Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Don't Worry Mom... You Taught Him Well

My oldest son, Holden, graduated from high school almost a month ago. He started taking his first college class last week. I find myself looking at him across the kitchen table, wondering how I came to have this massive man child. I still feel as young as I did when he made me a mom at the age of twenty. Just as young, but not as immature, thankfully. 

Holden has an easy going personality. Friendly and unassuming, he helps his father and me around the house and is a big brother that the little boys can look up to. He has a job that he enjoys at the moment, but he is looking forward to finishing his degree so that he can start working full-time in his career field. 
He looks forward to his future, a testament to his upbeat attitude. 

While his early educational years were in a traditional school setting, he spent the last eight years being educated at home. When I think about the kind of people and situations that he is going to encounter at college, I must admit that a small part of me feels a little anxious for him. After all, many people do not value the same things we do. They can be so cold and overbearing, pushing their attitudes towards life and Christianity on him. It is easy to see how he could become detached from our family and make decisions that pull him away from us and God. 

But I quickly let the worry leave me. I taught him the faith, and I have seen how much he loves and appreciates Christ and His Church. I know that doesn't mean he won't make mistakes or fall into a lukewarm practice of the faith for a time. He is becoming a man, and he will have to seek God's will for his life. But there is a real possibility that sometimes he won't. He may make a few decisions that are not what God would want for him. 

I remember when I did that. Chris remembers when he did that. And yet here we are today, living our faith in the fullest way. We made the decision to homeschool him and his brothers, and raise them in the Catholic Church because that is what we felt God called us to do. 

Fulton Sheen wrote in Way to Happiness, 

... one must inquire if education is of the mind alone, or also of the will. Knowledge is in the mind; character is in the will. To pour knowledge into the mind of a child, without disciplining his will to goodness, is like putting a rifle into the hands of a child. Without education of the mind a child could be a stupid devil. With education of the mind, but without love of goodness, a child could grow up to be a clever devil. 

I remember how it struck me the first time I read it. I found it so powerful that I read it four times in a row. 

It has always been important to Chris and me that we focus our sons' education on our Catholic faith. For us, that meant homeschooling. We understand that we are guiding them to grow in knowledge not just of the mind but also of the soul. They learn love, honor, and forgiveness. We want them to know how to support themselves and their future families, but also, they need to understand the importance of life, standing up for goodness, working to make this world a better place, and keeping their eyes focused on heaven. 

So as my son takes his first steps into adulthood, I do not fear for him. I know that his education was firm, goodness and truth are the foundations of his character. 

My prayers go with him as he leaves his childhood behind and enters manhood. The path that he chooses to follow may not always be the best one, but he has the tools he needs to keep from getting lost. 


  1. This is beautiful. Your mama heart shines through so much on this post. I love it!

  2. WOW. What a powerful quote by Sheen!

    1. Yes, it is! I read it several times and then read it to my husband, and he was just as equally impressed. Sheen is wonderful to read, full of wisdom. He always makes me want to do and be better than I am.

  3. Great Sheen quote! Love that guy. Prayers for you and your son as you all go through this transition! It is so hard to me to think of my son as a college aged man but I know it will be here before I know it! Beautiful post.

  4. Wonderful read! I can't wait to incorporate more Fulton Sheen into my reading list. My son, #4 is only four and I hope and pray we can raise him to be a strong, Catholic man.

    1. Thank you! And you won't be disappointed reading Fulton Sheen.


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