June 19, 2010

Decisions, Decisions

My son came home from camp yesterday just beaming. He was tired, and very hot and frazzled; but he was beaming inside, I could tell that for certain. He had a great time at camp, enjoyed the cool weather (up in our Northern AZ mountains), and had a blast with the boys (grades 4-5-6). He also enjoyed getting to know the adult male counselor in his cabin (our church puts one adult with one teen -- using a mentoring approach). This particular person is only slightly older than my son, and is also INTO music. He plays the same instruments, and is performing in a worship band (my son's dream). God was so good to put these two people together -- he was just the kind of person my son needed to be with for the entire week.

My son is highly gifted, and loves music. He decided a number of years ago to study music professionally. He plays the piano, guitar (acoustic and electric), bass (electric), drums and cello (on occassion). He loves to compose and arrange music, and has been taking formal lessons for the past six years. He plays the piano beautifully, most recently working on Chopin's Nocturnes. He is almost finished with a Rachmoninoff Opus, and then will begin work on a new Mozart piece. His teacher is also teaching college-level theory and ear training, and helping him with voice. Overall, he is in a really good position to go to music school next year.

The issue has not been going to music school; but rather, when to go to music school. Before my life turned upside down, we simply were working our way through high school at home. My son would normally graduate in 2012, but due to being skipped a grade in public school, he is now set to complete high school next June 2011. However, our choice of curriculum, and our willingess to let him study as much as he wanted, has actually accelerated him by another year. For all intents and purposes, he could have graduated this year (in June 2010).

This has caused quite an upset to our plans, and as of today, I am still uncertain what to do with next year. I have already taken some steps -- enrolling him at our local community college for next fall. I was thinking ahead at the possibility of doing some college, some home school. A lot of my uncertainty has been the result of my marital and work situation. My son doesn't want to home school himself, and really doesn't want to be left home alone. I don't want to do that either, but he either has to stay home or go to college.

A second issue is in transportation -- how do we get him to college each week? He cannot drive (yet) and relies on me for his transportation every where. He often gets rides from my parents, but they do not like to be "on call" all the time (I don't blame them). I just recently got my first car in years, and I will need my car to get to work. My son will need his own car -- another whole set of issues comes along with that idea.

So where does that leave us?

This week was foundational for him, and he came home telling me that he has decided to pursue Music as a ministry. This changes his focus a bit (from composition), and also opens up another nearby school. We have a small Christian college in our town, not far from where we live. Southwestern College has about 250 students, and is ministry focused. They have quite a nice music department (getting to be well-known). The students are active in ministry, and this college, would be a great place for him (intimate, safe, and missions directed). It is expensive, but not any more than any other private college in our state. My son and I visited SWC last November, and he told me then that this was the college he wanted to attend. The issue back then was that they do not have a composition degree -- just teaching, voice, praise and worship, ministry, and Christian ministry.

Now I am rethinking SWC, and wondering how to go about getting him enrolled there. Unfortunately, we have missed the deadlines for this year. He hasn't taken the ACT or SAT test, and he hasn't performed for audition. He also has missed out on their scholarship program, which typically assumes falls admissions.

I want to do the right thing by him, to help him and guide him; but honestly, I am at a loss right now. I will be working full time this fall, and going to graduate school online. My son could be a 12th grader or a college student. I do have some work he could do to finish out 12th grade. I really didn't want to home school another year -- I was ready to be done with it -- and ready to focus on my needs for a change. Yet, this seems not to be the Lord's will -- at the least -- not yet.

I have pulled information off line on SWC, and will speak with my son about it. If he is really serious about this route, then we will need to wait one more year before going there. This will give him time to focus and finalize his plans, to repair a few deficiencies, and mostly, to grow up. He is a very mature young man, very thoughtful, and very, very bright. He is just so sweet and sincere, and oh so very gentle. He is a great young man, and I know that the Lord knows what is best for him.

I have decided to be content in this decision -- after all -- it really isn't my choice. It is between the Lord and my son. These are the plans the Lord has for His life, not mine. I have to let go of him now, and let God begin to lead Him into the path He has chosen for him. I can do this, I don't mind it, it is just a bit daunting right now to be handling so many hot irons. I will be glad when my life settles down and I can simply get back to the business of living.

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