Just when I thought all the boys were gone and there would be a lot of quiet time for myself and Tracey, one child was back. Aidan, after the fall term in Ithaca, decided that the school was not the fit for him. It was an extremely difficult decision for him and he struggled with it the entire Christmas Break. We knew the Fall term was difficult for him as he was trying to find his way in the Ithaca community. The academics and the lacrosse went very well for him, but he just was not able to find his niche in the school social scene. He also was not fond of the lacrosse grind. He did all the work with lacrosse, but he sure was not enjoying the day to day demands of lacrosse. More importantly he came to the conclusion that being that far away from home was not fun anymore. One year at Cardigan and four years at Williston had come to be enough for him. We always knew that Aidan was a creature of comfort and he had reached his limit. Lacrosse to him became more of a chore than a joy so there was no pull in that area anymore.
A very tough choice was made and I knew he was having difficulty with it because he did not want to upset me. I was disappointed because he had worked so hard to get to this point in his life. I can remember when he was a young lacrosse player, getting beat up all over the floor as an undersized player. Then battling so hard to get the opportunity at Williston and working so hard in the fitness center to get stronger. It is now, over a month since he made the decision, that I feel happy with where he is at. He is working and looking at local college opportunities for the Fall. He is so much happier than he has been in a long time. Aidan’s lacrosse stick is in the corner untouched and that is perfectly fine. I know that him continuing at Ithaca was not going to be a positive experience. All the time he spent away from home has made him an independent thinker and has helped him grow into the person he is today.
The interesting thing about this whole change for Aidan was the support of his brothers. Tristan knew exactly the grind Aidan was going through and told me that if Aidan was not enjoying lacrosse at Ithaca it can really be difficult. As a student-athlete the challenges can be extremely tough and exhausting. You have to love it to make it through four years.
Dallyn is not in a position to question Aidan as he is just getting used to his own experience and the demands of Choate. I could tell over Christmas that Dallyn was so happy to be home. He was not excited to get back on that flight back to the United States after the holidays. Seeing his friends, chilling out, sleeping in his own bed and having his pets around him were a great comfort. When he crawled into our bed the night before he left the sadness was overwhelming. That is always a difficulty transition for the boys, knowing the visit home is over.
Tristan has been a very supportive big brother lately. He has been respectful of Aidan’s decisions and wants what is best for Aidan. He also knows Dallyn’s challenges and has small tidbits of info for him as Dallyn navigates the prep school system. For himself, the lacrosse season has started, he is a Junior and over 50% of his college career is over. I want to be able to stop time. This can not be happening so fast that Tristan is now in his third year. Lacrosse, school, the serious girlfriend have taken control of his life and that dictates where he spends his time. I miss him a lot. He grew up so much away from us that I yearn for those times when he was younger. When his problems were smaller and his needs were simpler.
All three of them are there for each other. They don’t lean on each other very much, but they all know they have each other. And they can always come back to the nest when ever they need. The door is always open.