Is that a contradiction? I suppose it doesn't matter - that is what we have now. Ethan, as of last Friday, is considered by this society to be “an adult.” He is now able to drin… Well, he can rent a ca… Hmm… He can be drafted, and he can vote, and if he were to do something bad, he can be punished like the hardened adult criminal that he would undoubtedly be.
It's hard to imagine that Jenny and I are now old enough to have an adult that we raised living in the house. I've always told people that once they hit high school it is like a rocket sled out of the house. I had observed this with families at Ethan's old school, St. Bruno. We would get to know kids, they would leave school after 8th grade and go to high school, then it seemed like a week or so and they were graduating. I had hoped that I was perceiving things incorrectly from the parental perspective, but alas, I was not.
Ethan has given us so much joy, and a nearly equal amount of frustration over the years (which will never fully equal the joy). From the get-go, he provided us with plenty of worry. I often feel bad for him since he was the first child for two pretty worry-prone people (I'm mainly talking about Jenny, of course). As an infant/toddler he had a couple of stints in the hospital with RSV, which probably stands somehow for “These Parents are Worried so we need to admit this kid or they will keep coming back here.” We spent many nights sleeping on the wood floor near his crib to make sure that we would be instantly available should he have something horrible happen to him throughout the night.
At a pretty young age we moved him out of our first house in Waukesha to where we would spend the next 13 years outside of Dousman, WI. Having always been in daycare, he was used to interacting with lots of different kids all the time, but we upped the ante on him by enrolling him in a small Catholic school at the age of 4 so he could attend the only available 4 year old Kindergarten at the time, and we liked it there so much we decided to keep him there through 8th grade. Being enrolled at a small school where families didn't all live in the same area was challenging. Any activity we enrolled him in involved an entirely new set of people, so his networks never really crossed paths between school and Cub Scouts, or sports, or camps, or really anything he did.
Then, to cap it all off, we ripped him out of his comfortable Wisconsin home and moved him and his brother to Colorado just in time to start his High School career. That first year I'm pretty sure he watched all 8 seasons of “The Office” 3 times straight through, and informed us many times that as soon as he was able, he was moving back to Wisconsin and going to Marquette University for his College years.
Now, here we are, on the doorstep of his official High School graduation (which incidentally happened between when I wrote and when I published this), entertaining family and friends, and watching him try to adult for the first time, navigating the void between high school and college… He will be attending Regis University, a Jesuit University in town here, in the fall where he will study Environmental Sciences, a subject he has gravitated towards. Though we will be parting with a lot of money and missing his presence, we couldn't be more proud of him.
As a side note, I'm going through pictures that we have to add to this post. It's not my forte, so I think I will ask Jenny to do so. I find I end up just looking at all the pictures for minutes to hours on end, and selecting far too many to properly sum things up. It's impossible, but a nice problem to have. Interestingly, however, one thing we discovered was that Ethan may be in the last generation of kids to have been born before the ubiquity of digital cameras. I think the earliest digital photos we have of him are from 2005 or 2006! That's why you will notice a severe lack of baby photos of him.
If you just can't get enough of old stories of Ethan, or think that I'm glossing over them too much, check out the other content on this site from years of blogging gold. Click here for blogging gold!!!
Oh, and if you just can't get enough - 30 full minutes of Ethan pictures set to some royalty free music courtesy of Apple Photos!!! Once I get home and figure out how to get YouTube to upload all 30 minutes of it!