Second week of vacation is underway and in a few days I will return back to whatever passes for normal living these days.
My two oldest children will be heading to university in a few weeks. My daughter will return for her third year and my son will be starting his first year. As a parent, I never really thought about the impact of having my children leave home for extended periods of time. Perhaps I thought that my family would be together in one place forever or maybe I was in denial that my children were growing up. Whatever the reason, I have found the transition a difficult one.
My oldest son is recovering well from his surgery. He can now spend most of the day with his jaw open. So he talks. He has a couple of challenges. He misses food. And I think he is a bit hurt that some of his friends have not reached out to him during this time.
Aristotle, in the Nicomachean Ethics, had this to say about friendship:
Friendly relations with one’s neighbours, and the marks by which friendships are defined, seem to have proceeded from a man’s relations to himself. For (1) we define a friend as one who wishes and does what is good, or seems so, for the sake of his friend, or (2) as one who wishes his friend to exist and live, for his sake; which mothers do to their children, and friends do who have come into conflict. And (3) others define him as one who lives with and (4) has the same tastes as another, or (5) one who grieves and rejoices with his friend; and this too is found in mothers most of all. It is by some one of these characterstics that friendship too is defined.