Parents Weekend

A field trip for middle-aged folk.



So parents weekend happened.  A pretty solid reminder you are a solidly middle-aged.  Then again waking up in the morning is a pretty decent reminder I am old...so pretty typical of every other day if I am being honest.  On that note, when did college kids start looking like they were twelve years old?  I mean was there a day in my life where suddenly everyone was younger than me.  Like way younger?  I am pretty sure it happened on some random overnight or surely I would have seen it coming.

Still, the weekend was a cool experience and an amazing college.  I have one at a university and one at a private college.  I am absolutely blown away by the contrast between them.  I am not even saying one route is better than the other.  Totally depends on the person.  I can't help but feel awed by the effort the smaller school makes to include and support each student.  From the day we moved him in and the students themselves moved him into the dorm, to the choir instructor meeting each and every parent that attended the open practice it was just impressive.  I feel like I am seeing my son mature before my eyes.  It makes me wish I had done so many things differently myself.  Just really inspiring.  Between scholarships and the like the expense between the schools  was surprisingly similar.

At the same time, there were so many oddities that came with the weekend and of course I spent the weekend observing them.

First of all I was offended due to religion.  This is new to me.  No, not offended by religion, I was offended I didn't participate in a religious ceremony.  What is happening to me?  I don't even like organized religion.

Maybe a little context is needed.  I was raised as a hardcore Christmas Eve Catholic.  I gave that up just as soon as I was independent enough to just not.  I dabbled in it again to impress my future wife but it has never made any sense to me.  So I attend this Lutheran ceremony this weekend to again impress my no-longer-future-more-like-present wife and for the most part couldn't tell the difference between these two religions.  I am sure there are differences and it is appalling to some that I would suggest otherwise.  Look, just a simple man with a simple plan.  My highly strategic approach to church is to go along with the locals.  Don't make waves.  Respect the traditions.  I was game-ready.  All set to stand and accept my wheat thin wafer.  A crazy thing happened on the way to the alter and it has me confused.

So, wafer guy comes with an offer.  No one in my group stands.  Discomfort level was palpable.  Sweat was forming on my brow.  See, I am a practical and appreciative soul.  If I am a guest in a house and an offer is provided, I feel it is only right to accept with gratitude.  But we sat.  We sat still.  What was happening?  I wanted to find wafer guy and beg for forgiveness...he looked sad!

So best I can tell, Catholics do not take offerings at other non-Catholic houses of worship.  I am not entirely clear if that applies to Christmas-Eve Catholics but I did what I do...I blended.  Yet...I was really bothered.  I refused a generous gift.  I felt like a pilgrim refusing thanksgiving (oh don't even get all historical on me it is my blog I write my own history!).

All of this underscores my point.  What is the point?  All of these organized religions...if your rules and rituals are more important than the meaning behind them what do you have?  No offense intended and I sincerely mean that, I just find it all so confusing.  To the generous Lutherans that provided a lovely service with incredible music (including my ultra-talented youngest born)...thank you.  You were generous and while no one outside of my mind noticed I refused your offering, it bothered me.  That is enough about that.  Not about to run out and find religion but just saying I respect your roll.

So the weekend, well, was sort of a wash.  I mean you fellow nesters can appreciate this.  At least fifty percent of you.  It is odd how the exact same activities can be so completely different when simply placed in a different decade.  When I was in my twenties the thought of staying in a hotel was so exciting I would sort of find it difficult to form words.  Neat things happened there.  Fast forward a few decades and a hotel can be summed up with "so your saying there's a chance?".  More depressing than that, no one wants to know any hotel fun that may or may not transpire when it involves forty-somethings so I have already said too much.  Do you see a pattern here?  What do we get?  What part of middle age is cool?  It all just frustrates me.  When did this sudden flip happen?

The rest of the weekend was a mix of being a parent, not being a parent, walking in cold rain, and eating at Texas Road House.  There was a really nice campus tour provided so I won't ask for a refund.

Oh well, it doesn't matter.  I only worry if there is a point where having your own bed starts to seem like a practical path to take?  I mean is that waiting for me next decade?  Full disclosure, I did miss my dogs and when we got home I slept in my sons room with the dogs so I had room to snuggle.

It is possible I am hopelessly lost.  I need a beer.  Day 1 of Thriving Post-Nest is off to a poor start.


So much tired



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