Face To Face . . . Family Weekend,
By Winslow Thurston - Chair of the Parent Council

Parenting is often like trying to hit a moving target. Just about the time you have toddlers figured out, your child is entering Middle School. When you have finally decided if your daughter can date when she is in High School, she is almost done with college. Somewhere along the way we figure out that parenting isn’t so much about what we know but who we know. It isn’t about mastering steps or formulas but about knowing our children.

That is the great challenge. Our children keep changing. Just ask Aunt Betsy who has not seen them for three years. She’ll tell you all about it. If we are going to know our kids, we have to see and accept the change. It has been two months since our children started the school year at GFU. During those months much has changed, especially if they are freshman; new living arrangement, new friends, new classes and new challenges. Just think the new boyfriend or girlfriend could be the future spouse. That is some significant change.

We try to keep up on all this change with phone calls (as if they answer), emails (they haven’t checked for weeks), texts (what do all those acronyms mean) and Face Book (assuming they are willing to friend you). But there is nothing like being with someone and talking face to face. Which is why there is Family Weekend. On November 4-6 you have the opportunity to come see the change firsthand. During the last six years that our children have attended GFU, Family Weekend has been a highlight. It has been good for my wife and me to see our kids in their home away from home. It has been good for them to show us where they live, introduce us to new friends and show us the things they are involved with, like drama and music. Finally it has been a great opportunity for the younger siblings to hang out with big brother or big sister and get a taste of what college life is like.

The weekend begins Friday at 10:40am with First Friday Worship, followed at noon with a girl’s soccer game. Dinner that night is a favorite for the students as “the Bone” brings out their best to impress the parents. Then in the evening you have the option of the fall theater production of “Steel Magnolias” or a concert.

Saturday brings a luncheon banquet with President Robin Baker and the ever popular Family Bingo Night. In a break from what has been done in the past, nothing official is planned for Sunday. With all the great activities offered, it is easy to have a great time but never connect with your child. So Sunday has been left open to spend time finding out about all the change that has been happening while you weren’t looking. Maybe you could worship together as a family at the church your child has chosen and then do something together somewhere in the community. The parent relations office will have some suggestions for activities and places to go if you are not familiar with the area.

If not by now you will soon receive details about Family Weekend in the mail. More details and registration is available online. Events fill up fast, especially Family Bingo Night, so sign up soon. Family Weekend is not the only way to catch up on the change in your students’ lives but it is a fun way.

Winslow Thurston
Chair Parent Council