A hope note
The college graduation ceremony was being held in the school’s basketball arena which held thousands and was filled to capacity.
A number of family members within earshot of me talked on their cell phones through the service. I could see that some of those graduating were also talking on their cell phones. Suddenly, I realized that parents and their graduating children were talking to each other!
What I’ve learned since is that many parents and children, whether in the same city or thousands of miles apart, talk to each other several-to-many times a day. One parent calls her son every morning to make sure he’s awake and getting ready for class.
A stamp cost three cents when I went off to college. I wrote home fairly often. Then about once a month, when rates were low late at night or on a weekend, I scraped together a dozen quarters and found a pay phone and called home. I talked with my parents for about three minutes, just enough for us to assure each other that everything was OK and to hear each other say the three magic words.
Some college administrators refer to parents enmeshed in their offspring’s life, partly through the miracle of cell phones, as ‘hovering’ or ‘helicopter’ parents. Sometimes they describe the student-children of these parents as tethered or on a leash or with an uncut umbilical cord, unable to make decisions about almost anything without calling home.
Maybe it’s a delayed-adolescence thing. It’s fairly common nowadays, I’ve heard, for adolescence to extend to age 30 and beyond. I’m sure it’s healthy, with life expectancies of 80 or 90, not to hurry adulthood. I just hope these well-rooted kids, when it comes time to individuate, will find that they have strong wings to fly.