Monday, March 12, 2012

Planning for the future

Time is speeding by now.  We survived the winter humdrums and now realize that we have three short months left in this experience.  As we begin to plan our summer activities, we realize that we’ll have one less person in the household at that time.  We have just a few months left to plan a few more “firsts” for Max.  We’re taking him to his first major concert (who is Bruce Springsteen, he asked!!!).  We’ll take him on a tour of a local university and he’ll enjoy his first prom.  He wants to play golf with us sometime.  We’ll take him out to the driving range first before committing to play 9 holes.  It can be a very frustrating game on the first time out.
Max recently came home from school and proclaimed he had an emergency.  After clarifying what a true emergency really is, he informed me that he had a soccer banquet the next evening and had nothing to wear.  This gave me a glimpse of what it must be like to live with a teenage girl.  So, I arranged to have our younger son play at a neighbor’s house and Max and I headed to the mall.  I told him that we had 90 minutes to find something and that was it.  He informed me on the drive there that he wanted to buy a suit.  Hmmm…find a suit off the rack for a tall skinny boy in 90 minutes…I had my doubts.  Plus I was concerned that he hadn’t talked to his parents first about buying something so expensive.  We failed at the first two stores and I was trying to talk him into something simpler.  There was no chance to change his mind.  At the third store, we found a great salesman who found a suit that would fit Max right away and they even had an amazing tailor that did the alternations on the pants in less than 15 minutes!  When Max came out of the dressing room at the store, he looked like a college graduate going for his first job interview.  I wish his parents could have been there.  He had a little bit of sticker shock at the price of everything all put together, and I worked with the salesman to find a less expensive shirt (he did not need a $70 shirt!).  The next day, Max was the best dressed student at the banquet…just like he wanted to be.
We can sense the end of the year coming.  Before, Max had talked about not wanting to go home and trying to make plans to extend his stay.  Now he is working on the process to enroll in the International Bachelor program in Germany.  He has started to transcribe his school notes to the computer so that he doesn’t have to transport his binders and notebooks back home.  He is talking a lot about his future and wanting to attend a university in the US.  We’ve fielded a number of questions recently about how to become a US citizen and if it’s possible to have dual citizenship.  Mostly our answers are, “I don’t know” and “I’m not sure, but you can probably Google it to find out.”  As he talks about his dreams for the future, we reflect back to when we were that age and success was defined by what school you went to, a good job with good income, and your lifestyle.  As our parents did, we now talk of other factors of success – enjoying what you do for a living, providing a good quality of life for your family, good health, friends and family.  It’s funny to realize that our parents knew what they were talking about all along. 

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