|Saying our goodbyes and taking pictures..|
Granted, for me, that's not saying much since I'm the guy who choked up recently during an introduction speech with the new company president of affiliate news - which actually prompted a round of applause from many of the managers sitting around the conference table - and the same guy who tears up at weddings, watching Father of the Bride, sappy TV commercials or listening to The Christmas Shoes by NewSong on the car radio.
Yet, leaving my daughter at the United Airlines terminal at six o'clock in the morning with about thirty other classmates and a few teachers, and driving back home in the dark on a chilly South Florida morning (upper sixties!) on the mostly empty roadways, made me a bit melancholy. No, I didn't actually shed tears but it did make me reflect.
This year, we have two graduations pending; our oldest daughter from high school and our middle child from middle school (8th Grade). So, as one goes off the college, the other begins high school. And, time keeps ticking by. It seems it was only yesterday when our oldest started high school and, now, she's a semester away from graduating.
Last week my brother and his wife were in town for an extended Thanksgiving holiday and to introduce their just-turned one-year-old daughter to our family. Seeing my little niece taking her first steps while being held and making baby sounds reminded me of how awestruck I was when I first became a father of our daughter, then another daughter and finally a son!
|I love it too...|
I know I have to trust God that my wife and I have done a good job raising her with strong faith, a great moral character and a love and passion for her family but it still doesn't make it any easier, especially when her first text later that day was, "I can't wait to live here!"
"Let go and let God," I hear people say, but, that's easier said than done. Yet, I realize our children don't belong to us. They belong to God. We get the privilege of taking care for them to get a glimpse of God's love for us. Unfortunately, sometimes love hurts. We only have to look to Jesus to see that.
For now, our daughter will be gone for a few days and, in January, she leaves again with her classmates to Washington, DC for the March for Life. It must be God's way of preparing me for the big departure late next year.
Still, even before she goes off to school, I'm already setting the stage (to use more theater terminology) in our kids minds for her ultimate return. All three of our kids sleep in the same room, the girls in beds and our son in a trundle between them. I keep telling them that when our oldest goes away, and our middle one goes to high school, my son will get one of the beds. Then, when my oldest comes back home, and my middle one goes away, my son gets to keep a bed for another two years before it's time for him to leave! Now, the question remains, will he want to come back to his trundle afterwards? I guess we'll have to hope and pray for a callback...