Beginning or Continuing
For most people, summer arrives with the Memorial holiday weekend in May and, seemingly, ends as the Labor Day holiday weekend signals the start of the Fall season. The days of leisure and vacation and family gatherings and outdoor activities give way to the routine and discipline of work, school activities, and an abrupt change in the weather patterns. How do folks of all ages enter into this annual period of beginning and/or continuing?
For parents of pre-school or kindergarten age children, it is a challenge to begin the stage of ‘letting go’ of the strings of parenting (if only slightly) and to support their children in the process of being independent and assuming individual responsibility for their behavior. This can be a cusp in life as both parents and children exercise a different mode in their relationships.
For parents of children continuing their journey through the educational system, it is a challenge to watch the growth of their children as they encounter changes in their physique and demeanor in the socialization process of life. Again, this is a time for understanding the gradual process of supporting their children (inculcating values by word and example) and watching them develop as independent thinkers and workers.
For parents of students watching their youngsters enter into the world of higher education (college or university), it is a critical time to have faith that their youngsters will confront challenges and execute their choices wisely. This is a time of life based education for parents and youngsters as they see and experience life with a different perspective.
For many of us with grandchildren, we watch with pride, concern, and joy as our children become parents themselves. It is a time to treasure the past, be patient with the present, and to imagine the new cusp of life of past generations and the emerging generations.
Summer is more than an interlude for relaxation and a change in rhythms of life. Summer is an essential cusp of life itself.
Let us all experience our beginnings and continuations.