It's been a busy week and I was oh so weary this morning. Many business decisions have been pressing upon us. I slept late and felt like I had a monkey on my back all day. Then around 12:30, my handsome, sweet son came in our front door. Joy of all joys! What a pleasant surprise!
He was able to spend a couple of hours hangin' with his dad before dad had to head off to work. Shane got his weekly wrestle in and was just simply enjoying having his big brother around.
This evening, a heart to heart talk transpired, as I sat in my big comfy chair at the computer and Josh sat on the floor, leaning against the closet door. Shane sat on the twin bed in our office/guest room. Tears were shed and true feelings were brought to the surface. We went through this same thing last summer when he told us he didn't want to return to college. My world came crashing down around me. I thought I was a failure. Boy did I have it all wrong! I came to realize again tonight that I have been wrong about a certain train of thought I had been prescribing to. I was harming my son more than helping him! I had jumped on a band wagon with so many others, trying to convince Josh to do something he does not want to do. That realization broke this mama's heart in a way I can't put into words. As Josh shared his burden, the thought came to me: "How would I like it if so many people were telling me how to live my life?" A very emotional Josh even asked me why people couldn't just encourage him in what he has chosen to do.
I also remembered that back in Josh's high school days, we discussed him doing apprenticeships rather than college. Out of respect to his parents, he endured one year of college, dorm life and all. Josh began working with his uncle at around the age of 14. He worked regular hours during his summer breaks. During school year, he worked 1 to 2 days aweek and some Saturdays. His uncle called him his "Pin Monkey". Due to his young age, Josh couldn't do certain tasks or use certain tools and machinery in the construction business. Josh was able to observe, help, organize the trailer, sweep up the job sites, run for tools the other employees needed. During his year of college, he worked as the church/school janitor each evening and on weekends. Even on Sundays, he was pretty much on call for all plugged toilets, spilled KoolAid, people's up-chucks! Last summer, when college was over, Josh went back to work with his uncle John full time and loves it. John tells everyone what a good worker Josh is and how good he is getting at certain things. I reminded Josh tonight how that apprenticeship helped him get a good paying full time job and he has learned more than if he had enrolled in the VoTech school in Tampa and paid them to teach him. Instead, he received pay for learning!
Shane was so attentive and concerned during the talk. At one point, I was tempted to ask him to leave the room, but I could sense his concern and I also perceived that he was learning about real life issues.
After the long conversation, Josh suggested ordering pizza and he was buying. He called his friend Matt to tell him he couldn't meet up with him tonight as they had talked about at church Thursday. I was thrilled to have the extra time with him at home of course.
Josh left around 8:30 tonight with some encouragement I hope, from his mom and little brother. It turned out to be such a sweet time together, even though we shared broken hearts through out the long conversation. I hated saying goodnight to him as he drove out of the driveway. He knew Shane and I were getting ready for our evening walk. His last words to me were: "If you and Shane go out walking, be sure not to lock yourselves out of the house." A typical statement from a first born, don't you think? That's my caring Josh for you!
Please say a prayer for him when you think of him. He is a fine young man who is growing in his walk in the Lord and in his walk in life. No, he isn't perfect, but he is a good man. He is happy with the path he has chosen for himself right now. It is not an ungodly path by any means, but he isn't fitting into "the box" so many would like to put him in. It is disheartening to him to walk into church and be constantly peppered by inquiries as to why he doesn't get back in school, or telling him he NEEDS to get back into school. Those people don't know his needs! Would it be too hard to simply encourage him in what he has chosen? Doesn't God tell us in His Word to do that? I mean, it might be different if Josh were living a sinful lifestyle or something, but he isn't. He daily works a hard construction job in this Florida heat. Josh is a man now, not a boy of 10. He can make his own decisions. He does have several friends who understand him and have been there for him at his lowest points. One of those friends he mentioned tonight is his cousin Joshua Vernoy, Jungle Mom's son.
I'd like to say more here about Joshua's journey, but I would need to speak to him first for permission. Thank you all for listening to this mom's heavy heart.
I would love to hear your comments about this type of situation. Are there any other homeschool mom's out there who have had their child, son in particular, choose not to go to college? I feel so alone in this journey!