#Firstdayofschool

This is for all the weeping parents out there… sending their precious one(s) to school today, suck it up buttercup they are going to be fine, no seriously…

Love an empty nester!

Okay having said that let me redeem myself a little by posting up a piece I wrote about five years ago when I dropped my daughter off at college and found myself blubbering the next day… which I will vehemently deny by the way!

Hopes Dreams Transitions…

I am up early for a Saturday, sipping a cup of fresh made coffee and thinking back over it all. I dropped my daughter off at college yesterday and marked a bittersweet milestone, yes I know quite the overused word in my opinion and honestly it’s lost the significance it once had. A milestone should symbolize a major achievement, the completion of a great effort or undertaking… not just a simple “I made it to the finish line so look at me…” No a milestone infers challenges, obstacles, setbacks and having exercised the will and perseverance to have overcome them. As parents can we count those first steps are children take into adulthood as a milestone? It matters not the path be it the military, college or the job-market those first few steps embody all the hopes, dreams and wishes we have for them.

This is our milestone, the culmination of years of teaching, disciplining, comforting and encouraging them. I am sure I didn’t get all the lessons right or give every hug I should have, but we give them the best set of tools we are able to and hope experience teaches the rest. So does this measure up? Can we count this as our milestone? I believe so, preparing a young person for adulthood is full of obstacles, setbacks, and yes even some disappointments, but if your son or daughter is walking out that door in the next few weeks or maybe even left earlier this summer than you made it and now its their turn to begin the journey.

It is time for these young people to set their own milestones. I take comfort in knowing I have given my children the tools to be successful and I know that although this chapter of parenting is coming to an end we aren’t finished. Our role as parents is maturing and we now begin the process of mentoring and teaching our children the lessons they need as adults. Will they listen to us, maybe, but be assured that like ourselves they will remember and when they need our wisdom and lessons they will be there.

Its funny because I was asked a number of times today if I was “ok” as if somehow the achievements of the remarkable young lady that I have the privilege to call my daughter would now cause me dismay. As if now that she has grown into the young woman we wished she would be I should change my mind and not wish the world for her. Will I miss her? Of course I miss all my children when they are not with me, but I rejoice in their achievements, in their self-discovery, in the milestones they begin to set for themselves. So on this day of milestones make sure your children know how proud you are, how they will always have your heart, and more than all how much you love them.

About the Author

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Born in Manhattan in 1965 Joseph Castagno is the son of a second generation Italian American father. His mother’s family were mixed heritage people: Indigenous Haudenosaunee, French, some of the earliest Dutch settlers of the Hudson Valley. Growing up with such a multicultural heritage provided him with a view of both the immigrant experience, a perspective on the founding principles and ideals of the United States as well as the original teachings and ways of Northeastern Indigenous people. Having lived all over the United States Joseph has a broad perspective on US society and the variety of social values and customs that make up this great country. He currently resides in Florida with his wife Tammy, having raised four children they are now enjoying their grandchildren. Joseph has always had a passion for reading and writing and has published a number of articles in local papers and magazines. After a long career in healthcare he published his first novel “Jake” in 2016 drawing on his experiences and observations living in the Southeast and Florida. His current novel “Traffic” has just been published and he is currently working on his next novel and spoiling his granddaughters!

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