How many times have we heard, “the sky’s the limit”?
According to the President of Embry Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Florida, the sky is not the limit.
That was the sales pitch we got a year ago when looking for schools for my son, Richard. Sold. How can you beat that pitch? Especially, when your son wants to spend his life above the clouds?
Well, I blinked and here we are. Dropping my first born off at college.
My home in Dallas will be quieter without you. I will miss hearing you play the guitar even with that amp on its highest volume. I will certainly miss watching you play hockey. I will miss you coming home during the school day so I could make lunch for you and your friends. I will miss your smile. I will miss your hugs. I will miss my money. Kidding. Just making sure you're actually reading this. I will miss you arguing with me about nearly everything. I will miss you. I will miss those blue eyes. I have my own soul searching to do trying to figure out how my life is going to change without seeing your handsome face all the time even though I saw less and less of it as your friends got more and more of your time. It's ok. I get it. Friends are important.
I teared up looking at the packed bags on your bed at home. So much stuff. No way all those bags would fit on your bed. It’s not as simple as packing for camp. One trunk would do for those 4 weeks but this is 4 months. I’ve got 4 hockey bags full of clothes, and towels, and pillows and shoes, and, most importantly, a framed picture of you, me, and your dad taken on your first day of kindergarten.
That was 13 years go. Can't decide if thirteen is a lucky number or not.
These past thirteen very short years have been full of love, life, adventure, heartache, and a quite a few lessons learned. One being a hangover. You didn’t actually think you would get through high school without a hangover, did you? I would certainly rather you feel that pain for the first time in my home versus your dorm room.
Knowing you are off on your own for the first time in your life, I want you to have fun but I also want you to use your wise mind and not your emotional mind when making important decisions.
Why would I make the distinction of the two minds?
Many decisions we make with our emotional mind, we tend to regret. Decisions made using your frontal lobe (also known as your wise mind) will serve you far longer.
Please use your wise mind when you drink. As your mind starts to relax and your wise mind goes away, PLEASE be careful. Drinking impairs your ability to make smart decisions. When you've had enough, just go home and go to bed. Only you will know when enough is enough.
Drinking happens in college. I get it. I had my fair share of fun. I'm sure you know this but drinking can invariably lead to sex. And, yes, sex is inevitable in college. I'm not saying don't do it. Because I'm not one to stick my head in the sand and ignore what's really going on. It's okay. Do it. Have fun. Enjoy the moment. I want you to have fun but not at the expense of another person. I know I'm a broken record and you're sick and tired of hearing me say this but it's IMPORTANT to remind you...
So PLEASE remember these three things…
She must be of age which is AT LEAST 18.
She must consent. And don’t forget that an inebriated woman CANNOT consent to sex. And, finally, wear a condom. I’m not ready to be a grandmother and Robert is too young to be an uncle and I need to focus on getting the girls through high school. Not a grandchild.
Condoms help prevent sexually transmitted diseases. Let's not get one. If you were to get one of the more popular STD's like herpes, that will be your roommate for the rest of your life. And, one, you won’t want to hang with forever.
I could spend the rest of this blog telling you to go class, to study, to get good grades, to eat well and forgo the 3am urge to shovel down a pizza but you already know all this. You're more of a sushi kind of guy anyway. Better hope they have it at the school cafeteria. And, on that note, you better get used to the school cafeteria as that is where you will eat most of your meals. Not the best food but you're now on a budget. And, I'm guessing sushi won't be on that budget. Learn to eat Ramen. I did.
So much going on in this head of mine right now. I just want you to make smart decisions. It’s up to you to be the best man you can be. I can’t go to class for you. I can’t study for you. I can’t fly those planes for you because you know full well I’m scared to fly.
I’ve spent the past 18 years trying to raise a confident and, more importantly, empathetic young man. But I didn't do this alone. I had your father right there next to me raising you together. Divorced or not, we raised you as a team. As a family. We have done all we can. It is with a heavy heart that I am giving you my blessing to go soar above those clouds because in my heart of hearts, i know that is where you belong. It's your new home. My home will always be your home but I understand it's your time to soar.
Don’t forget, “To those whom much is given, much is expected.” Your father and I have given you all the necessary tools in life to make it on your own. You’ve been given more than I was ever given and I’m not referring to material things.
Now, is your time to soar. To fly above the clouds. To make a difference in this world. "Oh the places you will go"...