Wheels-in-MotionCatholic Herald Family has invited Jacob Scobey-Polacheck, son of columnist Annemarie Scobey-Polacheck, to offer his perspective on family life alongside that of his mom. Jacob is a senior at Dominican High School in Whitefish Bay.

Less than one year from now, I will live in a college dorm room, most likely hundreds of miles away from my family. This is exhilarating and frightening. A new life surrounded only by people my age, of course, has its advantages.

Cleaning up after dinner will be fantastically simple – I don’t anticipate any of my peers rallying me on a 12-minute race against the clock to get our table clean. And if I were the betting type, I would put money on the fact that at said table, not one of my friends will spend five minutes detailing a disturbingly uneventful picture book she read in class.

In college, I can’t imagine that a furry member of my dorm will snatch my pencil with his mouth and dart off gleefully as I struggle through my calculus homework. There are certain annoyances that I have to deal with every day in the Scobey-Polacheck household from which I will be relieved at whichever university I end up choosing, and I will be sure to recognize and celebrate this once I get there.

For the most part, however, I’m going to miss my squad very much. For years, I have helped develop the definition of the name Scobey-Polacheck, but this definition will mean nothing in my new community, and I will have to do my best to recreate it. I’ll be able to retain the Scobey-Polacheck essence that is permanently etched into who I am, but I will have to leave almost everything else behind, which will be dizzyingly strange.

I’ll have to say goodbye to my family’s “Sabbaths”— beautiful Sunday excursions into nature. Goodbye to juicy turkey burgers grilled by my dad and enjoyed by all. Goodbye to pingpong in the basement, football in the front yard, and conversations on the couch. Moving in with my roommate will mark the first time since I was 3 that my brother Liam and I will not share a room.

Moving out of my house will mark the end of my childhood. This thought makes the annoyances of my family seem like blessings. In just 11 months, my puppy will steal my pencil and dash away for the last time? Devastating.

For 17 years, my story has been told by those around me. My teachers have taught me how to think, my parents have taught me how to act, and I have followed their direction to the best of my ability. I have watched my mom proclaim her perspective of the most important events of my life through this column.

But now, as I approach the end of an era and transition into a new life where I am not defined by my family, it’s time to look into myself and discover who I really am and what I want to be. It’s time to be grateful for the opportunities God and my parents have given me and to discover how I can use them to my advantage in my rapidly approaching future. It’s time to write my own story.

(Jacob, a Dominican High School, Whitefish Bay, senior is the eldest of the four Scobey-Polacheck children.)