, moving into a rental with two roommates. He went to the doctor and asked for ADD medicine. He saved enough money to buy a car. He's working now to save money to move to Arizona, enroll in a community college and live with a friend. He is, once again, living at home.

This time, however, I'm enjoying his company. He's keeping his room cleaner, he's helping out more around the house. He's coming home at a more reasonable hour and staying quiet when he does so as not to awaken me. He is well-mannered, polite and gracious.

His current goal is to start a non profit company of tee shirts with original designs by children in Ghana. Profits would go to buy art supplies for the kids. This embodies the essence of my son: a kind and gentle soul, a gifted artist who needs only to find his direction and move towards it.

Me too.

13 comments:

Brian Miller said...

nice glimpse into the life of your family and son. the non-profit sounds like a cool venture with a purpose behind it. enjoy your time with him, while you have him.

Lover of Life said...

He sounds wonderful. We all move at a different speed. One of the more interesting things I read in one of my HDFS classes is that most people end up in the same place by age 35. By then most have families, responsibilities,etc. We all move to a different drum beat, and these times are calling for unusual ways of coping. I'm not sure the path of college, job, mortgage, etc., is going to be the path for all our young people. (It never was, really.) It's a new world out there, calling for new and different skill sets.

Marguerite said...

He sounds a bit like my son, who also lives with me at the moment. With love and encouragement, they will find their way to what's good for them. Enjoy him while you can!

Susan said...

I can certainly empathize with you, dear! We've had them in and out and back in with whole families in tow. Being a parent certainly doesn't end when they become adults. Your son is very lucky to have understanding parents who are willing to work with him to find the best fit for him. I hope things go well for him in Arizona. Enjoy your time with him.

Baino said...

I think kids are expected to make their career choices too early and for boys, that's a particular struggle. I still have my two at home and wouldnt have it any other way for now. He sounds like he has his head screwed on!

California Girl said...

Bryan, LOL, Marguerite, Susan & Baino: Thank you for your encouragement and wisdom. It is so hard being a parent and I too often find myself questioning some of the things I've done up til now. It's good to hear what you think and how you are doing.

Pop and Ice said...

Wow. Very similar to my son. But I yanked him from the more prestigious university and enrolled him in community college where he has flourished. And found friends. For someone with Asperger's Syndrome, that's quite a feat. So although he's never had a job, he's semi-successful in school, moving forward and helpful in driving around his sister who cannot drive due to seizures (just after she got her license!!!). So I view him on the plus side - great to have around and a great help. I only hope he can manage to move on from us one day. I'd like to think he could and would.

California Girl said...

Oh Pop: that is very positive indeed. I cannot imagine two children with health issues. The way I'm reading this comment makes it sound as though your daughter just developed a seizure disorder..."(just after she got her license!!!)" Do the drs know why? I ask because I developed a seizure disorder at 28. Idiopathic. I was in the midst of a divorce and convinced the stress had gotten to me. No neurologist would agree but I have it under control. I have had incidences over the years when stress was huge. That's why I ask.

I don't know much about Aspbergers other than what I've learned listening to NPR. He sounds like a wonderful kid. I bet he will continue to flourish and eventually get a job. My co-worker's son has Tourette's and he put him in a special state school (alot like a camp) during his high school years. He was taught to follow strict routiines. He is musical and took up guitar. He now has a regular job and plays in a band.

Poetikat said...

I commend your son for his goal to help out the kids in a third-world country. He is a very good young man.

Kat

California Girl said...

PKat: thank you. he's a sweet boy and his heart is in the right place. he needs a goal and this is a good one.

books,coffee,etc.... said...

Hi! C.G.,
All I can say is...Wow! "Unfortunately," I'am not married, nor a mom yet, but that still want stop me from saying how very "fortunate" that you and your husband are to have two sons whom seem(s) to be heading in the right direction...when it comes to the choices that they are making in their lives.
Take care!
DeeDee ;-D

California Girl said...

Hi DeeDee: I feel fortunate. I have to keep reminding myself they are "heading in the right direction" because they are both young for their ages. I have to be patient and let them make those choices. Thank you for your nice remarks.

disa said...
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