We live our lives to follow our internal beliefs and values which are learned and shaped over many years and we are influenced mostly by our parents, our upbringing, our education and our experiences. Life for most of us is an ever changing ride full of many happy and some sad experiences along the way with the occasional detours in the road that take us in different directions. I have operated under the premise in all aspects of my life of being respectful of others and trying my best. I have learned to establish relationships over time and to appreciate and enjoy the opportunities I have been given. I truly feel blessed for having wonderful parents who have provided me with a wonderful life. Despite the struggles we were always provided for and we were encouraged to grow, develop and learn and to never lose sight of who we were as we grew and matured into our teenage years and into our young adulthood. As the years went by and we realized we needed to take more responsibility in out lives there were times of adjustment and some doubt. I truly believe we all have to face our fears and our doubts because everyone has to deal with these internal struggles.
I believe that growing up and approaching our teenage years is a confusing time for most of us and we are learning so much about how we should conduct ourselves, be responsible and also confront the internal changes we all encounter. In these years we realize also that we have needs that are starting to evolve as we mature and develop. We start to notice the opposite sex and we start to take an interest in how we appear and how we seem in the presence of others. These are things we can not always learn from a text book. Sometimes we just have to learn by taking chances. It is not always easy but life demands that we learn from taking chances and the experiences we encounter as a result of all we do. We need to find our own opportunities and learn to open up and explore and reach out to others. We will not learn if we don’t expand and challenge ourselves. No one said that life would be easy. We realize this as we start school. As we grow and learn we are always evolving and gaining insight into life and who we are. We start to learn what we like and what we need to improve upon. We start to develop interests and talents.
It is also important to reach out to our parents in our early teenage and early adulthood years and maybe a close friend or an adult we can trust. Sometimes I look back on these years and wonder how I got through them and realize how important it is to successfully communicate life experiences to my son when he starts to experience changes and starts to ask these same questions that I had asked or tried to deal with in my own ways. It is our responsibility to always provide our very best in raising our children and guiding them along the way and teaching them as we have learned through our own experiences. We have to explain to our children that life is what we make of it and we have choices and it is very important to know that we are responsible for our lives when we become adults and our choices are very important and sometimes we have to learn from our experiences. We know that we also need to have a support system and we should never feel alone. I want my son to know that he can always turn to me or Maria for anything and we will always try our best to provide him with answers, support or guidance in his life.
Our very first major accomplishment in life considered a milestone and cause for celebration is when we graduate from high school. It is this time in our lives when we embark on our early adulthood and now have to take responsibility for our actions more than ever before. It is a very crucial time in our life because it is then that we have to decide on what we will do next. Most of us decide upon continuing our education and consider college. Others decide they are not quite ready for college so they either consider a trade school or enlist in the military. The remainder try their best to go out into the job market and take on work responsibility which is limited for high school graduates. The main concern today in sending our children to college are the financial burdens. I was very lucky that my parents helped me tremendously in acquiring a valuable college education. My responsibility to my son is the same and we have established a college fund for him. We have to be realistic in how much we can provide for him and I will see that we meet the challenges of providing him with a quality education like my parents did for me. I will always encourage my son with my wife’s support and will do all I can to encourage him and support him. Our lives are primarily focused upon his life and his ability to one day be able to take on his own challenges and live a life full of opportunity and promise.
I know when I graduated from college it was a major accomplishment for me and I was so proud but I would not have been able to do it if it wasn’t for the hard work and continued support from my parents both financially and through their encouragement. I wanted in my heart to do them proud because they helped me so much. I also know as I went into the working world it was a time for me to learn and grow professionally and experience life. My parents still provided me a home while I worked on establishing myself. I sensed they were realizing that eventually I would have to go on my own and they would be very proud and a part of them would struggle with letting go. I know that when my son starts to mature and develop and grow into early adulthood and make choices we will always be there because I learned how supportive my parents were for me.
As a parent who one day will face the fact that our children will grow up also has to learn eventually to let go and I think this is one of the hardest things to face for a parent and though it is a wonderful thing to see our children grow and become responsible it is also a sign of reaching another stage in life and sometimes it comes upon us all so quickly and we have to adjust just like anything else in life.
So as I think of things I will need to talk to my son about I will be very proactive and will allow him his space and let him first approach me or Maria. I feel it is best that he speak his mind freely and when he is ready to do so rather than being forced. I know in my heart I will always be there for him and my desire is to see him succeed and find true happiness and companionship. I want the very best for my son and I will do my part and Maria and I will always provide for Matthew and give him all our love, support and guidance because Matthew is our shining beacon and gives our lives such joy and happiness.
Edward D. Iannielli III