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‘It’s never easy letting go,’ but …

Most adults don’t get the chance to tell their grown children what to do.
Oh, sure, sometimes our grown offspring will seek our advice or ask for an opinion. But we no longer are allowed to make decisions for them. That privilege, on a day-to-day basis, starts to fade about the time we no longer have to change their diapers.
I recall the days many years ago when I picked out my son’s clothes, decorated his room for him, and told him where he could ‘ or in my case, couldn’t ‘ go to college.
But before I knew it, Randy turned 18 and graduated from high school. And he went off to pursue his post-secondary diploma … at the one university I had always told him he couldn’t attend.
To quote an old Suzy Boggus song, ‘It’s never easy letting go.’ And seeing him off to Indiana University in Bloomington (instead of my alma mater, Purdue) was extremely tough for this mom who has always had a difficult time saying good-bye to anybody.
If I thought I had relinquished making decisions for my first-born child before he was 18, it was nothing compared to how little communication I had with him as he spread his wings and learned how to live on his own.
I’ve been lucky. Neither Randy nor his sister, Kimberly, who recently turned 21, have really been rebellious. Oh, they can be opinionated, but I think they have pretty good heads on their shoulders. Their father, stepfather and I have instilled good values in them.
Last summer, I got to see my grown son in action in the workplace. And it came with an added bonus: I could tell him what to do, at least for several hours a day almost seven days a week.
This rare opportunity for a parent came about when our news staff here at The Corydon Democrat became shorthanded, and I suggested we consider hiring my son as a temporary solution.
Randy had just earned his bachelor’s degree in telecommunications from Indiana University a few months earlier and was finding television harder to break into than he had imagined.
Having my son work as part of the news team was great. Not only did it provide me the chance to show him what my work life was like, but I had the opportunity to get to know him as an adult outside of our family circle. I was allowed to see how he interacts with his co-workers as well as our readers. And I hoped his time here on staff with The Corydon Democrat would better prepare him for a job in television.
Well, apparently the experience paid off. Those of you who read the newspaper last week probably saw where Randy was hired by KDUH-TV in Scottsbluff, Neb.
I wasn’t too surprised he got a job offer. And I know it could have come from farther away, as I saw where his resum’s were being sent. But Nebraska?! When I looked at the atlas, I learned that Scottsbluff is on the far west side of that wide state. There’s very little of anything in that area of the Cornhusker state. But my son was happy to report that the town has a Wal-Mart AND a Target, as well as a small shopping mall. There’s also a Culver’s, which was one of his favorite places to eat here in Corydon.
After one week on the job, Randy sounds like he’s settling in. And as indication how small the world really is, Sandy Sherman, who works in the law office above O’Bannon Publishing Co., told me last week that her daughter, Paige, a 2000 graduate of South Central Junior-Senior High School, works in Scottsbluff.
I’m adjusting to seeing my son’s empty desk here at work, as well as a bedroom at home that is losing more of the belongings that made it his. With that empty-nest syndrome sinking in, I’m also thrilled my son is getting the chance to work in a field that is his dream. I’m anxious to see his work in his chosen medium of reporting the news and sports.
While I’ve probably had my last opportunity at telling him what to do, I only hope my job of preparing him for true adulthood has been successful.
Time will tell.