Two weeks ago today, I was helping my oldest child settle into his new home in New York state. The drive there was a little brutal – 90+ degree temps in a van with no air conditioning and no radio. I was literally sweating into my shirt as I drove. The boy and two of his sisters trailed behind in his Grand Prix. My dear wife had stayed back in Ohio with the four young ones and our second oldest.
That Friday was spent establishing a bank account, arranging for internet hookup, driving around town (including locating the local Catholic church), stocking up on groceries, and visiting the laundromat. By the middle of the day it became clear that he was as settled as he was going to get until Monday, so we agreed that his sisters and I would return to Ohio the next day.
The experience left me feeling sad and trying to convince myself to be happy. I have no doubt that the boy will learn from this, but I hope that the lessons don’t come painfully. He has enough savings to last him several months, if he doesn’t spend too freely, and he should be able to find a job before he runs out of money. He has decided to enter the workforce for a year and start taking post-secondary classes next year, after establishing New York residency.
It's not the way that I would have chosen, but then he is not me, and I am enormously risk averse. I would have had him taking a few classes locally, getting a job before moving out, etc. In some ways, I guess, his faith is stronger than mine.