A PATH TO PATIENCE

WHEN OUR CHILDREN were young, my husband and I showed great patience in teaching them how to tie shoes, ride a bike, complete school assignments, budget their allowance, and eventually drive a car. But this essential quality soon ran out in the college years when one of our sons didn't follow his siblings' orderly march toward graduation and job résumés.

Each time this young man came home, he would suggest detours in his education, such as dropping out to live in seclusion on a mountaintop or taking a year off to go around the world on a tuna boat. My husband and I were goal oriented, and felt that if he would simply concentrate on getting his college degree and eventually settling down, we could stop worrying about having to support him all his life.

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