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Blogging from Boone

This is quite the summer for transitions.

Our 18 year old graduated high school in May.  It was a long anticipated and much debated event.  Actually, I couldn't have been more proud.  As I soaked in the hour long ritual, I felt my heart would come out of my chest with pride and joy.  My once little boy was now passing through that critical portal out of childhood.  It had become official.  I was overwhelmed.

After the Saturday morning event, Shelia and I held a party at our home for our son's extended family and friends.  Our guest list included our son's mother. That's right, his mother.  

As I've expressed before, ours is a blended family.  Shelia likes to say that we aren't blended, we're twisted.  We have a hers, mine and ours family.  The hers is 23 and headed to law school in the fall.  I've helped raise him since he was 11. I'm extremely honored that he is choosing to become an attorney.  The mine is the 18 year old.  Shelia has been one of his parents since he was six.  Then there is the ours, a nine year old tow head who is full of heart, moxie and vitality. Shelia and I claim them all.  And after several years of being immersed, they claim each other.

Now, we are doing the college thing.  The 18 year old has chosen Appalachian State University located along the Blue Ridge Parkway in Boone, North Carolina. Fortunately, Appalachian State has chosen him as well.  He intends to double major in political science and journalism.  He will live on campus in the dorms, at least for the first year.

We've just returned from the next phase of summer ritual in this right of passage, heading off to college.  We've attended parent orientation.  Shelia and I met other parents of future Mountaineers and, over two days, learned all about Mountaineer life and Appalachian expectations.

Attending the seminar, being in the space that our son will call home for the next four years made it so real, so immanent, so impressive and imposing.  Again, from time to time I felt my heart would come out of my chest with pride and joy.  My once little boy was now passing through that critical portal into adulthood. I think it is why the word "awesome" was invented.  

And our son is changing and rising to the occassion.  And after the years of severing, reconstituting, blending, twisting, negotiating and building, it is wonderful to see the fruits of our labors and faith, the excelling.  

After all is said and done I can safely say, "It's all good."

Michael Manely

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