We’ve been driving around New England on some weekends to visit our college-aged children. It is a stunning way to see the region: orange, yellow and red leaves; the optimism and energy of youth at college; and cool and crisp air, signaling a change of seasons.
When I was in college, I was always grateful when one of my roommates’ parents treated our entire room to dinner out when they came to visit. I remembered those meals well. It was fun to get away from the campus dining hall and to interact with older people.
Now, that I am a visiting parent, I’ve decided to do the same. We recently hosted a dinner for our daughter and some of her friends. It was a great way to meet people whose names we’ve heard so often. We will be re-visiting with our son in a bit to do a similar dinner for him and his suite-mates.
A highlight of this weekend was seeing our son’s a cappella group perform (he is serving as the music director again). They sounded fantastic. Here’s a video.
The Family Weekend concert is their first without last year’s seniors and with the new first-years. It’s a time of assimilation and transition for them, going without singers who had such an impact on the group over four years and bringing in new personalities and talents.
But, each year, they do it. Change happens, they adapt, new songs are arranged, year after year, going on #70 now.
Each year in our family’s life brings change, too. Children grow up and leave. Those still at home become young adults. Parents get and feel older, and, sometimes, feel wiser.
After such campus visits, I feel an amalgamation of emotions: pride, joy, and longing for my children. Time goes by very quickly. It is wonderful to be a father.