Saturday, 2 February 2013

Spreading His Wings and Flying

In only three short weeks our eldest son will be leaving home! Our second child to 'leave the nest' and only 12 short months after his sister, how quickly the 'ranks' are thinning! Carpenter's departure date has been rather unexpected and has happened with a rapidity that is only just sinking in. He is excited and keen to begin the next part of his life journey.

Twelve months ago Carpenter's casual job became full time in many respects. For six months he juggled a full schedule until deciding his study was suffering and he needed to scale back, during the next six months he focused on his studies and his plan was to continue this pattern in 2013. However as his 18th birthday has begun to loom closer (he is a May baby) we observed a greater level of maturity and other needs we couldn't meet in our country town. We began to perceive that perhaps the decision to continue studying at home during 2013 wasn't the correct one for him, he could indeed just be 'marking time.'

During this period Carpenter was discerning what direction to next take, always one with many passions and interests, it is often hard for him to narrow down his choices. He has long been passionate about swimming and towards the end of 2012 he became extremely keen to undertake training courses to become a swimming instructor which he has now completed. Academically we discussed various options for 2013 including Open Uni courses.

As part of Carpenter's discernment process we encouraged him to attend Summer Camp at Australia's only Catholic Liberal Arts College, the same College Anna Maria attends. On the second day of Camp he rang to enthusiastically proclaim, "Mum I want to attend here!"
"That's wonderful" I responded "I'm glad you have definite direction now."
"Mum I want to attend this year, 2013"
Hence the week became a mad rush to meet entrance criteria and beat the clock.

Carpenter has had an interview with the Dean and has been accepted into the College as a conditional student, all subject to his STAT test, which he undertakes late February, days before leaving home to begin O Week. Home educated students in Australia can often use their STAT results, converted into an ATAR score to gain entrance into University, alternatively they can undertake 2-4 Open Uni courses as another alternative pathway for entry. It is best to check with the University of your choice as some Universities have more rigorous requirements and may require high course marks.

At this stage Carpenter's passion continues to be writing and his career path is to be a published author, a direction he has felt for a few years now, he has already completed his first novel, a labour of three years, which he is currently editing and then he will begin the search for a publisher. Pursuing studies at a Liberal Arts College will only enhance and help bring these plans to fruition.

The departure of our firstborn to College changed our family dynamics and lifestyle forever, with the leaving of our 'Number One Son' bigger changes are a certainty, we will now have two children gone. Two family members leave a huge gap, a definite rent in the fabric of family dynamics. As our next son is not quite 16 we will also notice the age difference, our life is indeed shifting once again. It hits us anew we only have our children for such a short time! Carpenter is such a dynamic, vibrant member of our family, our most social child, the one always challenging us out of our comfort zones, we will surely miss his antics.

Obviously we continue to be Carpenter's parents, always willing to offer our loving support, to listen and guide, but we are forging new roles as he is now a young man. Carpenter leaves with our blessing and confidence that he has chosen the correct path for him, that he is meant to attend this College, and that he will only go from strength to strength. We eagerly anticipate watching him flourish. Number One Son we love you and are honoured to be your parents travelling this journey with you.

7 comments:

  1. How many emotions, my friend: pride, fear, excitement, sadness... My thoughts are with you.

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  2. Erin,

    You will miss your son! But how exciting too! You must feel happy he knows what he wants to do. Yes, lots of change at your place this year.

    It is so wonderful seeing yet another homeschooling child following his passions. Writing? You already know that my girls share this passion. I bet they could talking novel writing together for hours.

    Thank you for sharing about the STAT test. We've always gone along the Open Uni pathway, but STAT is definitely something to consider. Isn't it great that homeschoolers have so many opportunities to further their education? Being a homeschooler seems to me, to be an advantage not a disadvantage, when it comes to tertiary studies. When I think of the stress involved in taking the HSC, I am so glad our children are not at school.

    Congratulations on another successful homeschooling graduation. I hope Carpenter settles into his new life very quickly.

    God bless you and your family!

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  3. It is so true. One moment they are toddling around and before you can blink they are adults!! Always their parents - you will never stop loving, encouraging and aching for him. So pleased his path is working out well.

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  4. Wow - off to uni and leaving home! It's a big change for you all, but at the same time, how fabulous that he is confident and able and capable of pursuing his dreams in the big, wide world! And I'll use his story when people ask "but what about high school and university?"

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  5. Erin, I think I know what you must be feeling! You have more kids than I do, but around our town people seem to think 5 is a lot. Yet no matter how many you have left at home, the ones who go leave holes that can't be filled. And even though the goal is having them get out there on their own, boy it's tough letting them go! Our baby is in his second year of college, so for almost 2 years now we've been empty-nesters. Sometimes I am amazed that all those years have flown by.

    Your son looks like such a fun young man, and I'm so impressed that at 18 he has already spent 3 years writing a novel! What a passion he must have for writing! With that kind of drive, I have no doubt that he will fulfill his dream of becoming a published author.

    Hey, if he has to be away, at least he'll be at the same school as his sister! Our boys all went to Notre Dame, along with many of their cousins. They were 16 hours from home, but there was a lot of comfort in knowing they were together. :)

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  6. Jeanne
    You've hit it on the nail, a mixed bag of fellings

    Sue
    Thanks for sharing our joy:) I'm often glad too we don't have the stress of the HSC, crazy! Still a bit apprehensive regards the Open Uni HECS debt, seems crazy that E's uni of choice wants 8 courses!

    Ruby
    So true, too fast!

    Ingi
    Feel free to use my children's stories, I have to say there is a certain relief to have made it thus far. And yes, I'm very proud that he is confident.

    Laura
    You would know far better than I! The hole one leaves is as if 2-3 children are missing!! I keep realising that if we hadn't been blessed with more than 2 we would be empty nesters now! I'm sure it will have its own rhythm but not in a hurry to be there yet.
    He is an impressive young man, I overheard him helping a young friend edit the other day and realised anew what a gift he has.
    Oh how lovely to have your sons and cousins together!!!:):) Ours are a 9 hr drive so better than 16:)

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  7. By the way, that boy looks just like his mom.

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I always get so excited to hear from you, thank you for chatting with me!