College beckons

Published 12:00 am Sunday, October 26, 2014

Seventeen short years ago I sat in a hospital and held a tightly wrapped bundle that changed my life forever.
It was the proudest and scariest moment of my life. I was the proud dad of a healthy baby boy, and yet I was also responsible for ensuring he became a contributing member of society. For a beach boy from the west coast that was a daunting feeling.
Up to that point in my life I had been pretty selfish and did what I wanted. Not for a long time would I be able to grab my car keys and head out of the house without first making sure that a diaper bag was packed for all possible scenarios.
Friday, my wife, Scott and I toured the campus of his first choice for college. On the way to Millsaps, we gave him a little pep talk and said what most parents probably tell teenage boys. We told him to avoid topics that included Star Wars, Star Trek and Dr. Who.
We let him take the lead during the tour and his visit with the admissions counselor. As he talked about the things that are important to him for his college education, I was overwhelmed with pride. That little bundle was about to embark on a journey that only he would know the ups and downs of.
His college experience will truly be his and it’s up to him to steer it the way he chooses. As much as we want to make decisions for him, we have to let him live his life and learn from the choices he makes.
A parent’s job is never over and it hasn’t been an easy one. It doesn’t pay anything monetarily, and sometimes you want a trade-in. It’s not time to hang the mission accomplished banner just yet, but it’s on order. Perhaps in four more years we’ll hang it up.
We have a few more colleges to look at, but Millsaps is exactly what he wants in a college and the financial enticement is nice. Perhaps soon it will be time to take down the black and gold Southern Miss. flag and replace it with a purple Millsaps one.
Right now we’re encouraging him to enjoy his senior year at Porters Chapel Academy, because years later he will recall his time there as some of the best years of his life. It’s funny how four short years in high school leaves such a tremendous mark on us well into adulthood.
For now college beckons, and Scott’s choice is soon to follow.

Paul Barry is the managing editor and can be reached by email at or by phone at 601-636-4545 ext. 123.

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