It’s normal for parents to have mixed feelings about these life-changing events on a child’s journey to adulthood.

In this issue of Catholic Herald Parenting, Karen Mahoney, on Pages 6 and 7, offers a mother’s perspective on one of those times when a child begins to try out his wings, away from his parents.

Karen’s son, Erin, began high school this fall, but unlike most area high schoolers, he does not return home each evening for family time, meals or relaxation. Erin is a freshman at Saint Lawrence Seminary High School in Mount Calvary in Fond du Lac County, nearly 100 miles north of his Kenosha County home.

Erin lives, eats, sleeps and studies at the Capuchin-run boarding school for boys and will only come home on holiday breaks and again next summer.

Why would parents send their son away to school at such a formative time in his life? Karen answers this question, among others, in her first-person look at her family’s choice of a high school for Erin.

Yes, the decision was difficult, and Karen admittedly suffered a case of cold feet, but she’s come to see that the decision was the right one for Erin. She offers a fascinating, behind-the-scenes look at one of the most intriguing high schools in our archdiocese. In fact, the students at St. Lawrence Seminary come from around the world to attend a minor seminary which boasts that 98 percent of its graduating class goes on to post-secondary education and in the last three years, that number is 100 percent, according to the school’s Web site, More than 250 are active religious throughout the world, but not every graduate chooses a religious vocation.

In her column on Page 5, Annemarie Scobey-Polacheck adds another dimension to the concept of giving a child wings. She reminds us that parenting with faith means we, as parents, must also place our trust in God. Ultimately, she reminds us, “they are God’s children, given a free will and a life all their own.”

It’s a good reminder that as we help plant the roots for our children to give them security and help them strap on those wings, they do so under the care of the God in whom we all should place our trust.