Woodlyn Physical Therapy November 2019





I have a love-hate relationship with this time of year. On one hand, I love spending time with my family during the holidays. The kids come back from college, my in-laws come to visit, and my father-in-law brings his tractor to clean up the leaves in our yard — no matter how many times I tell him to wait for my help. These are all family traditions I cherish. On the other hand, winter is setting in, and I can’t stand the cold. The past two years, my family has escaped the cold with a trip to Cancun the week after New Year’s. I hope we can keep that tradition going because my fingers are already freezing! Over the last few years, the holidays have become even more valuable. As soon as my kids went off to college, I started counting the days until they would come visit. I was certainly proud of them for spreading their wings and taking that first step into adulthood, but I didn’t know I would miss them so much! This year has been a little different. My daughter is still in college, but my son graduated last spring. He’s moved back home to plan his next step. It’s been nice to have him around again,

though our relationship is pretty different. The other day, he was on my case to clean up after myself. I reminded my son that I cleaned up after him his whole life, so I’d earned the right not to put every dish away instantly. There are some growing pains as we both adjust to this new stage of our relationship. I’ve had to make myself step back and let my son forge his own path. He graduated with a degree in marketing and entrepreneurship, so he’s already gotten a lot of great job offers. The trouble is that he hasn’t accepted any of them yet! He’s working part time while trying to figure things out. Part of me wants to say, “Look, this job is a great opportunity! Don’t let it slip through your fingers.” But I also don’t want my son to wake up in 30 years in a job he hates because his dad pushed him toward it. It’s difficult because I didn’t have these choices when I was my son’s age. Back then, I got a job at Amtrak and was told I’d start the next week. I didn’t even know what the role would be until I started working there. After Amtrak, I went to college, got licensed as a physical therapist, and went on to

start my own practice. I love what I do, in part because I chose it for myself. I want my son to feel the same pride and passion into his work. Whatever he decides, we’ll support him because when he sets his mind to something, he always does well. When I find myself struggling with being a parent to my now-adult children, I take a moment to be grateful for what great kids I have. They’re both hardworking and walk the straight and narrow. They’ve gotten into a bit of trouble over the years, sure, but they never fell into the kinds of things that tear families apart. This Thanksgiving, I’m truly thankful for my son and daughter. They’re good kids, and I know that whatever they do in life, they’ll make me proud. -Jim Brennan




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